All their personal belongings—blankets, backpacks, donated canned foods, shopping carts and sleeping pads—have been removed.
But their trash remains ... and lots of it down a steep embankment adjacent to a homeless camp behind Old Town Center in the heart of Los Gatos.
The about half dozen individuals who were making their home there, with the help of good Samaritans and Los Gatos St. Luke's Episcopal Church, have left after Caltrans posted a 72-hour notice to vacate on Oct. 10.
A week later, the littered slope remains.
The area drops from the south wall of Old Town Center to a water canal that used to be the Los Gatos Creek, but is now the Lexington Dam spillway, said Caltrans spokesman Bernard Walik.
Caltrans had several contractors reviewing the area on Monday and Tuesday to bid on the project and clean up the site, Walik said. "This is a very extensive cleanup ... and will require outside support," he added.
A new chain-link fence has also been installed near the Los Gatos Creek Trail foot bridge that was cut open allowing access to the agency's right-of-way.
Walik has said Caltrans will work with the Santa Clara Valley Water District to monitor the area and keep individuals from gaining access to state and water district property after the cleanup and repairs are complete.
"What [our maintenance team] thought would be a quick-fix turned out to be a more extensive repair," Walik said.
Nearby merchants and residents have also stopped complaining, relieved that the homeless have abandoned the spot, but saddened that there seems to be no solution to the increasing number of people looking for refuge in town and along the Los Gatos Creek.