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  • How to deal with the Homeless.

    I've been having a rough past few days and wanted to share what's been going on with you all.

    I'm the manager of a small commercial strip shopping center and when I arrived at the office on Wednesday, I saw that someone had left a half eaten burger as well as a container of fried rice all over the sidewalk. As I got closer to clean it, some of the tenants came out to tell me that a homeless person was in the area for the past few days and threw the food all over the place. After cleaning it up, I walked around the property to make sure that everything was secure. My heart jumped when I tried to open the door to a small meter room when I saw the homeless man sleeping in there that was kept closed by a cord. I immediately returned to my office to call my boss to ask what I should do. As I was instructed, I returned to the meter room only to find the man wearing only shorts and socks eating from an Entenman's cake box. I told him that he did not belong there, to please remove his things and to vacate the premises. His answer was to ask who the #e*(( I was. I told him again politely that he needed to leave and he began yelling profanities, which is when I got scared and walked back to my office to call the police. Unfortunately, he followed me and continued to yell profanities at me through the window. When he saw that I wasn't letting him in, he returned to the meter room.

    When the police came, he was already wearing a shirt and shoes. The police started asking him questions and then told him he had an hour to pack his things and leave. He took a box, walked across the street to another shopping center and returned with a bicycle. He continued to pack his things. It's amazing how much stuff he had in that little room. He must have been living there for a few days. All the while as he packed his things, he was giving me looks as if he was going to get revenge on me for calling the police. The police stayed for a while, but then left and I returned to my office. After about an hour, he passed by the front of my office, again yelling profanities at me. After I was sure he had left, I went to lock the meter room - throwing into the dumpster some pillows and chair mattresses he had left. You can't imagine the stench in there.

    Yesterday morning, I saw that the meter room door was again open. I don't know HOW he got in again as I'm the only one with the key. I called a locksmith who made some small changes to the lock. Coincidentally, a city inspector was passing by the area that afternoon and called me to advise that he had seen a homeless man in he afternoon shaving in front of one of the stores and that he told the man to remove himself from the premises.

    This morning, I found his revenge on my door. He'd smeared beans all over my glass door, and the sidewalk right in front was full of rice, beans, doughnuts, a banana peel, and lots of salt. I again called the police who after a little while came over. These were different officers though, who told me that I couldn't do anything unless I actually caught the homeless man and called the police right then and there - when they would issue him a trespassing WARNING - and if they catch him another time, he'd be subject to arrest. Unfortunately, the police on Wednesday did not issue him any type of warning or report. The police did suggest I request a "watch order," which would have the police come around at night every once in a while, but if they caught the man, I'd have to go there in person to identify him so that they can give him that first warning. After cleaning the mess in front of my office, I walked around the property again only to find a black garbage bag and a suitcase full of clothes, which I threw in the dumpster. I can only imagine what he'll do when he finds his things missing.

    On one hand, I feel really bad for the homeless person who is obviously mentally unstable, but I don't want him on my property either. Thanks for reading to my drama. It's all been bothering me to the point where I couldn't sleep well. Hopefully, he won't return and will get help elsewhere.


  • #2
    Re: How to deal with the Homeless.

    That's a shame that the police are not helping you very much. They should be taking a good watch for your safety. You should not be handling it, all on your own.
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    • #3
      Re: How to deal with the Homeless.

      Oh my. I hope he leaves and doesn't give you any more problems.
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      • #4
        Re: How to deal with the Homeless.

        You might want to check with the social welfare folks of your city and see if they have a program for homeless people. Some cities offer beds at night for the homeless, or other types of shelters and work/rehabilitation programs. It would be great if you could solve your problem and help this homeless man at the same time. But not all cities have provisions for the homeless.

        In any case, do be careful. It sounds like he is pissed, and that's not a good thing - security wise.
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        • #5
          Re: How to deal with the Homeless.

          Hire him to keep homeless people out of the meter room.
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          • #6
            Re: How to deal with the Homeless.

            Hire him to keep homeless people out of the meter room.
            Then the next problem Mike would be dealing with is constant theft and irresponsibility on the homeless man's behalf.

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            • #7
              Re: How to deal with the Homeless.

              Originally posted by Dustysage View Post
              You might want to check with the social welfare folks of your city and see if they have a program for homeless people. Some cities offer beds at night for the homeless, or other types of shelters and work/rehabilitation programs. It would be great if you could solve your problem and help this homeless man at the same time. But not all cities have provisions for the homeless.

              In any case, do be careful. It sounds like he is pissed, and that's not a good thing - security wise.
              This a great idea. I'm sorry you're having so many problems. YES!! Please be careful! And good luck.
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              • #8
                Re: How to deal with the Homeless.

                Can you put up any cameras to watch the area? Then you'd have your evidence.
                I want my cake back!
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                • #9
                  Re: How to deal with the Homeless.

                  I've worked in a small office where we had similar problems. The homeless guy started vandalizing the office (breaking windows, etc.) The owners put up surveillance cameras and extra bright lights - not to bother the homeless guy, but so that the cops could see better. We also threw away his worldly goods (I felt awful about that). The cops could not do much (as you are saying), but the guy eventually moved on on his own accord.

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                  • #10
                    Re: How to deal with the Homeless.

                    Buy him a plane ticket to Hawaii. That state seems to want to send their homeless over here.

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                    • #11
                      Re: How to deal with the Homeless.

                      Oh my. I hope this problem goes away soon for you.

                      Just be careful, since he sounds, like you said, like he is unstable.


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                      • #12
                        Re: How to deal with the Homeless.

                        Mike be careful, there is no reasoning with crazy people. If you see him again, call the police.
                        Just countin' the days til the next visit!

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                        • #13
                          Re: How to deal with the Homeless.

                          First off, it is not against the law to be homeless. His yelling profanities at you is against the law in CA, but you, as the citizen, have to arrest him (aka Private Person's Arrest). You as the citizen have to go to court if the case is even filed, which it won't be in Los Angeles. If it ever did go to court, you have to testify. The officers do not go to court since they didn't see anything.

                          What you are doing is good though. Throw out EVERYTHING that belongs to the homeless person or persons. DON'T FEEL BAD ABOUT IT!!!

                          The homeless guy is not going to harm you. If he was, he would have done it already. There mental state is to the point where they don't care what problems you have to go through to get rid of them such as cleaning food off windows. In fact, they probably want you to arrest them so they get a couple of nights in jail with a warm meal, bed, and a shower.

                          When you throw there things away, do it on the night the trash pickup comes otherwise they will just pick it all out of the trash over night and set up shop again. Trust me, I have seen it done.

                          Just be persistent and the problem will go away. If there are restaurants or food stores in your strip mall, make sure they are not giving away food for free or leaving it in the trashcans. Homeless are like cats...once you feed them, they keep coming back.

                          Good luck.
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                          • #14
                            Re: How to deal with the Homeless.

                            You know, I may sound cruel here, but, that man deserves to be arrested. He's trespassing. He's not only doing that, he vandalized your office door. He was verbally abusive, etc. If he were only sleeping in the meter room, and, hadn't caused the rest of the disturbance...I would feel sorry for him. He crossed several lines, in my opinion, and, that should not be tolerated.

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                            • #15
                              Re: How to deal with the Homeless.

                              He really shouldn't be messing with you or your building. Too bad the police aren't much
                              help, be careful though...he sounds angry.
                              "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." -Henry David Thoreau

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