While hardly a hotbed of homelessness, Idyllwild has become a location for some of Southern California’s homeless. The counties of Kern, Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino reported a homeless population increase in 2017 and 2018. In Riverside County, the Department of Public Social Services reported an increase of 21 percent of its homeless population in 2019.
The updated population counts covered wider areas and makeshift encampments. In the wake of wildfire outbreaks and COVID-19, these counties implemented cleanup programs to help house the homeless and alleviate the problem. Only about one-quarter of the county’s homeless live in a shelter. About one-quarter of the homeless population live in an encampment, one in six people lives in a vehicle. The remainder lives in abandoned buildings, parks and under bridges.
Some of these homeless are families. Of the 82 families in Riverside County identified as homeless, 77 of them reside in some form of shelter. About 80 percent of the county’s homeless population is adults. In Idyllwild’s city limits, the population had dropped from 15 in 2018 to nine in the current year’s count.
Eliminating the Problems That Cause Homelessness
Eco Bear steps in to help a municipality cleanup the encampment area after the homeless have been re-located to a permanent shelter that provides traditional housing. In makeshift encampments, people typically live in a tent or lean-to. Some build self-help housing – a shelter constructed of found materials like tin or plywood that provides some protection from the elements. People in these camp areas use campfires to keep warm when temperatures drop at night.
Solving the homeless problem varies by family or individual because the cause of homelessness varies for each person. Some of the more common causes include substance abuse (alcohol or drugs), domestic violence survivors who left to preserve their health and safety, untreated or unmedicated individuals with a mental health disorder, those with medical conditions such as HIV or AIDS.
Specific to Idyllwild, fires and a massive flood damaged the roads providing ingress and egress to the town in early 2019. While repairs were made and a new road was constructed, many people lost their jobs and businesses while deliveries could not be made and tourists could not visit the area.
Homeless Encampment Cleanup in Idyllwild
These problems result in a number of biohazard items found in encampment areas. Eco Bear’s cleanup team may need to clear the area of empty alcohol bottles, needles, drug vials, bags of drugs, weapons such as the grenade found in one encampment in the Sepulveda Basin.
Homeless encampments present obvious health risks to their residents and the larger community. While the homeless may see it as a gap filler that provides them some type of home, the camps become quickly contaminated with biohazards such as human waste, drug paraphernalia and found materials. The challenges presented by the cleanup of these biohazards are why municipalities turn to homeless encampment cleanup specialists like the professionals at Eco Bear.
Our team enters the encampment after the individuals have moved, but we still show respect to the area that served as their home. We also carefully remove and properly dispose of biohazardous materials in the encampment. We also show respect to the discarded children’s toys and drawings.
These cleanup efforts do more than simply picking up used needles or throwing away old tents. Eco Bear helps to restore the aesthetic of the community. More than simply safely picking up litter and properly disposing of it, the efforts of Eco Bear help a city or county restore the feelings of safety to a community. Much as our crime scene cleaning teams restore the look and ambiance of a home or business after a crime took place, our homeless encampment cleanup team does this for the occupied parks, riversides, underpasses and other common hideaways.
Our cleanup team collects, catalogs and stores the personal belongings left in the encampment so that individuals recover their property. The Eco Bear cleaning team also removes camp obstructions. Some areas receive a daily inspection after their initial cleaning and at these inspections, the cleaners immediately remove encampment-related materials. Sometimes, newly homeless people move into a previously occupied area to set up a new encampment. When the neighborhood reports this, the municipality can send help to the homeless individuals or family to help them relocate to a shelter or halfway house. This provides for the homeless individuals resources to receive substance abuse treatment or treatment and medication for mental or medical health problems.
Let Eco Bear Help
Turn to Eco Bear as the homeless encampment cleaning company in Idyllwild, California you can trust to help restore your community to its prior hominess. Your community has helped its homeless find shelter. Eco Bear can help you clean the encampment, so it remains a safe area for all your city’s residents.