With a population approaching 100,000, Compton is regarded as a so-called “working class” community. The median age of residents of Compton is lower than that of most California cities, and of the United States more generally. The median age of residents of Compton is 25. The median age of the U.S. population more generally is 35.
Compton has a persistent and growing homelessness problem. This includes an increasing number of homeless encampments located in the city.
The homeless population has been spreading from central Los Angeles over the course of the past five years. Compton was one of the neighboring communities that felt the impact of this migration early on.
What Are Homeless Encampments?
Homeless encampments are congregations of more than one person that lack shelter. The size of a homeless encampment can range from two or three individuals to over 100. Homeless encampments can be found in many different types of locations, including:
- Vacant lots
- Vacant buildings
- Wooded areas
- Under freeway overpasses
- Railway easements
The Philosophical Debate Over Homelessness in Compton
Residents of Compton have been involved in a philosophical debate over how best to address the problem of chronic homelessness in the community. This includes developing appropriate strategies to deal with homeless encampments in the city.
The Center for Problem-Oriented Policing has succinctly delineated the philosophical dilemma surrounding chronic homelessness and homeless encampments, in Compton and elsewhere:
Dealing with homeless people living in encampments can be fraught with mortal danger. Few people would argue that the police should do what they can to reduce burglary or car theft. Yet there are many strong and organized advocates of the chronically homeless. Some believe chronic homelessness is a lifestyle choice and, as such, should be protected by law. Others claim it is a consequence of socio-economic factors, such as high unemployment and the lack of affordable housing, or that the chronically homeless are victims of abusive childhoods, addiction, or mental illness. In any event, they oppose criminalizing what they perceive to be a status beyond a homeless person’s control. Still, others object to the “criminalization of homelessness” because it violates fundamental constitutional rights, in particular, those codified in the First, Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
Compton Businesses and Homeless Encampments
There have been instances in which homeless encampments have had a profound, serious impact on Compton businesses. These situations underscore the need to balance the rights and needs of the homeless population in Compton with business owners and other residents of the city.
When a homeless encampment rises near a Compton business (or businesses), it can have a negative impact on that enterprise (or those enterprises). For example, the presence of a homeless encampment near a business can cause some prospective patrons to forgo patronizing that establishment. The presence of a homeless encampment causes them to look somewhere else for goods and services.
The crime rate in the neighborhood in which a homeless encampment rises nearly always increases. A rising crime right in the neighborhood in which a business is located in a significantly negative turn of events for that enterprise.
With all due respect to residents of homeless encampments, they are eyesores – and oftentimes terribly so. The presence of a homeless encampment in a business district and a residential neighborhood can impair the overall appearance of the district.
Finally, homeless encampments can present health risks to individuals that desire to patronize a particular business or business district in Compton. The typical homeless encampment will be accompanied by human waste, other bodily fluids of different types, and even contaminated needles once utilized by individuals who inject drugs. These all pose potential health risks to other people in the community who end up in the area of a homeless encampment. This includes patrons of businesses near a homeless encampment.
Homeless Encampment Cleanup in Compton
Due to the potential health risks associated with an encampment, engaging the services of an experienced Compton homes encampment cleanup service is the advisable course of action. A homeless encampment cleanup in Compton specialists can best ensure that the remediation process is safely undertaken. In addition, a professional also ensures that a homeless encampment cleanup in Compton is thoroughly and properly undertaken on all fronts.
Compton Homeless Shelters
There are several homeless shelters that service the Compton community. These include:
The City of Compton provides services for homeless individuals and families. The information these services is available at:
City of Compton
205 South Willowbrook Avenue
Compton, California 90220