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Group told to leave camp in Santa Cruz River after more than 3 y - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Group told to leave camp in Santa Cruz River after more than 3 years

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TUCSON – A group of people living under a tree in the Santa Cruz River is being told to leave after more than 3 years.

Terri Franco, 57, calls herself an urban camper. She lives in the camp with 2 other people, including an 80-year-old Navy veteran.

“It's been a good, safe place,” she said. “We're clean. We're quiet. We're not trouble makers.”

On April 12 somebody called 911 to complain about the camp. The Tucson Police Department followed procedure and served a notice to vacate on April 14, according to Sgt. Kim Bay.

The camp is not visible from the bank of the Santa Cruz River north of Valencia Road. Franco said she does not even panhandle.

“I stay totally and completely as much as possible away from any of the people, the businesses or anything,” Franco said. “Because you lay low and you’re in better standing.”

Outreach workers have been visiting the camp trying to connect the people to resources. Franco said she is listening but does not want to be rushed. Most places will not accept her dogs.

“We just want to live the best we can until there is a better option for us,” she said.

The 72-hour deadline passed on Monday. Franco said city officials have not returned, but she is considering her options.

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