A mess

Police Chief Richard Griffin presented photos to the city council of leftover refuse from several homeless camps near the veteran's cemetery, which are now uninhabited.

Crescent City is pursuing a major property cleanup on a vacant parcel of city land near the Home Depot and the veteran’s cemetery, which has been host to a large homeless encampment.

During a Monday city council meeting, Crescent City Police Chief Richard Griffin said the houseless individuals who were camping in the area were hard to deal with, and they refused to work with Mission Possible — a local non-profit that assists houseless individuals with services.

“That was our...problem children area per say, it’s more of the aggressive group that we continually have problems with,” said Griffin. “My officers did a pretty good job as far as dealing with issues back there. We had some domestic violence issues and other issues back there.”

Griffin said they have cleared out the campers, but their structures and trash remain. He presented photos of discarded lumber, tarps, mattresses and other refuse.

“Those pictures are just one part of everything that’s been going on back there, and it’s been going on for years and years,” said Griffin.

Besides the sheer amount of garbage, another challenge to the proposed cleanup is the landscape, which is steep and unwieldy, meaning equipment cannot get into the area and a cleanup will have to be done by hand.

City Manager Eric Wier said now is a good time for a cleanup because the area is uninhabited. He said many people want to see this cleaned up, and the city could potentially recruit volunteers to help.

Nevertheless, Griffin said this will be a marathon process.

“It’s going to take several days of cleanup, I don’t think this is something where we need to say we are going to knock this out in two days by any means,” said Griffin.

Mayor Pro Tem Blake Inscore said houseless clients of Mission Possible said they would be willing to help with the cleanup.

“They’re serious. They would like to have the opportunity to go in there and make a difference,” said Inscore.

Mayor Jason Greenough said he would like to get other community groups involved too.

Going forward, the city staff and the council will work together to organize the cleanup, which would include training for volunteers and liability waiver singing. City staff scheduled the cleanup to begin sometime after the 4th of July.

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