Homeless encampments are the visual reminder of the health and housing crisis we are facing in the state of California. Homeless encampments are a result of a transient person’s attempt to find some sense of safety and normalcy by building their own micro-community. Many of the residents of encampments are by definition Chronically Homeless (having experienced homelessness for at least a year — or repeatedly — while struggling with a disabling condition such as a serious mental illness, substance use disorder, or physical disability), in which case, further complicates the issue. In most cases, many of the residents have lost trust in the system, adding yet another layer of complexity to resolving their homelessness.

From the greater community’s perspective, issues such as safety, crime, loitering and hygiene are of the highest concern. Although homelessness itself is not against the law, many jurisdictions have implemented ordinances such as “sit-lie” or homeless sweeps, both intended to keep homeless persons moving along.


The Coalition of Homeless Services Providers, our partner agencies and jurisdictions within the CoC are working together to try and strategically resolve the very complex issue of homelessness. A tremendous amount of resources goes into such efforts on a federal, state, county, city, provider and CoC level, and we see the results of such efforts as disclosed on the 2019 Homeless Census.

If you are a concerned citizen and have identified a new encampment, contact your city’s administration office. If your city requires the assistance of the CoC, they will contact us directly for the next steps. If you see illegal activity, please notify the police department and do not engage.

If you would like to financially contribute to our efforts, please donate here.

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