If you’re looking for homeless encampment cleanup in West Covina, you’ve probably noticed the uptick in homeless encampments in the area. The rise of homelessness has become a serious issue in the state as local and state leaders have struggled with how to resolve the issue.
The city of West Covina has set aside resources that can help residents of the city deal with the homeless population in town. The city has set up a hotline number and a link on its website for people to be able to report illegal encampments. Once a homeless encampment has been reported, the city will work with homeless response teams to have the encampment removed. It also works with homeless groups to try and find off-street shelter for encampment residents. This is all great information, but sometimes the encampments are located on private property. If encampments are located on private property, the temporary residents will be removed, but the people who own that property will be responsible for cleaning it up.
This may be the situation that you currently find yourself in. The idea of having to clean up a homeless encampment can be extremely nerve-wracking. It’s not as simple as going in with a few friends and cleaning up the space. Homeless encampment cleanup requires a very specific type of cleanup that addresses the biohazardous waste that’s usually found at the sites. That type of waste is not something that the average person is even remotely equipped to handle.
This is where we come in. We have the tools, teams, and resources needed two-handle home encampment clean up so that the spaces can be returned to their original state.
Where are homeless encampments located?
Since homeless encampments are generally illegal, they can pretty much pop up anywhere the residents find space. They can be located alongside highways, inside parks like Del Norte Park, on beaches, under bridges and highway overpasses, or in alleyways in retail areas.
Homeless encampment residents usually try to find spaces that are hidden away from public view, but sometimes that’s not always possible. If it comes down to it, they’ll take whatever space is available.
What are the risks associated with homeless encampments?
Many people automatically assume that the biggest risk associated with homeless encampments are the residents. They assume that the residents are violent drug offenders or criminals. Believe it or not, many of the people who live in homeless encampments are simply people who ran out of luck. The city is working hard to try and find legitimate temporary shelter for these people, but in the meantime, many of them seek out shelter in homeless encampments. For the most part, it’s not the people who pose the greatest risk.
What poses the greatest risk at homeless encampments is the massive amount of biohazardous and infectious waste that’s found there. Biohazardous and infectious waste contains pathogens. Pathogens are the microorganisms that cause diseases in humans. At homeless encampments, biohazardous waste comes in the form of human waste, drug paraphernalia, bodily fluids, animal waste, rotting food, and a whole other host of other items. Since there’s nowhere for people to wash themselves, clean their clothes, or use the bathroom, many people simply do it all on site, creating a serious health hazard. Pathogens from waste run rampant through the camp, causing outbreaks of diseases like hepatitis A, pneumonia, and other illnesses.
The potential risk that comes along with biohazardous waste poses a serious risk not only to the encampment residents but to the community at large as well. When cleaners arrive to clean up the encampments, biohazardous waste is the main target.
Who pays for homeless encampment cleanup?
People want to know who exactly has to pay for homeless encampment cleanup, but there isn’t always a straightforward answer. Many people assume that because the homeless simply show up, the city or county has to pay for any cleanup. The city or state only has to pay for homeless encampment cleanup when the homeless encampments are on public property. If the homeless encampments are located on private property like land belonging to a homeowners’ association or to a local business, those owners will be responsible for cleanup. This is a very tricky area to figure out, especially when the lines between public and private property blur. If you’re having an issue determining who’s responsible for cleaning up a homeless encampment in your area, give us a call so that we can help you figure it out.
What happens when a homeless encampment is cleaned?
After an initial assessment has been done to determine the scope of the cleaning that needs to be done, the cleaning team will remove all visible structures, debris, and garbage. Regular debris can be tossed into dumpsters. Any structures or debris that have biohazardous or infectious waste on them will be stored in bins and bags that are specially sealed to prevent the content within from leaking out. This is to help ensure that contaminated waste doesn’t spread from place to place or from object to person.
Next, all biohazardous waste and infectious waste will be removed from the site. Once that has been cleared away, the entire site will be thoroughly washed and scrubbed down. The teams will use OSHA-approved and EPA-approved cleaners, solvents, disinfectants, and deodorizers to help ensure that the area is free of pathogens and bad odors.
Once cleaning is done, all of the biohazardous waste will be taken to a waste facility where it will be destroyed.
Give us a call if you have any questions regarding homeless encampment clean up. We can help point you in the right direction so that all of your questions can be answered and the issues resolved.