Perris in Riverside County is well known for its flora and fauna, and visitors to the area enjoy all sorts of activities like skydiving and hot air ballooning. Even though its biggest draw is its affordable housing, people still manage to fall through the cracks. Homeless encampments are springing up in the area, sometimes causing disruption in the community
The number of homeless people in California continues to grow. Government agencies struggle to come up with a solution, but due to budgetary issues and other concerns, it’s not always easy. The resuls in that many people simply don’t have shelter. The solution for many of them is to form homeless encampments.
What is a homeless encampment?
A homeless encampment is a location where usually two or more set up a temporary shelter on land that belongs to someone else. The property could belong to the state or city, to a private residence or home owners association, or to a business. Once people have been removed from homeless encampments, the next step will be to clean the spaces. This can be a very challenging task, and it’s usually completed by people who have experience with this sort of cleanup.
Who is responsible for taking care of homeless encampment cleanup?
The onus of homeless encampment cleanup falls onto the shoulders of whoever owns the property that the encampment existed on. Sometimes the line can be blurry as to who actually owns that property. Some homeowners associations have actually gotten into legal battles with cities that they’re located in because they disagreed on who was responsible for cleanup of an encampment. You can give us a call if there’s any question as to who is responsible for an encampment that you’re looking at having cleaned. We can help you navigate the process.
Where exactly are homeless encampments set up?
Homeless encampments can pretty much be set up anywhere. They’re located under highway overpasses where residents get additional shelter from the rain. Sometimes groups of residents form an encampment alongside a major street or highway. Some encampments are located in or very close to retail districts. Other encampments are hidden away in public parks. For the most part, homeless people try to find places where they’d be least conspicuous, but sometimes that goal doesn’t work out. People on all sides of the issue agree that homeless encampments are not a permanent or acceptable solution.
Why do homeless encampments pose such a risk?
There are many reasons that homeless encampments pose a risk to the community.
When a homeless encampment is located on property owned by a business, it prevents that business from being able to conduct business as usual. Customers and clients won’t want to walk by homeless encampments to reach the business. Homeless encampments located near businesses can also negatively reflect on a business’s image. In some cases, residents of the encampment may interrupt with potential customers, making its customers decide not to continue a relationship.
When homeless encampments are located inside a residential neighborhood or residential area, they can make things very uncomfortable for residents of that neighborhood. Neighborhoods are usually places where everyone knows everyone else, and residents can feel very uncomfortable moving about freely knowing that there are people in the area who they don’t know. There is a perceived safety risk with homeless encampments that many people cannot deny.
Another risk with homeless encampments is that many people at the sites often carry flammable liquids or items. This could be in the form of kerosene lamps or portable stoves. Unfortunately, these items pose a major fire risk. If these encampments are located within the community, not only are the residents of the encampment at serious risk, but the greater community will be at risk as well. Fire departments have often had to come out and to clear away homeless encampments because of the risk that the accumulation of combustible items created.
Another huge risk located at homeless encampments is biohazardous waste. Biohazardous waste is waste that contains pathogens. Pathogens are the bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that cause serious illnesses in humans. At homeless encampments, biohazardous waste and other types of infectious waste are found in elements like human waste, animal waste, spoiled food, body fluids, drug paraphernalia, and a host of other items that could cause serious illness and anyone who was exposed to them. The reason that there is such a huge amount of this waste at homeless encampments is because there’s no place for residents to be able to wash themselves, wash their clothing, or use the bathroom. They do everything on-site, creating a major health hazard. This is the reason that you frequently hear about disease outbreaks at homeless encampments.
How do homeless encampment cleaners get rid of the waste located at the camps?
Homeless encampment cleaners get rid of the waste located at homeless encampments using special tools, cleaners, and know-how. OSHA and the EPA have determined which cleaners, disinfectants, and deodorizers work best when clearing away biohazardous waste. Once the site has been cleared away of all garbage, waste, and debris, it will be washed down with these cleaners to help ensure that the space is safe for public use.
The cleaners also make sure that they’re wearing PPE designed to help protect them from coming into direct contact with any of the waste. They wear coveralls that cover them from head to toe, and they will use respirators and face masks to prevent waste from getting into their eyes, noses, and mouths. Drug paraphernalia is an extremely big problem at homeless encampments, and it’s also classified as biohazardous waste. Cleaners wear special gloves that are puncture proof so that they don’t become contaminated as they go through the cleaning.
Give us a call if you’d like to get some help cleaning up a hoarder house or property. We can help.