Terry Buchanan has been homeless for seven months, and for most of that time he's been camped out in the woods near Dale Boulevard and Prince William County.
But Thursday he's been up since about 6 a.m., clearing out his tent and packing everything into a friend's car, before state police come back to check on things.
"I'm confused just like anybody else. These people across the street gotta go. I think everybody's gotta go, around here," Buchanan says.
VDOT spokesperson Joan Morris says VDOT and state police don't seek out homeless encampments. She says property owners and commuters in the area have complained about the homeless population crossing over exit ramps on foot.
"Very sad that we have to do this, but we cannot for those reasons, have them on our right of way," Morris says.
She says it's a coincidence that this homeless sweep is happening on the same day the local winter homeless shelter is closing for the season.
Buchanan says he knows many people have little sympathy for those living for free on state land.
"In a way I agree, but in a way I don't because we're homeless. We have no place to go. What are we gonna do? Sleep on concrete?" he says.
State police say they will start issuing trespassing violations on Friday.