Trash Left Behind from Homeless Camps
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
CREATED Apr. 18, 2013
Neighbors of a vacant lot in Cathedral City are angry; trash left behind from a homeless camp is an eyesore.
They want it cleaned up.
The question is, who is responsible?
KMIR6 viewer Bill Raebe wrote us, "There is a place next to the Sungate mobile home park ...on Highway 111 where the homeless have lived from time to time...
the Cathedral City Police have been active to move them elsewhere but their remains of garbage is still there..."
This is not the first time we've investigated trash left at homeless camps in Cathedral City, we first covered the problem in December.
That site was cleaned up, but another one across the street remains.
Trash litters an abandoned homeless camp off Highway 111 in Cathedral City.
From mattresses, to beer bottles and couches, neighbor Bill Raebe says its got to go.
"Concerns me because this is not healthy, and there is tons of agencies that support homeless, and this is not the way for them to live here."
Code enforcement in the city has been telling the homeless to move on.
"Unfortunately a lot of the camps are visible from the main thoroughfares, and we do receive complaints about not only the appearance but also the secondary effects which is trash and hazardous material," said Captain Chuck Robinson with the Cathedral City Police Department.
So now many of the homeless are gone, but in this spot the trash remains.
So, who's responsible for clean-up?
"The property owner, so if it's a piece of private property and you've got homeless and transients living on the property and they have to leave and they leave a mess behind, the property owner is responsible for that clean-up," said Captain Robinson.
Tracking down the owner of vacant lots can be difficult.
We called the realtor group who couldn't tell us who owns this property, and the county assessor could only tell us it is commercial vacant land that appears to be owned by the government.
"I'd like to see the owners being cited for this, I'd like to see them come and clean is up, cut these trees, because they can't live underneath here," said Bill.
Police say it could take a couple weeks or a month to clean up the camp, depending on the property owner.
"If they don't move quick enough or they decide they're not going to assist us in that endeavor, then we will start issuing them administrative citations," said Robinson.
Bill says the city has done a lot of work cleaning up the homeless camps, and hopes they don't stop.
"I'd like to just see this cleaned up, like all the other agencies have been cleaning stuff up and I'm really proud of what our Cathedral City Police Department has been doing and KMIR6 who has initiated this way back when," said Bill.
Again, we spent the afternoon trying to uncover just who owns that property.
And it appears it's the government, but we don't know which agency.
Obviously they would be responsible for cleaning it up, just like a private owner.
We'll keep an eye on this, and let you know when the camp is cleaned up.