City officials looking into storage lockers for homeless in San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- At ABC7 News, we're committed to Building a Better Bay Area. When sweeps of homeless camps are done periodically in many communities for health and safety reasons, the homeless complain their possessions go missing.

The homeless look for safe places to camp out. They might not have much, but what they have is valuable to them. That's why John Marone and Nolan Dempster found a spot along Los Gatos Creek ideal.

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"We can come back at the end of the day, and our stuff is there," said Marone.

However, last Thursday, they came back to find everything gone. A sweep had been done to clear their encampment.

"I went to work, and I came home, and it was cleared out," said Marone. "It was all gone. It was just gone. Everything was gone."

That's not unusual for the homeless. Even though they're given advance notice, they have no place to store their property.

ABC7 News asked Marone what he lost.

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"Let's see," he said. "My tailgater generator, an Anvil compressor, all my Milwaukee tools, saws, skill saw."

Marone may be homeless, but he works and needs those tools.
San Jose's city council has a possible solution-- providing them with lockers at libraries or community centers.

Andrea Urton is CEO of HomeFirst, which operates homeless shelters.

"The homeless person would sign a contract, agree that they can store their things there," she explained. "They would have to visit their items once a week, and at that point in time, they would also have to meet with a case manager, so now there's a touchpoint for services and resources so we're not leaving these people to languish on the streets."

The idea comes too late, though, for John Marone and Nolan Dempster.

RELATED: City crews clear big Oakland homeless encampment

Good ideas take time to develop. In the case of lockers for the homeless in San Jose, the City Council has yet to prioritize how fast it wants to proceed. But it could take up to 18 months for city staff to implement it.

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