Amanda Fukamoto saw a problem — two problems, actually — and decided to do something about it. For years, San Jose’s Coyote Creek has been a dumping ground for trash. The banks and the creek itself are clogged with castoff items of all sorts, from clothing to tires. A lot of it comes from the growing homeless population that lives along the banks.
Fukamoto asked herself what could be done to stop the pollution — and what could be done to help the homeless. She found the solution with the Coyote Creek Homeless Stream Stewards program. The group has removed more than 48,000 pounds of garbage from the area around the creek and from the creek itself.
What of the homeless? They’re the ones helping to clean the area but this is a short-term solution. As long as the homeless stay along the creek, the trash problem will remain as well. Fukamoto has another plan that will take care of both issues at once.
She’s proposed a program that will create a community of tiny houses that the homeless will be able to stay in, in exchange for keeping Coyote Creek and its surrounding area clean.
The program is still in the planning and permission stages. In the meantime, Fukamoto and associates have implemented other initiatives to keep the creek banks free of trash, such as raffling off gift cards and other prizes for turning in bags of trash.