Sort of homeless/drunk dudes have set up camp on my street! Please read all of this before dismissing me as an unfeeling NIMBY!!
Part of the street I live on is the back of a supermarket. There are some trees there and a strip of grass that slopes down from the back of the building to the sidewalk. Every once in a while a group will congregate there and drink beer and take naps. I know it’s beer because they leave the cans. Once, my neighbor saw someone getting a blow job but that’s about as wild as it gets. In the last few months, though, a group of sort of homeless guys has set up full on camp there. I call them sort of homeless because they keep bringing broken down vehicles with which they leave parked on the street right in front of the grassy hill they hang out on.
This taking up of permanent residence all started when a trashed camper trailer showing up. Sort of like this
, but really dilapidated. The windows were covered in cardboard and the door was sort of taped on. It wasn’t attached to a car; it just rested on its hitch. The guys were living in it and they posted an almost incoherent note on the door asking for the police not to tow it because it was having mechanical problems. None of this really bothered me until they set out the poop bucket. They ran a plastic hose from the sewage tank into a big bucket outside. Waste just dripped into the bucket and the flies swarmed around it. You could smell it down the block. Then the visits started. People who appeared strung out began coming and going at all times of day. I used to live on a street a local newspaper once referred to as a “crack bazaar”, I know what crack heads look like; these were crack heads.
Eventually a neighbor called the abandoned vehicle number to report it, and not to long after the trailer disappeared. The guys also have an inoperable van they park on the street. On Street sweeping days they get another guy to push it with his car and they steer it to the other side. I guess that’s sort of amazing.
After the trailer left, the van stayed but I didn’t see the guys for a few days. Well, a new vehicle has shown up. It’s an old delivery truck with a door, like an ice cream truck. It is also a wicked mess. So now they live in there at night and get drunk on the grass during the day. The problem I see here is that more and more of their friends show up every day. Some of them bring their carts of cans and things and they leave them on the sidewalk while they go do other stuff. I recognize a few of them from having seen them in other parts of the neighborhood. Most of these guys are alcoholics. Whenever I have seen them in other parts of the neighborhood they are drinking on the street. Now that I see them every morning I can confirm that they start the day with a shared jug of tequila. They usually start drinking at 6 am then pass out on the grass until the early evening. They leave a really bad mess and they pee everywhere. I’m not joking; I have seen them peeing everywhere.
Here’s the thing, I don’t know what to do, or what I CAN do. I mean, it’s really just not cool for there to be a camp setting up on the street right there. There have been days where you can’t walk down that side of the street in the middle of the day because there are guys passed out on the sidewalk. My neighbors have called the cops and they never show up. Do we just keep calling the cops? Is there some other organization I can call? These guys aren’t panhandling, I don’t think they are looking for social services, I think they just want a place to park their broken down vehicles and get drunk all day and pee on the walls. I don’t want to be that uptight asshole harassing the homeless when they should be helping them, but I think this is a different type of situation, right? If it makes a difference this is in Los Angeles. Oh and I did look at this
post, but it seemed like exactly the same situation.