El Segundo is a breezy, beautiful beach town in Los Angeles County, California. Under shady palm trees and cloudless skies, residents love getting outdoors and exploring the fun town by biking and walking through residential areas. The town offers several local coffee and sandwich shops in close proximity to high-end restaurants and bars, so there’s always a new place to check out. But El Segundo is perhaps best known for what most people think of when they hear “California:” clear, breezy, white-sand beaches. Manhattan Beach, for example, is one particularly well-loved spot. On any given day you’ll see surfers shredding waves next to para-sailers above, and scattered sunbathers all around. El Segundo Beach is another fan-favorite, with a more secluded vibe and miles of white sandbar waiting to be explored. El Segundo has seen major growth in recent years, and has a population of 16,654 as of the 2010 census. That number is expected to grow in the coming years, but residents push local agencies to make sure the city retains its small-town, down home feel that initially drew in so many from greater cities like Los Angeles. Perhaps this is why everyone from young professionals to families with kids love El Segundo. From a major aquarium with tons of sea-life to an expansive entertainment district to tennis courts, El Segundo has a little something for everyone.
But, El Segundo faces a growing issues similar to many areas in and around Los Angeles County. This issue isn’t immediately noticeable and often lurks below the surface and sunny skies. Homelessness affects almost 560,000 people in the entire U.S., and it is prominent within El Segundo, too. And, as more and more homeless people are pushed out of bigger cities like Los Angeles, El Segundo is expected to see an increase in persons who do not have a place to live or the right resources to seek help. While the El Segundo Police Department is committed to addressing homelessness within the city and providing resources to those who are mentally ill and living on the streets, a professional homeless encampment cleanup company can also supplement law enforcement efforts.
Homeless Encampment Cleanup
Homeless encampments can be found everywhere from major U.S. capitals to small, rural towns. They can be called “tent cities” or “transient camps,” but a commonality among them all is that they are usually temporary in nature. Because they can pop up so quickly and be taken down in the same rapid fashion, homeless encampments may take form in sturdier tents or even cardboard boxes. They can also be found under highway overpasses or in roadside woods. Homeless camps usually have more than one homeless person living together as a community, and some can grow to be very large. Sometimes, those who are homeless find these common environments safer than being alone on the streets. But, many residents and businesses do not find these homeless encampments helpful to bringing in new neighbors and there have been nationwide efforts to move homeless persons out of these areas. It is important to note that anyone can face homelessness, regardless of age, gender or race, and it is important to approach homeless encampment situations with care and sensitivity.
How Can Homeless Encampments in El Segundo, CA Be Addressed?
While it is crucial that homeless women, men and children have social interaction with others, perhaps in the same situation, it is not healthy or safe to stay in a homeless encampment for a long period of time. Homeless encampments can be hotbeds of bacteria and biohazard materials that fester when not taken care of. When government agencies close down homeless camp, it is crucial that the displaced homeless persons have somewhere else to go. In addition, the area must be restored to its prior state. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to many, city or council agencies are not required by law to undertake the costs associated with cleaning up a homeless encampment. In turn, the cleanup effort gets get tasked upon residents or homeowners. Here’s where a professional homeless encampment cleanup company with proper training, adequate experience and a solid plan can help.
Cleaning up Homeless Encampments Safely
Homeless camps can be exposed to many different things by many different people. These materials may include human waste in the form of exposed feces and urine. In addition, animal waste introduces a new host of health risks, and animal carcasses are common in homeless encampments. Because many homeless persons struggle with drug and alcohol addicitions, drug paraphernalia like used needels containing biofluid or blood may be at the scene. These must be disposed of first and in the right way. Scattered litter is another environmental concern if it blows into public waterways. A professional homeless encampment cleanup company will begin with three steps: cleaning any physical items, and then sanitizing and restoring the area. When sanitizing a homeless encampment, the cleanup company will use medical grade sanitization products that are not always publicly available without a permit. Proper tools, like gloves and eye protection, will also always be worn to protect the human skin.
Lastly, the area where the homeless encampment was located must be restored. If it was a park or public area intended to be used again, the cleanup company will work to restore the greenery and amenities. While it is uncertain that the area will not become a homeless encampment again, the restoration will provide a comprehensive cleaning that will most likely stay that way for years to come, and ward off unsolicited use.
If you or a loved one is struggling with homelessness, there are several resources in El Segundo, CA you can seek for help.