Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Cleaning up the Jungle

Written By: Joe Melillo

One man is helping the homless that live in Ithaca’s Jungle

Cleaning up the Jungle

Ithaca (WENY) - One man is going into Ithaca's Jungle to help the homeless people who live there. He's recruiting others to help clean up the trash and help make it safer for the people living there. Ithaca's secluded encampment for the homeless, known as the jungle, will be a little cleaner by this time tomorrow. The day of cleaning starts early in the morning. Carmen Guidi says there's more than 100 years worth of trash scattered all over the jungle. Tomorrow he wants to start to turn the area around. He started going down to the secluded area behind Wegmans known as the Jungle with nothing but some pizza.

“I went to Pugies pizza ordered six large pizzas and came down here and hollered out anybody hungry, and ill tell you what they welcomed me with open arms.”

Over his time here Carmen made a lot of friends one friend was named Dan. Dan lived in this spot for eight years, he also died in the jungle. He hung himself in this tree because he said he couldn't take it anymore.

“When he took his life I was away one week and he took his life I don't think he thought there was any hope of getting out of here but there is,” says Guidi.

Touched by the loss of his friend, Carmen is doing everything he can to improve the quality of life in the Jungle. e got a dumpster, and recruited people from local businesses and churches. Tomorrow, they'll start picking up trash that has accumulated over the years

“A lot of these guys don't have any other choice but to live here its not like they want to be here some of them work and they come home and they get so depressed because they come home to all this junk and they have been trying to clean it up little bit by little bit, but its just an insurmountable task.”

Richard Sherman has been living in the jungle for more than 6 years. He's happy someone is there to lend a hand.

“It's a big thing to me, I mean sometimes its hard to get help.”

Volunteers will meet at Warehouse carpet on Cecil Malone Dr. at 8:30 A.M. Saturday May 5th.