ITHACA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Many came to help clean up encampments in the Ithaca “Jungle” Thursday morning. People came not only to help the city but also to help the community.  

“This has been an ongoing source of a lot of crime, overdoses, deaths, and it's a major eye sore visible through Downtown,” Zachary Winn, Ithaca Republican Mayoral Candidate, said.  

The Ithaca Jungle is a largely unsanctioned homeless encampment located around Southwest Park. Over the last few years, the area of encampments has expanded vastly, now stretching from Cass Park, all the way to Buttermilk Falls State Park. About a dozen people came to clean up abandoned homeless encampments on Ithaca's West End, across the road from Nate's Floral Estates.  

“It needed to be dealt with,” Winn said, adding “We're going to be back out here again once it's re-spoiled but we're going to keep trying.”  

A TIDES Camp was proposed earlier in 2022 to help get addicts and the homeless off the streets. Specifically, a TIDES Camp would build structures in the Jungle, giving them sturdy shelter with kitchen and bathroom amenities.  

Ithaca resident Michael Fenner says it doesn't solve the problem and is skeptical of the plan.  

“There's something in the works to try to create an environment that's not only safe for the residents there, but it creates a safer environment for the residents and businesses there in the area,” Fenner said.  

Although the final details for TIDES are still in the works, volunteers and residents plan to hold more cleanup events to help control the countywide issue.