By Gitzel Puente. CREATED Nov 13, 2013
YOU ASK. WE INVESTIGATE: Homeless Camps in the Valley
CATHEDRAL CITY - As you drive over the bridge on Date Palm Drive and Perez Road, someone is asleep under the bridge. It has become one of two homeless camps in the area.
Some residents, like Bill Raebe, are concerned about the safety and health issues that arise from these encampments.
"This is gathering stuff and just leaving it, and then we have to clean it up. The health issue is insane. Every time you come through here there's feces or urine where they just go anywhere," said Raebe, who was interviewed by KMIR last year on the same topic.
He said all that changes every year is the location of the camp.
"He was the same man from three years ago. Last year, he was up the wash from Denny's and now here he is," said Raebe, adding that he sympathizes with homeless individuals, but believes they should seek shelter elsewhere.
The main question is who is responsible for the clean-up? It seems that no entity wants to claims responsibility.
"We don't know who's going to clean this up. We can notify them, but if we don't clean it up, it's still here," said Raebe.
Wednesday, the Coachella Valley Water District said it will check the wash for any debris and see if it falls under its jurisdiction to clean it up.
The Cathedral City Police Department is responsible for notifying the individual in the homeless camp to break-down the camp and gives him/her 72 hours to do so; however, before they do that, they are trying to determine who owns the land to start that process.
CCPD said before any tax dollars are spent on cleaning the debris, they have to figure out whose land it is.
Some residents say action needs to be taken before more trash piles up, creating a bigger issue
"I think if we put more awareness out there and people report these things, it'll stop," said Raebe.
With winter right around the corner, authorities remind the public to seek safe shelter. Two local shelters are the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission and Roy's Desert Resource Center.