Linda Mumma reporting


MODESTO (CBS13) — Officials are getting closer to relocating hundreds of homeless people from a park in Modesto to a new location not too far away. Workers began putting temporary housing underneath the 9th Street Bridge Monday.

The crews put up about 80 tents in the Tuolumne River Regional Park for about half of the project. More than 400 men, women, and children are currently living at Beard Brook Park.

The city and county have been working together over the last few weeks to prepare the area for relocation, draining rainwater from recent storms, and adding more dirt and mulch to some areas. Crews have also changed the slope to keep water from pooling near the tents and put pavement in to increase access for both those who live in the park and emergency vehicles.

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Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa came out to take a look at the new tents. He said he is looking forward to having people move into a safer area.

“I just went and took a peek inside and much nicer than the conditions over at Beard Brook Park,” Chiesa said.

William Wright said he is looking forward to relocating.

“It’s really nice to see they’re helping people. It’s good to see they’re helping people,” Wright said.

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Chiesa said the organization Turning Point will likely oversee the temporary housing facility. Details are expected to be worked out in the next few days.

He said the new area will not only include approximately 160 waterproof tents, but it will also have hand-washing stations, lockers, and charging area for cell phones.

People will start moving in later this week, according to Chiesa.

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