When non-residents envision Beverly Hills, they picture lush palm trees, celebrities, sprawling mansions, and things of that nature– in short, a wealthy, lavish paradise. Those of us who are actually 90210 residents understand that while we do have some of those things….we are are a community, with many of the same obstacles faced by similar communities across the nation.
One such problem is homelessness. The vast majority of homeless individuals in Los Angeles County reside in the actual city of Los Angeles. Not surprisingly, the number of homeless individuals is much smaller. County homeless rates continue to rise, whereas in Beverly Hills they are actually decreasing. Overall, in Beverly Hills, there is a decline, yet the numbers for 2018 and 2019 essentially stayed the same. According to the Beverly Hills Homeless Outreach Team, there were 16 homeless individuals, one RV, and one car counted in their annual survey.
“We attribute this to innovative collaborations and partnerships,” said James Latta, Human Services administrator. “The city’s Human Services Division works with the Chronic Homeless Assistance Team, comprised of the city’s police and fire departments and the city prosecutor, to coordinate services and concentrate resources on the most severely ill homeless individuals who suffer from mental health, physical health and/or substance abuse.”**
It is this collaborative approach that makes homelessness less of a problem in our community. Beverly Hills has no equivalent to Skid Row, or the massive ‘tent cities,’ seen in larger areas. Much of the homeless encampments seen belong to individuals– or a couple of people at most. This makes homeless encampment cleanup in Beverly Hills more manageable.
However, it is best left to the professionals to tackle the cleaning of such areas. Enter EcoBear. Founder Emily Kil runs the company with her husband and they are a leading biohazard remediation company in Southern California. Any former homeless encampment must be treated as a potential biohazard to ensure the safety of anyone nearby. Emily understands these challenging circumstances and combines them with her years of experience and business skills to deliver a company that safely cleans any former homeless encampment to restore it to its former glory.
Unlike traditional tenets in an apartment or house, there is not a streamlined eviction process for the homeless. More often than not they leave abruptly, grabbing only what they can carry. The spaces they leave behind are typically makeshift shelters that have never seen cleaning supplies as we know them.
A mattress or sleeping bag has probably never been washed. There could be lice, bedbugs, or fleas. These pesky insects must be thoroughly eradicated. If well-intentioned volunteers were to attempt to clean, they might not be aware that these vermin could get
Furthermore, a homeless individual may not always have access to a public restroom near their sleeping setup. As a result, there may be human urine or feces near the site, along with animal droppings or even rats. For obvious reasons, any sort of excrement or unwanted critters must be handled with care.
Another possible contaminant includes items on which you could get cut. Think broken glass, aluminum can lids, nails, or maybe even knives. It might not be immediately apparent that a sharp object is nearby if the grass is overgrown or the area heavily wooded.
There is always the chance of needles or other drug paraphernalia. Not only could a cleaner with improper gear accidentally get poked with a needle, but items used to touch or do drugs could still have drugs or other germs on them. These items must be disposed of with the utmost caution.
Very little from such an encampment, if anything, will be salvageable. Usually, it is best to dispose of everything, sanitize the area, and return it to its normal use. That is why EcoBear is a necessary step in the hazardous cleanup process.
On a more humanitarian level, if an unsheltered individual sees that their former encampment has been removed, they will be deterred from setting up camp in that spot again. If the homeless population knows that they can’t use public lands for sleeping and storage, it can serve as the impetus they need to seek services and get help with housing, substance abuse, mental illness, or all of the above.
While the plight of the homeless is unfortunate– and we’re glad to see that Beverly Hills has such a diverse coalition amongst their Chronic Homeless Assistance Team– it is in the best interest of everyone to have a speedy cleanup. Not only is it unsanitary, but it is also an eyesore. No one wants to see litter or debris cluttering their community.
Contact us for more information. We gladly work in partnership with the city or other local organizations. Let us help you reclaim your public space as quickly as possible.