The Murrieta, CA area continues to experience a growing homeless problem that requires law enforcement and code enforcement interventions. From 2016 to 2018 the number of homeless people in Murrieta multiplied eight times. The town began a series of raids on homeless camps in June 2018 in an attempt to house the homeless and return the area to its prior clean, safe setting.
The 2018 cleanup effort conducted with Lake Elsinore law enforcement included 17 homeless camps. It resulted in the arrest of 33 people as suspects of committing various crimes. The majority of arrests were made for trespassing, but law enforcement also arrested eight people on outstanding warrants and two people on suspicion of drug-related crimes. Beyond arrests, two people were referred to centers for substance abuse treatment. The remaining 15 individuals were offered home placement services, but only two accepted this offer.
The efforts attempted to house the 40 unsheltered homeless counted in the 2018 Murrieta. In 2009, there had been only five unsheltered homeless. While that may seem a small number out of the 6,203 homeless individuals in Riverside County, the town of Murrieta has founded multiple shelters to address the problem. Some city officials attribute the problem to the recession, city housing foreclosures and record unemployment as the cause of the 84 percent growth in Riverside County’s homeless population.
In the county, 17 percent of the homeless population lives in transitional housing or shelters and 47 percent of those sheltered individuals are families. Less than one percent of the unsheltered are families.
It is those 13 who desire to remain on the streets that the county most wants to address. The chronically homeless repeatedly reject attempts by the county to help them find homes. That population has skyrocketed by 160 percent. The growth does not stem from groups such as veterans which represents only a slight one percent increase in its sub-population or those with chronic health problems which represent only a seven percent growth in their sub-populace.
One such non-profit, Murrieta’s Project Together Our Unity Conquers Homelessness (Project TOUCH), operated a shelter in the town, but moved it to nearby Temecula. It serves the entirety of southwest Riverside County.
Protecting Murrieta’s Homeless
The cities within southwest Riverside County have committed to a program of responsible compassion that works to help eradicate the encampments and help their residents achieve self-sufficiency. The cities want to help house the homeless and assist them in finding new employment and permanent housing.
The Murrieta and Temecula areas work together to eradicate the homeless encampments, especially those on city-owned land and in county creek beds. Known for its flash floods, southern California presents a danger to homeless that set up camps in the dry creek beds within the county’s flood control district. During a hard rain, these creek beds flood and the rushing water destroy the camps and can result in homeless deaths.
Another unique hazard to the people of these encampments is the migrating mountain lions of CA. After a winter flood in 2017, environmentalists entered the area to conduct a cleanup that cleared paths for these migrating big cats. The wildlife behaves in such a way to protect itself and its family when it crosses paths with humans.
The third major hazard to homeless individuals in southern CA is wildfire and brush fire. In 2019, brush fire threatened numerous homeless encampments near the Santa Fe Dam and destroyed 12 acres of land. Law enforcement evacuated the camps to protect their residents and no injuries occurred.
Cleaning a Homeless Encampment
While law enforcement and city officials combine forces to intervene and house the homeless in encampments, they need the help of outside resources, too, such as Eco Bear. We help municipalities by entering the encampments after the homeless have been relocated.
Eco Bear removes the materials leftover and the temporary structures and tents. We clean the biohazards such as human feces and urine. We remove the drug paraphernalia and restore the ambiance of the area.
These encampments contain many biohazards and health hazards that the Eco Bear team cleans safely. Our specially trained personnel wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and use the highest quality sanitizing fluids.
You may be familiar with our services related to crime scene cleaning or biohazards treatment. We also conduct homeless encampment cleanings to help businesses and municipalities. We handle the cleanings with respect and empathy, gathering and tagging the belongings left behind in case the individuals contact law enforcement for something they accidentally left. This ranges from children’s artwork to toys to family photos.
Contact Eco Bear today for help with a homeless encampment cleaning. We can help your community restore order and its ambiance.