Camp Alpha shut down but efforts remain to help veterans

- It generated a lot of interest a few weeks ago; Camp Alpha was a veterans camp that was shut down in the North Valley because it violated city code. So what happened to all the veterans that were living at the camp?

Camp Alpha was located in Sunnyslope near 16th Avenue and Hatcher, and the City of Phoenix ordered it be disbanded by Christmas last year.

Now there is no sign of the camp that fed, clothed, and gave homeless veterans a place to sleep for several weeks. All that remains is a single truck with veteran's signs propped up in the front window shield.

"I enjoyed the camaraderie, and the food they brought in, that is what I miss the most," said David Dugan.

Dugan is the only one who remains at the former Camp Alpha with his friend Buddy. He now parks in various places overnight to sleep.

Tori Sydow says Camp Alpha will return to help veterans, but they know they cannot do it like they did before.

"Really a camp situation is not going to be sustainable just because of the limitations, we have to follow the rules the city sets forth," said Tori Sydow.

Sydow says half of the veterans at Camp Alpha found a more permanent solution, but others chose to stay on the streets for a variety of reasons.

An encampment sprung up in the east valley to help struggling veterans. They say they aren't feeding anyone, and no one sleeps there. They did, however, inherit some of Camp Alpha's tents and camping supplies.

Sydow says they are working furiously to establish a non-profit to help veterans.

"Everybody wants to do something about it, but nobody wants it in their backyard. Unfortunately, it's everybody's back yard," said Dugan.

So the concept of Camp Alpha lives on, there are five core directors who are working to create a source for homeless veterans to help them get their benefits, a job, and move forward.


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