Last week we had four separate encampments along the fence line. Four! That's a record.
Tents, tarps, bicycles, bicycle parts, clothes, an umbrella, suitcases, pieces of furniture, more bicycle parts, a shoe, women's boots, an office chair, food containers, empty cigarette pack, more clothes... All of it spread, not neatly stacked, not stacked at all, but piled, and spread out.
Looks like a dump. It looked like a bomb went off. Bicycle forks, one shoe, an umbrella--a big, heavy umbrella, like from a restaurant, or someone's patio.
Why? Where does all this crap come from, and why would you want to collect it?
How does one person have so much junk? And when they do leave they leave most of it, including their tents!?
There is the house I'm building, and then there is the fence; and then the gravel and dirt 'jogging path', a ten foot wide easement with another fence on the other side with a golf course. The gravel has a dirt stripe running through it that serves as the preferred 'path' (ever try to ride through a layer of gravel on your bike?). The easement is a no man's land: not a park with special ordinances; not a sidewalk with the same; not private where an owner can have you arrested.
The joggers jog, and the bikers bike, while the homeless huddle inside, quiet, or talking, or arguing; laughing, singing, crying--the women cry sometimes, loudly-- having temper tantrums; smoking weed, shooting their drugs... There's always needles.
Things were getting out of hand, the worst I'd seen it, the mess, each 'camp' like a town along the the 'coast' of our fence line; the debris development, centered but spreading outward...until the 'towns' nearly connected, and the debris spilled out into the (preferred) pathway. It was creating a bottleneck: jogger and cyclists having to stop and pick their way through.
So the City came(officially) first three workers in hazmat suits, boots, gloves, helmets; a front loading trash truck, and more workers, sanitation khakis. Two of the camps were empty, but the third had the young couple quickly packing up backpacks; complaining some, but there was a mountain of junk--no way they could take it with them, and so they rode off on their bicycles
Another homeless--a young blonde-haired guy, tanned like a surfer and with a skateboard had already moved his 'tent', or lean-to tarp and wooden pallet teepee to across the street which is a different jurisdiction.
The city workers loaded and scraped; shovels, pitchforks, aforementioned gloves. And when they were gone there were still various small 'bits' here and there, but you never would have known that there had been people living there; except for the lingering smell: sort of piss and ? Definitely a piss-smell, but also something more and stronger. There was a shoe, some small things-- scattered and dirty-- I wouldn't touch any of it. Did I mention that there were syringes...