Homeless in Beard Brook Being Relocated in Preparation for Park’s Cleanup

MODESTO -- Time is almost up for the homeless still living at Modesto’s Beard Brook Park.

A city spokesman says the park will be officially closed starting Monday.

FOX40 was at the park just weeks ago, it was packed with tents and people.

Now, there are a few people left but still lots of trash; which is a new challenge the city will have to address.

“Most of it’s not people’s belongings anymore, it’s just garbage,” said Melanie Slagle.

Thomas Reeves with the City of Modesto says officials posted notices on March 1st.

Friday, officers went tent-to-tent, alerting the homeless that the park will be fenced up and closed on March 11th.

“Therefore, anyone who remains or is slow to move would be considered trespassing and we would have the ability to cite them,” said Reeves.

As a self-proclaimed “camp mom,” Slagle says she’s sticking around to help pack.

“The few of us that remain, try to keep an eye on whatever belongings are left,” Slagle said.

Hundreds of homeless people living in Beard Brook Park have already moved into Tuolumne Regional River Park.

The city provided uniform tents and sanitation services.

“I think we’re pretty fortunate. So, we gotta thank Modesto for everything they’ve done,” said Jesse Guerrero.

Reeves says once this park is officially closed, crews will begin the clean-up process.

“And our safety officers on behalf of the city will be on site every step of the way to ensure that everyone is safe from anything that could potentially be out there,” he said. “With the last resort being charging them and taking them away. We don’t believe we’ll get to that point.”

The city spokesman says there are a number of issues they'll need to address before reopening the park.  There's a baseball field, a playground and the river to consider so it may be awhile before Beard Brook Park will reopen.

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