By Itay Hod
SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- At 46, Rudy Ortega never imagined he'd end up here.
For the past seven years Ortega has lived at Columbus Park in San Jose, along with his two chihuahuas Boo Boo and Pokie Bear.
Back in 2015, he was working as a property manager when, he says, a dispute with his landlord cost him his job and his home on the same day.
He's been at the park ever since. Living between his RV and a van.
"What I have here is what I've earned with my two hands dumpster diving for more than two and a half years," he said.
Everything he owns has been stuffed into his vehicles, away from the watchful eyes of authorities.
"I keep a lot of stuff conjoined and packed," he said almost apologetically. "It looks like I'm a hoarder but I'm not. That's what they made me do," he said.
A few months ago, the city took most of his belongings during a sweep, promising to put them in storage free of charge. But no one has paid the fees and now the storage facility is threatening to throw his stuff out.
"[It was] everything that I was going to sell to make money for the holidays," he said.
Ortega is just one of about 100 people living at the park. But it's unclear for how much longer.
For months now, the city has been trying to clear out this park. Ortega and other residents here sued, claiming the city illegally ransacked or destroyed their homes and belongings. But on Thursday, a judge lifted a restraining order, allowing the city to continue its work clearing the area.
The city told KPIX-5 it's working on an updated timeline on the abatement. The city also said it's working with the County of Santa Clara and non- profit partners to connect people living in Columbus Park with housing opportunities.
That's little comfort to Ortega, who's not only waiting on his belongings but is now under even pressure to find a new place to live.
"It's been hard," he said. "But I try not to think of it. I think of it as an adventure."
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