If you’re looking into homeless encampment cleanup in Palm Desert, there are several things that you have to think about. 

Homeless encampments have unfortunately become a regular part of the fabric of life throughout much of the state, making things very difficult for people who live in them as well as for people who live and work near them. While everyone agrees that homelessness is an extremely serious issue that must be dealt with in a humane and equitable manner, homeless encampments are not the answer. They can quickly become unsanitary spaces that can endanger the lives not only of the residents of the encampments but of the people in the neighborhood at large.

What Is a Homeless Encampment?

A homeless encampment is a site where two or more people have set up a temporary shelter. The shelter is built on property or land that does not belong to them. It’s usually built on public property that belongs to the city or state, or it’s built on private property belonging to individuals and businesses. People choose to live in homeless encampments because they believe they provide a sense of community and a level of safety they wouldn’t get on their own.

Why Are Homeless Encampments Safety Hazards?

One of the biggest reasons that homeless encampments are safety hazards is because they’re unsanitary. The sites need to be cleaned because they pose a real safety hazard to the public at large as well as to the residents of the encampment. 

The presence of biohazardous waste located at homeless encampments is one of the key reasons that disease spreads so easily at these sites. Biohazardous waste is waste that contains pathogens. Pathogens are the microorganisms that cause diseases in humans like HIV, HBV, and pneumonia. At homeless encampment sites, there is so much pathogen-filled waste that it’s very easy for disease to spread from person to person. Residents catch diseases by touching surfaces that other people in the encampment have touched, or they can even catch it simply by holding hands. 

Because there is nowhere for the residents to clean, wash, or relieve themselves, the amount of contaminated waste continues to grow. The longer that this waste piles up, the more people are going to be infected. In order to prevent this from happening, regular homeless encampment cleaning needs to be done.

Who’s Responsible for Homeless Encampment Cleaning?

Homeless encampment cleaning usually falls to one of two parties. If a homeless encampment is located on public land, the town, city or state is responsible for the encampment clean up. The sanitation department will be called in, and cleaning will commence. If the homeless encampment is located on private property like in a residential area or alongside a business building, the owners of those businesses or residences will need to be responsible for cleanup. This can be a tricky area to figure out, so give us a call if you need help determining who’s responsible for cleaning a homeless encampment in your area.

What Types of Waste Are Located at Homeless Encampment Sites?

There are many different types of waste located at homeless encampment sites. They include blood, human waste, animal waste, garbage, drug paraphernalia, and many other items. 

The reason that these items pile up is because there usually isn’t a place on site for people to throw away their garbage or get rid of their waste safely. Because of this, most people keep their waste next to them until they get a chance to move it off site. This creates severe health risks since the waste is within easy reach of anyone located nearby. People touch the same surfaces, and they sometimes share utensils. All of this interconnected activity without proper sanitary procedures is the reason that many homeless encampments experience disease outbreaks.

Where Are Homeless Encampments Located?

Homeless encampments are located anywhere that there’s space. They can be located on a beach, alongside a highway, underneath a traffic overpass, hidden away in a park, tucked away in an alleyway near an apartment complex, or any other place that there’s room. Sometimes homeless encampments are hidden away, but other times they’re literally out there in the open in full view of everyone.

What Do Cleaning Teams Use To Clean Homeless Encampments?

When the cleaning Team comes out to clean homeless encampment, they’re armed to the teeth with everything that they need to completely clean and sanitize the site.

They use OSHA and EPA-approved cleaners, disinfectants, and deodorizers that will disinfect and sanitize the space so that the threat of disease spread is eliminated. They wear special PPE gear that will help keep them safe as they move throughout the site. That gear includes head-to-toe coveralls that fully conceal their clothes, special boots that resist fluid splashes, goggles and respirators that protect their eyes, noses, and mouths, and anything else they can use to help protect their skin from coming into contact with contaminants. They work with special tools that help them get rid of difficult stains and waste, ensuring that the space is restored to its original state.

What Happens To the Waste After the Homeless Encampment Is Cleaned?

After the homeless encampment is cleaned, all of the infectious and biohazardous waste is collected in special bins and bags that have been specially created to seal the contents within so that they don’t contaminate other surfaces or infect people who will be handling the bags. Once everything is properly locked up, it will be transferred to a waste facility where it will be incinerated.

Give us a call if you have any questions about a homeless encampment cleanup that you’re going to be responsible for. We can help you get the process started so that your space is restored to its original state.