By Miriam Raftery
July 31, 2010 (Rancho San Diego) – San Diego Sheriff deputies along with U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials conducted sweeps of homeless camps in wooded areas of Rancho San Diego in the grey light of early morning.
East County Magazine accompanied officers on the first sweep, behind Savanna Grill. More sweeps were held near Cuyamaca College, the YMCA, Target, and the old Steele Canyon bridge off Highway 94. No homeless people were present or arrested, though many left behind trash and/or treasures that could not be toted away in a backpack or shopping cart. Makeshift tents, lean-tos and mattresses were found, along with more poignant items: a large stuffed monkey, a cracked mirror with ornate frame, a pushcart, cooking utensils, nail polish, and a chipped china pitcher.
All lay forgotten in the mud, symbols of shattered lives and broken dreams.