Trash - CC Damien Gadal

There are lots of stigmas surrounding the homeless community living on Coyote Creek, but these impoverished folks are taking it upon themselves to disprove those stereotypes with trashbags.

Since their debut in October, the Coyote Creek Homeless Stream Stewards of San Jose, California have picked up over 24 tons of litter filling the stream that they call their home.

The organizer of the project, 56-year-old Amanda Fukamoto, has been a driving force behind the cleaning process.

Using a “trash raffle” system that Amanda and Richard McMurtry, a retired programs director for the Santa Clara County Creeks Coalition contrived to encourage participation, different prizes are auctioned off each week; for every two full trash bags turned in, one raffle ticket is awarded to the contributor. The record amount of litter collected in one week was 182 bags from 17 enthusiastic volunteers.

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Yet for some of the homeless living on Coyote Creek, it’s not about the prize – it’s about respectfully cleaning up after themselves.

However, since the organization of the Stream Stewards, Amanda has been pushing the Santa Clara County Water District to allow construction of a tiny house village for the community in exchange for the creek’s upkeep.

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Though the bargain is rife with legislative and bureaucratic issues, Fukamoto’s proposal is a hopeful solution for tackling the root of the problem: giving the homeless community proper housing in order to reduce pollution of the stream.

Cleanse The Negativity From Your News Feed, Click To Share – Photo by Damien Gadal, CC 

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