City sweeps through homeless encampments

FILE PHOTO: Sheriff's deputies observe as homeless residents leave the Santa Clara riverbed in 2016. Jordan Glenn/For the Signal
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Homeless people and their belongings were asked to clear out of 17 encampments on Monday morning.

City staff identified a total of 19 homeless encampments over the past month, with two of those on private property.

In anticipation of the homeless sweep on Monday, a group of code enforcement city staff members, sheriff’s deputies and Bridge to Home representatives went out to the 17 public sites on Friday to ask the homeless to gather their belongings and educate them about available resources.

“The intent of the program is to provide services to those camping out,” city Community Preservation Manager Daniel Rivas said.

When the group went on Friday, they encouraged the homeless individuals they met to connect with Bridge to Home and posted notices to warn others that everything left at the location on Monday would be thrown away.

When contractors came back on Monday, they gave homeless people who were lingering another chance to clean up and head out before disposing of everything in the encampment.

“If we see someone whose there, we give them a chance to gather their belongings,” Rivas said.

Santa Clarita’s city staff has been conducting homeless sweeps for over two years, according to Rivas. Initially, the program was started because locals were expressing concern about fires and trash at the campsites.

“It’s really in response to complaints from residents,” he said.


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