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How Campbell PD is Helping the Homeless in Campbell

What the Campbell PD is doing to help with the issue of homelessness within the Orchard City.

When describing the Orchard City, a homeless population isn't the first thing that comes to mind.

In fact, there are several homeless encampments throughout the city as well a few regular faces in the downtown.

Officer Eric Pearson was out helping a group of volunteers both locate and survey the homeless population in Campbell on June 27 as part of the Housing 1,000 SV's Registry Week.

But this isn't the only way the local PD reaches out to help.

"We work with the different agencies within the county and when we come in contact with homeless people, we try to offer up the various fliers and contacts for resources," says Campbell Police Sgt. Gary Berg.

Most of the "regulars" hang out in different parts of the city, Berg says, but most of the homeless congregate around the Los Gatos Creek Trail and .

Police officers have been trained by the county on how to deal with the homeless who have psychological problems and how to get them some of the assistance they may need.

"There have been several occasions that concerned citizens have reached out to them to help," he says. "Some want the help and others don’t. Unfortunately, not too many of the adults are too gung-ho in taking advantage of the resources. Mainly, our officers aren’t proactively seeking out these homeless people."

There is one exception to this.

"Obviously children are top priority," Berg says. "Citizens are concerned with people begging for money, especially when children are involved. We try to proactively get those parents the assistance they need to make sure that the children, in turn get what they need."

These cases, however, are not prevalent within the city, he says.

"Every once in a while, we get a call," Berg says. "With a child, those are the times officers will proactively seek them (the homeless) out to see if there’s anything the police department can do to assist."

The homeless census was taken earlier this year but the results have not been released. Regardless, Berg says the homeless population comes and goes over the years within Campbell.

There are different types of homeless people living in the Orchard City: those that have psychological issues, those that have substance abuse issues and then those that are "down on their luck"--lost their job, their homes, etc.

From a police standpoint, it's the last group that they have seen an increase in, Berg says.

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