If you’re looking into getting homeless encampment cleanup services in Garden Grove, you know how challenging the process is probably going to be. Homelessness is a growing issue in California, and homeless encampments are popping up everywhere. Homelessness is definitely a problem, but a homeless encampment can cause serious issues for homeowners or business owners.

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A homeless encampment is a site where two or more homeless people have set up a temporary shelter. They set the shelter up on property or land that does not belong to them. Homeless encampments could be literally anywhere. They’re located in places like 

beachfronts, highway underpasses, alleyways, or in the middle of a busy retail areas.

Why Are Homeless Encampments an Issue?

Homeless encampments are a serious problem because they disrupt the ability of businesses and homeowners to function. When a homeless encampment is positioned on property that’s owned by a business, it curtails that business’s ability to do business. People are less likely to enter a store or a restaurant if there’s a homeless encampment located nearby. Visually, homeless encampments act as deterrents.

In a private residential area, encampments make it impossible for people to enjoy their own homes. They may not feel comfortable going out at different times of night, or they may be reluctant to have their children playing near an encampment.

Who Lives in Homeless Encampments?

Homelessness can strike anyone anywhere, so there are many different types of people living in homeless encampments. There are people who are down on their luck because they’ve lost jobs and have nowhere else to go. Sometimes people who are not able to get into the shelter system live in encampments because they feel that sheltering with lots of people is safer than being alone. There are also people struggling with addiction and mental illness living in homeless encampments.

The problem is that homeless encampments are usually health hazards not only to the residents who live there but to the community at large. They’re extremely unsanitary and they are filled with biohazards that can create serious public health issues.

Why Are Homeless Encampments Considered Health Risks?

Once an encampment has been cleared of its temporary residents, cleaning the site can be a challenge. Homeless encampments are considered health risks because they’re filled with biohazardous waste.

Biohazardous waste is waste that contains pathogens, microorganisms that cause diseases in humans. Some well-known pathogens include salmonella, some variants of E.coli, HPV, and hepatitis A. Biohazards located at homeless encampments include human waste, blood, animal waste, drug paraphernalia, and many other types of materials that are found at homeless encampments. This waste must be disposed of properly in order to prevent the spread of disease.

Blood is a common sight at homeless encampments, whether due to residents getting injuried or because of other issues. There are no sanitary places to dispose of any bandages, cloths, or anything else that’s used to wipe up blood. Those items are usually just tossed to the ground, creating a serious infection risk.

People who live in homeless encampments are not able to store their food anywhere, a situation that frequently causes the food to rot. Rotting food is another major biohazard risk since it could contain pathogens like mold and salmonella. 

Since there are no bathroom facilities on site, many people go to the bathroom wherever they are. Human waste is one of the biggest delivery systems of pathogens. People aren’t washing their hands, and they’re not able to clean themselves on a regular basis. It’s therefore very easy to contaminate surfaces, objects, and other people. This creates a severe contamination risk for residents of the homeless encampment and the community at large.

What Does Homeless Encampment Cleaning Entail?

Every homeless encampment is different, so the procedures for cleanup will vary from site to site. The basic steps are pretty much the same across all sites.

  • Teams go in and remove the makeshift structures that were used as shelters. These will be trashed in dumpsters unless they’ve been covered in biohazardous waste, in which case they’ll be placed in special bins and containers so that they can be transported to a waste facility to be properly disposed of.
  • Once the area is clean of bulk items, the teams will next remove all biohazardous waste, placing it in special bins for transport. The teams will most likely have an extermination done since pest and vermin are usually drawn to areas where there is biohazardous waste.
  • The area will be sanitized, cleaned, and disinfected, and deodorized using OSHA-approved cleaners, solvents, and deodorizers.

Homeless encampment clean up isn’t easy. There are a lot of social issues involved, but he bottom line remains that homeless encampments can cause health issues for everyone involved. Give us a call so that we can walk you through the necessary steps for getting homeless encampment cleanup done.