Homeless encampments continue to pop up in Los Osos

Posted at 11:29 PM, Jun 26, 2018

Homeless encampments continue to pop up in Los Osos and some people are tired of seeing them.

Forested areas are usually where people tend to camp out. Most of the camps are cleaned up after they’re reported but future trespassing is just one of the concerns.

Encampments can be seen throughout the town, even from some people’s backyards.

One woman lives at South Bay Apartments and said she is fed up with the trash left near her home.

"The biggest problem is they are leaving things all over the places and clothes they desert and piles of stuff they decide to desert," said Susan Tucker, a Los Osos resident.

Risk of fire is also a concern. Tuesday morning in San Luis Obispo, people in a similar encampment started a fire trying to pass propane from one bottle to another.

"The biggest problem that we come up with is narcotics use. A lot of the time, we find needles, cigarette smoking, little campfires that start up," said Commander Jim Voge with San Luis Obispo County Coastal Patrol.

After law enforcement determines whether the property is private or public, they then first issue warnings and post signs. If the camp is not cleared out after that, citations and arrests are next.

"If it’s public property, we can usually take actions right there. A lot of the times, there’s unlawful camping that we can cite for. We try to get compliance if we can," added Commander Voge.

Tucker knows a few of the homeless people in the area and thinks outside help is needed for them.

"I know there are certain programs in place in San Luis but the people around here that I’ve met, they don’t know about it, and if they do, they can’t do anything about it," continued Tucker.

Another woman who lives near a camp is worried for the safety of the people who live in camps.

‘It’s sad. They are people who are homeless, not homeless people,’ said Natasha Melia, a Los Osos resident.

It’s an ongoing problem. When authorities clear out one camp, another one pops up. The sheriff’s office and Los Osos Community Action Team work together in an effort to combat the problem.