by Yasmeen Hassan

SOUTH NATOMAS (CBS13) — People living in South Natomas say the homeless population seems to have grown overnight.

Now we’re learning it’s because of a major construction project in the Lower Natomas Basin.

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Tents set up in neighborhoods and parks, people inside trash bins, feet away from homes. It’s something neighbors say wasn’t happening just a few weeks ago.

“I’ve noticed a lot more. A lot more in the area. More than there was before,” one neighbor said.

Construction just started on Garden Highway. Normally, homeless camps are set up near the levees, but now that the area is closed, they’re forced to find a new place to live.

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“Yes, they’re kind of moving around and probably looking for a place to stay,” Jay Tolention said.

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Now, it looks like they’ve found a place, and that place is a little too close to home for some.

“One recently approached my son. It was a little bit upsetting,” one mom said.

According to a federal ruling, it is not a crime to sleep on public streets or sidewalks when there are no homeless shelters available.

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“I’m worried because you never know what can happen. Sometimes some of them are difficult to be around than others. Some are actually really nice, but some are really, don’t seem to care,” one mom said.

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It seems this is going to continue to be a problem for people living in this area. Sections of Garden Highway will be closed through fall. Then more closures and construction are coming next year.