What do I do if a Homeless Encampment Appears on my property?
When you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having an encampment appear on your property, there are steps to take to deal with the situation. In Ohio, over 10,000 people are homeless at any given time. While homeless encampments are often the outcome of housing insecurity, untreated mental health and/or substance abuse problems, they are unsafe and contribute to health dangers such as environmental hazards, physical health issues, biological waste, and infestations of rodents.
First and foremost, understand and take care when addressing the situation. Confrontations with inhabitants of these encampments can result in unwanted outcomes with the potential for violence and physical harm. Compassion can often result in an effective resolution to the situation.
Second, contact city code enforcement (Code Enforcement at columbus.gov). The contact will depend on location of the camp (e.g., inside or outside city limits). City code enforcement will contact the police and the Columbus Department of Public Works for assistance in notifying the residents of the zoning laws.
Third, contact Bio-One Columbus for a free estimate. Homeless encampments often contain biohazards such as human waste, piles of trash, hypodermic needles and other drug paraphernalia. Clean up requires a professional team with the training and personal protective equipment to safely and effectively remove all trash and regulated waste in order to make the area safe again. Bio-One Columbus will survey the area free of charge, create a customized remediation plan and provide a reasonable estimate to clean the site safely and in a timely way.
Lastly, encourage those living in the camp to seek help from local resources detailed on the Homeless Hotline resource page (columbushomeless.org)
Bio-One Columbus is honoring Earth Day by rallying behind 2023's theme “Invest In Our Planet.” This year's theme highlights the importance of dedicating our time, resources, and energy to solving climate change and other environmental issues. Investing in our planet is necessary to protect it and the best way to pave a path towards a prosperous future. When we Invest In Our Planet together, we are supporting healthy, happy, and wealthy communities worldwide. Visit earthday.org for more information.