Dana Point is a small city in beautiful Orange County, California. The area is a designated historical landmark and has a rich heritage, as Dana Point was used as a popular port for ships transporting hide with nearby Mission San Juan Capistrano. The Dana Point harbor is still a fixture of the area, and has a marina, shops and restaurants. Capistrano Beach is another fan favorite spot, and you’ll catch surfers, swimmers and snorkelers out in the sunny weather at any given time. But, Dana Point is perhaps best well known for its marine life. In addition to hosting a “festival of whales” since 1972, Dana Point also sees a lot of juvenile great white sharks and dolphins.

As of the 2010 census, Dana Point’s population was 33,351 and is expected to continue growing in the coming years. More and more families with kids, young professionals and retirees alike are moving to cities like Dana Point and out of pricier cities like Los Angeles. With this movement, development and sprawl, there tends to be an uptick in a problem many may not be aware of: homelessness. Homelessness greatly affects thousands in the United States and though it may not always be apparent in places like Orange County, many men, women and children face the harsh realities of not having a roof over their heads. This can have an extremely negative impact on an area’s growth. Homelessness can also lead to homeless encampments. When local law enforcement steps in and breaks up a homeless camp, homeless persons usually move on, but the area may remain in a state of repair. The best way to clean up the camp and restore it to its original state is to rely on the services of a professional homeless encampment cleanup company.

What Is a Homeless Encampment?

Homeless encampments can have many names. They are often referred to as “tent cities” or “transient camps,” and are commonly found in small pockets of major cities. But, they can also be found in suburban and residential areas as homeless people get pushed out of urban areas by a growing cost of living. A homeless encampment usually refers to a group of one or more homeless persons living together in temporary or makeshift housing structures. The homeless encampment can spread out over one area, like under a highway pass, or be contained to a small rural area. It usually depends on what resources the area offers and how many persons can fit. Homeless encampments also vary in their condition. Some homeless encampments have endured for years, making their living structures more permanent and perhaps nicer in style. But, overall, homeless encampments are places for displaced persons to pass through. Sometimes, those who are homeless find these common environments safer than being alone on the streets. But, many also see these types of camps stunting of business and residential growth in neighborhoods, and there have been many calls nationwide to crack down on these communities.

Understanding Homeless Encampments

It is common thought that, while homeless persons benefit from talking and socializing with others facing similar struggles, homeless encampments can bring long-term exposure to environmental elements and health hazard concerns. Usually, closing a health encampment is mostly done out health concerns. They can be hotbeds of biohazards, bacteria and for those struggling with addiction, detrimental to their recovery efforts when addictive substances are present. When local law enforcement or a sheriff’s agency decides to close a homeless encampment, it is necessary that they provide a new place for the persons to go, like a shelter or resource house. Unfortunately, it is not required by law for the agency to actually clean up the area when the homeless persons leave if they decide the effort is too in-depth or costly. Because of this, many unsafe materials can be left behind, making the area unusable. This necessitates the need for a professional homeless encampment cleanup company with the right training, experience and equipment to get the job done with care.

Cleaning Up a Homeless Encampment

Depending on a homeless camps’ size, condition and history in the area, there are several factors that go into a cleanup effort. These could include exposure to leftover biohazard materials or personal property. Though many areas have made a greater effort to install restrooms near homeless encampments, human feces and urine are still usually present.

In addition, wild animal waste can be in and around the area, as well as animal carcasses that introduce a whole new host of bacteria. For homeless persons that struggle with drug addiction, drug paraphernalia, like used needles with bio-fluids and blood, may be especially prevalent. These must be immediately disposed off in a thorough, safe way,

Lastly, litter can infiltrate waterways if not disposed of properly, creating a longstanding environmental concern. A professional homeless encampment cleanup company will begin by cleaning these physical items, and then sanitizing and restoring the area. Because a professional homeless encampment cleanup company uses medical grade sanitization and advanced personal protective equipment, they are the best persons to take on the job rather than the general public.

Lastly, the homeless encampment cleanup company will attempt to restore the area as close to its original condition as possible so that it can be used in the future. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the area may not become a homeless encampment again in the future, but a safe, thorough restoration will make the area usable for years to come and incentivize the area to remain that way.

If you or a loved one is struggling with homelessness, there are several resources in Dana Point, CA you can seek for help.