As homeless encampments have sprouted up in Beaumont and all over the country, the need for cleaning them has increased as well. Homeless encampments can quickly become overrun with everything from trash to the piled-up belongings of the inhabitants. Before long, the trash and garbage-filled encampment becomes a health hazard to people both inside and outside the confines of the camp. At that point, cleaning of the entire encampment becomes necessary.
Where Are Homeless Encampments Set Up?
Homeless encampments spring up basically anywhere. In Beaumont, they’ve been set up alongside the railroad running south of the I-10, but they can pop up literally anywhere. Some encampments are set up in abandoned buildings, while others are found near busy retail centers. Some homeless encampments are set up in state or city parks, while others thrive in areas wherever there is some form of built-in shelter like underneath highway overpasses or inside of tunnels. The bottom line is that homeless encampments can spring up wherever there’s an opportunity.
The people who live in homeless encampments range from people who ran out of luck and literally have nowhere else to turn to people with extreme mental illnesses. This confluence of people in dire circumstances leads to a situation where trash, human waste, garbage and drug paraphernalia inevitably pile up. No one is responsible for cleaning the area, and it becomes unsafe for the people living there as well as people who live and work nearby.
What Types of Waste Is Found in Homeless Encampments?
In addition to the usual pileup of trash and garbage, there are other types of waste found in homeless encampments.
- Sometimes people living within a homeless encampment are in possession of combustible materials like chemicals and lighters. With one wrong move, a fire could spread throughout the encampment and to nearby buildings and homes.
- Items like old electronics and other bulky items that haven’t been disposed of properly tend to pile up at and homeless encampments. These types of items create a lot of bulk that make it impossible for people to move about freely, blocking off exits and passageways.
- Many people who live in homeless encampments are unlikely to have medical care. This means that many of them treat themselves when they’re sick or hurt. They bring items like bandages, swabs and other medical materials that will then not be disposed of properly. This creates a pile of of medical waste that could lead to disease spread.
- People who live in homeless encampments are unable to use regular bathroom facilities. This means that there is usually a pileup of human waste that hasn’t been discarded improperly, creating a health hazard.
- Homeless encampments attract pests and vermin, increasing the pest population in the encampment as well as the surrounding area. An extermination has to be done in order to eradicate the issue.
What Happens During Homeless Encampment Cleaning?
Once homeless encampments are cleared out, an intense sanitization and cleaning must be done in order to bring the area back to livability. The steps involved in the cleanup may include the following.
Removal of Large and Small-Scale Trash
Teams will come in and remove both large and small pieces of trash. They will make sure that the trash is separated into the appropriate bins. Most likely, the trash will be placed in biohazard transport containers.
Inventory Sorting If Necessary
Some jurisdictions require that there be some sort of inventory reporting during encampment cleanup. If this process is in place, it means that the homeless residents will be allowed to keep track of the belongings that they don’t want discarded. It will need to be removed, but it won’t necessarily be discarded.
Removal of Drug Paraphernalia
Drug paraphernalia is often found left behind in homeless encampments. Our teams will go through and make sure that every bit of paraphernalia is discarded of safely. We will make sure that nothing is left behind that could end up hurting someone later down the road.
Human Waste Removal
Human waste is a serious problem within homeless encampments. This is because most of the residents don’t have a place to use the bathroom. They simply go wherever they are. In addition to urine and fecal matter, the human waste left behind could also include blood. Our teams thoroughly removed all evidence of human waste. Once it’s removed, we scour and clean the space following strict federal protocols so that the area is ready for public use.
Once the area has been cleaned, we will go in with federally approved disinfectants, chemicals, and cleaners to make sure the area is completely free from germs, bacteria and other pathogens that could cause illness. This level of disinfection goes beyond the type of disinfection that one might use in a home or Business.
We understand that there is a human component to homelessness, and we also understand that homelessness unfortunately generates unsanitary living conditions not only for the residents of the encampment but for the people who live in the area. Our goal is to make sure that the area remains safe for everyone. A homeless encampment that is rife with garbage, waste, and disease serves no purpose for anyone. It ends up doing more harm than any temporary shelter it may have provided.
Reach out to us if you have questions about a homeless encampment in your area. We can provide you with the information that you need to get the cleaning process going. We will be able to let you know if we can work with you directly or if you’ll need to reach out to us through your local authorities.