Paso Robles removes homeless encampments, deems trash

July 24, 2021

By KAREN VELIE

The city of Paso Robles removed approximately 19,000 pounds of what the city deemed trash from homeless encampments along the Salinas Riverbed during the past two weeks because of the risk of fires, according to the Paso Robles Police Department.

In May, the city posted a notice it would remove personal property from homeless encampments and then store people’s property for collection for 90 days, until late August. The city determined multiple items were personal property including pictures, books, toiletries, sleeping bags and clothing, according to the notice.

Then from July 13 through July 22, the city discovered additional campsites in the area, and removed the property as “trash,” at a cost of $9,130, according to police.

“Once cleaned, sites were found reestablished including having open fire pits, propane tanks, gas powered generators, vehicle batteries, discarded drug paraphernalia, trash and unsanitary conditions,” according to police.

Several people who lost their belongings, including Daniel Monahan, said the city will not respond to requests to retrieve their belongings.

“They took everything I had, they left pictures of my children on the wet ground,” Monahan said. “All they did was tear up my house and threaten to arrest me if I would not come out. They made a mess and then took photos. They threw my belongings in a roll off trash can.”

Officers arrested six people for charges including having an illegal fire, drug and paraphernalia possession and refusing to vacate and remove property from within the designated high fire risk area.

In 2008, the city of Fresno lost a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of homeless residents after the city threw their property away. In the end, the city was required to pay $2.35 million to pay those displaced to get into housing, for their belongings and for legal costs.


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Jorge Estrada

Where were the Fish and Wildlife, Regional Water Quality Board, Air Pollution Control District, EPA, Army Corp, Upper Salinas Conservation District and all the environmental support groups? Why should the City fund this issues? Are these agencies only there for mitigation money from well funded projects? I see a need for a DS Anonymous organization. The speech, “my name is …. , I am a taxpayer and I am a DS”.


MrYan

Time to send in more goats. Lots more goats. Can’t sue a goat, or the City, for property damage either since they will consume all the “evidence “. They will eat trash and plastic just a readily as the brush.

It looks like a bomb went off where the City did previous “ River Clean up” with bulldozer.


Goats don’t collect pensions either. Put them on the payroll.


horse_soldier

Are you asking someone to turn their goats into a toxic environment riddled with drugs and drug paraphernalia, feces and who knows what else and expect them to eat that crap?

Good grief, have some compassion for the goats!


mazin

The fire hazard is unacceptable. Thought Paso has a place for homeless camping and has a shelter. What’s up with that?


Baywoodjones

If we want these people to become contributing members of society we should try by offering them some dignity. A lack of self worth is one of the most common results of the trauma they’ve experienced that got them here. Nobody ends up here as result of being healthy. So long as we fail to acknowledge this the problem will continue


sloweb

Self worth comes from within an individual – hence the word “self”. I can not give you, or anyone else self worth. To suggest otherwise is classic denial of responsibility.


metoo

Invite them into your home.


OnlyinSLO

Granted homeless should not be in the riverbed, however it is public land for the most part. There are constitutional and personal property rights to consider when dealing with the homeless. Apparently, the dumb shit chief of police has no knowledge of the Idaho State Supreme Court Ruling and can’t or didn’t read the Orange County Superior Court Ruling of 2019, or the ruling against the City of Laguna Beach in 2009. The actions of incompetent public servants cost their communities millions of dollars in tax payer money. The chief’s actions amount to a take and a constitutional violation. Also, apparently that dumb shit police chief never heard of the ruling against the City of San Luis Obispo in 2010-2012. This will cost the City tens of millions of dollars.


Honestly, the City makes decisions all the time that cost the residents millions annually, such as, refusing to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant resulting in nearly a million dollars a year in fines from the water board. Developing green streets in response to violations from the waterboard and then touting what great environmental stewards they are, when all they are doing is implementing costly features to offset fines.


slo-to-load

Public land doesn’t mean anyone can do whatever the F they want on it. We wouldn’t put up with someone building a house or dumping toxic waste on public land. The same applies to people who want to camp there. Sorry libertarians, but some laws are necessary to keep public spaces from becoming a chaotic free-for-all.


Florian75

Removal of vagrants, bums, drunks and drug addicts (along with their thousands of pounds of waste, rubbish & litter) from our precious riparian habitats IS GOOD ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP!!!


Jon Tatro

These people were warned repeatedly that they had created a fire emergency in riverbed but didn’t care. I really have no sympathy for any of them, they jeopardize the rest of the citizens with the over 200 fires they have started in the river.