Lake Forest is home to about 80,000 people. Lake Forest has many tree-lined neighborhoods were growing families, retired people, and others from all walks of life live. In addition, Lake Forest is home to some major businesses. These include:

  • Oakley
  • Panasonic Avionics
  • Apria Care
  • Home Depot

As is the case with many communities in Orange County, Lake Forest has an increasing homelessness problem. The homeless population has been increasing in the city each year for the past five years. The trend towards an increasing population of homeless people is expected to continue into the immediate future.

The Impact of a Homeless Encampment on a Lake Forest Neighborhood

Homeless encampments present unwholesome environments for their residents. Nothing that, homeless encampments also have potentially negative impacts on surrounding neighborhoods.

Increase in Crime Rate

One of the more serious consequences of a homeless encampment in a Lake Forest neighborhood is an increase in the crime rate. Nearly always when a homeless encampment ends up in a neighborhood, the crime rate increases.

There are certain types of crime that are more commonly associated with homeless encampments. Crimes related to drugs nearly always increase when a homeless encampment arises in a Lake Forest neighborhood.

Drug-related crimes include those associated with drug use. In addition, drug sales occur with significant frequency at and around Lake Forest homeless encampments.

Another of the more common types of crimes associated with a homeless encampment is assault. While most assault incidents do involve people in a homeless encampment itself, there are instances in which a resident of a homeless encampment ends up assaulting a resident from the surrounding neighborhood.

Theft crimes also tend to increase when a homeless encampment arises in a neighborhood. In most instances, theft is associated with the use of illegal drugs and the need to have money to purchase these types of drugs. The most common types of thefts are burglaries, car thefts and thefts from cars, and muggings.

Increase in Health Hazards

The presence of a homeless encampment in a Lake Forest neighborhood can also present health risks. One of the primary ways in which the presence of a homeless encampment can increase health risks in a neighborhood stems from the presence of what are known as biohazards and dangerous pathogens.

A grim reality of a Lake Forest homeless encampment is the fact that those who live in these encampments lack proper toilet facilities in many instances. Thus, the defecate and urinate outside at the site of the encampment.

In very short speed, a homeless encampment becomes laden with waste that includes:

  • Human and animal feces
  • Human and animal urine
  • Vomit
  • Blood
  • Other bodily fluids
  • Contaminate needles

These biohazardous materials can contain pathogens that can result in any number of potentially serious diseases that include hepatitis, HIV, and others.

A Decrease in Home Values

In a majority of cases, the most significant investment a Lake Forest investor makes is the purchase of a home. Therefore, most Lake Forest residents are keenly interested in the value of their homes.

Another negative impact a homeless encampment can have on a neighborhood is a decease in property values. The other negative elements associated with a homeless encampment that was discussed a moment ago are at the core of why neighboring property values drop.

In addition, there really is something to be said about curb appeal. The visual representation of a homeless encampment is unsightly. That alone can notch down the value of neighboring properties rather significantly in some case.

Homeless Encampment Cleanup in Lake Forest

Homeless encampment cleanup in Lake Forest is a highly challenging endeavor. On top of the need to remove what can be a considerable amount of trash and similar item, the remediation of biohazards can be highly dangerous. For these reasons, a professional homeless encampment cleanup in Lake Forest specialist is highly recommended. A homeless encampment cleanup up professional has the experienced, equipment, supplies, and tools necessary to safely, efficiently, and thoroughly cleanup up a homeless encampment.

Resources in Lake Forest for Homeless People

There are no homeless shelters located within the city boundaries of Lake Forest. Nonetheless, there are some homeless shelters within fairly close proximity to Lake Forest. There are also food banks and soup kitchens that serve residents of Lake Forest as well. These include:

South County Outreach
26776 Vista Terrace
Lake Forest, CA 92630
(949) 380-8144

Other information on resources for a homeless individual or family can be obtained at the Lake Forest City Hall at:

25550 Commercentre Drive, Suite 100
Lake Forest, California 92630
(949) 461-3400

Photo Courtesy of Don Ramey Logan.