This story is a part of Business Insider’s “
Homeless In Silicon Valley” series reported by Robert Johnson and edited by Chris C. Anderson. Jill Klausen and graphic designer Mike Nudelman contributed to this series.
California’s Silicon Valley is justifiably celebrated as the center of America’s innovation economy.
Some of the most beloved and successful companies in the world are located there, built by generations of entrepreneurs, investors, and engineers who have used their immense talents to change the world.
And yet, despite Silicon Valley’s remarkable wealth, talent, and inventions, the Valley has also failed to meet all of its residents’ most basic needs, starting with food and shelter. The Valley, in fact, is home to the largest homeless camp in the continental United States, which is located in a middle-class neighbourhood in San Jose.
Business Insider went to Silicon Valley and San Francisco last month to learn more about The Great Divide.
We were surprised every step of the way by the courage of those on the streets and the generosity of individuals and corporations throughout Silicon Valley.
The infographic below is followed by some photos that show just how close to home this problem hits.
The downside is that these skyrocketing house prices have forced many people out of residences and into homes like this. This is 'The Jungle.'
Wedged between this commercial strip and surrounding homes, The Jungle is one of the largest homeless encampments in America.
Across this old railroad bridge live up to 175 homeless people. Other big homeless camps and tent cities throughout the country may hold half that many people.
Business Insider met homeless outreach director Chris Richardson for a tour of The Jungle (Chris' mum was the first CEO of Napster).
GiGi lives here. She graduated high school at 15 and was on her way to Stanford when her parents got audited over a bookkeeping error and her education plans fell apart.
For safety GiGi shares a camp with Dee who's just out of prison. Dee was told to live here by his parole officers, and he still has to somehow make it to all the appointments required to keep him from behind bars but not from being homeless. The California parole board won't let this man re-locate.
Jungle residents get swept out by local police a few times a year, but they dig holes to hide things they don't want seized. The Jungle always comes back.
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