The increasingly contentious debate on how to battle vagrancy and homeless encampments across the US isn’t about battling zombies or foreign superpowers. Instead, it’s about humanely dealing with a tricky, confusing, brain-blending problem.
The following is a simple guide that gives a brief overview of homeless encampments, some ways governments and private citizens have tried to fix it, and forward-thinking solutions. Unfortunately, homelessness is a chronic issue affecting more than 100,000 people. Temporarily homeless people increase that number to more than 580,000.
It’s a big deal.
What qualifies as a homeless encampment?
The term “homeless encampment” usually describes a group of homeless people living together. The space they live in is not designed for day-to-day living. A homeless encampment can be one person or a group of people. Homeless encampments occur in both rural and urban areas. They build their dwellings with a variety of materials, including tents, tarps, pallets, plastic sheeting, cardboard, or fabric.
What are the effects of vagrancy?
- Loss of business
- Hazardous material pollution
- Higher rates of emergency room visits
- Lower property values
- Drug use
- After-hours disturbances
The problem cost the federal government $51 billion in programs and temporary housing in 2021.
What do I do about a homeless encampment?
There have been several ways residents, business owners, and cities have tried to get rid of homeless encampments. Solutions range from creative to traditional, kind to cruel.
When faced with homelessness head-on, business owners can feel overwhelmed. Making the “right” decision and committing to protecting their business may feel financially burdensome. But standing up for the community, finding a humane security solution, and safeguarding their livelihood, ultimately makes a lasting, positive contribution.
Dealing with a homeless encampment head-on is the right thing to do.
What do people try before realizing they need the big guns (figuratively speaking, of course)?
Using a small band-aid solution for a giant-sized problem is usually a failure. It’s like bailing water with a bucket in a ship that’s already sunk. Business owners are not ambassadors. One person may move, others quickly take their place, and the cycle repeats.
The following are a few strategies people have used to address homeless encampments:
- Ask them to leave: Business owners usually approach a vagrant and ask them to leave first. The result is unpredictable and risky.
- Landscaping: Large rocks, cacti, statues, and pointy fencing are all resources used to prevent an urban takeover. It is effective, but politically polarizing.
- Lighting: Bright lighting prevents properties from appearing abandoned or unkempt, but can be difficult or nearly impossible to install on a large or multi-acre property.
- Two-hour notice: Highly polarizing, some cities have given unwanted residents a quick two-hour notice to move their belongings before the area is given a clean sweep.
- Phased, multi-year approach: This phased and planned approach to fighting vagrancy focuses on setting the individual up with a solid job, health care, and transitional housing resources for long-term stability.
- Private security guards: Businesses and cities “bring in the troops” as a common, but costly solution to removing unwanted residents, costing around $70,000 per year per guard.
- Continuous, loud music: This solution is every parent’s nightmare: loud music, ranging from “Baby Shark” to classical favorites, is played continuously to make it nearly impossible to sleep or reside in malls and outdoor retail spaces.
One Forward-Thinking Solution
All of these ideas individually add to a buffet of choices. But it doesn’t fix the problem. Owners are left in a maze trying to solo-navigate their way to prevent or solve a problem with homeless encampments.
The struggle is real. The struggle is across the US. And the struggle doesn’t have to be that difficult with a forward-thinking solution.
A guide to improving real-time remote surveillance and mobile security
LiveView Technologies takes a more humane approach. Their custom solution prevents homeless encampments with state-of-the-art solutions. It replaces all of the above ideas in a new, effective way. They’re not for everyone, but the innovative solution can provide an outline for improving security that deters homeless encampments.
It helps answer the question: how can I get rid of homeless encampments?
Quality visual deterrents
Visually, LVT’s solid presence removes the excuse the area was “vacant.” No more “No Trespassing” signs or dummy-mounted cameras. Those old-fashioned methods are no longer needed. They didn’t always work, anyways.
Solar panels, wheels, stabilizing arms, and an armored exterior hint an owner or operator is monitoring the area at all times. If wanna-be “residents” didn’t get the hint, they will soon know someone is watching the area at all times.
LVT’s mobile security solution does not need a sign. Its presence does not require a fence.
If the impenetrable unit’s base doesn’t signal security, occupants can easily see a camera high above the area. LVT’s telescoping mast provides multiple cameras with 360-degree views recording any unusual activity.
The cameras are paired with extremely bright lights. Day or night and operating independently from any external power source, they deter homeless encampments at all times.
Remote 24/7 monitoring
LVT also replaces the need for hourly security guards. Paired with an app, multiple locations can be viewed in real-time. No more physical patrols are necessary for a site—no more worries about human limitations. Unusual activities are detected and recorded, alerting property managers to unwanted visitors. A decision can then be made if additional security measures need to be deployed.
Humane auditory alerts
The next phase of security available from LVT mobile units is the auditory alert. Instead of continuous, loud music, the alert is temporary. It is also truly “alerting,” making the area a terrible place to sleep for the night. Imagine the sounds of the worst hotel you’ve ever stayed at. Only worse.
Easy, quick installation
LVT also removes any concern related to time. The units are set up in a matter of minutes. Imagine if locations now occupied by homeless populations along the highway were continuously monitored years ago. The need for a phased, multi-year disassembly of a homeless encampment would never have been needed.
In one day or less, a solution and deterrent can be set up at any location.
Businesses, homeowners, and landowners have a unique problem that needs a customized solution. Going back to the buffet example, many locations don’t need an entire buffet to be catered to 24/7.
LVT are pros. This is what we do. We hand-pick solutions that can eliminate or prevent homeless encampments in a humane way.
Property managers can do business, and LVT can eliminate the pain points in dealing with homeless encampments with a demo and quick setup.
Call LVT today to eliminate concern about homeless encampments
A community commitment
LVT is committed to providing humane solutions to a growing concern. Everyone has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They are proud to partner with businesses and community members to provide safety and security for all, regardless of income or housing status.