Sweep of Chinatown planned for Thursday

SALINAS, Calif. - The largest homeless encampment in Monterey County is preparing for another clean up and sweep Thursday morning.

The city has been waiting for its new camping ordinance to take effect, which it did last Friday. It allows the homeless to camp out from 7PM-7AM. After that, everything needs to be packed up and moved out. Many here say that's going to be hard to do. 

 On Wednesday afternoon people still had tents up, piles of belongings and multiple shopping baskets filled with stuff. That's what the city wants to get away from. People here in Chinatown were given advance warning about the sweep, so anything that isn't gone by 7AM this morning will be thrown away.  For that reason, the city suggests people pack light. Chinatown resident Diana Blayton says these sweeps don't solve anything, and campers who move out today will be back by tomorrow. 

"We cant catch a break, you know, because all the new rules they are coming up with. Until they do something, give us a lot or something this is going to keep going. No matter what they do, we are just going to come back to the block, because the block belongs to the community here," said Diana Blaylock.

City officials say Public health is a big reason for the sweep today. With Hepatitis A outbreaks in homeless encampments across the state, they're trying to avoid that here. Just last week, KION confirmed one person did in fact have the infection here in Chinatown, so the streets and sidewalks will be cleaned.

The sweep is expected to begin at 7AM Thursday.

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