Dangers of Cleaning Up Homeless Encampments

Homeless encampments have no access to water, sanitation services, trash services or a proper means of storing their food. These camps cause adverse effects to public health as residents are susceptible to illness and disease outbreaks caused by these camps. As of late, there has been a disease outbreak in some parts of the US due to the poor sanitation and hygiene caused by these encampments. So, having to clean this escapement all by yourself without a pro to lend a hand is a dangerous act.

There are risks that come with living in groups, especially when it’s outdoors. If you intend on sweeping or even cleaning an abandoned homeless encampment without a pro by your side, it’s important to be careful. Below are some dangers of dismantling or cleaning homeless encampments without a pro;

1. COVID-19

COVID-19 virus can be prevented by observing physical distancing, regular washing of hands and wearing of face masks. However, homeless encampments lack these basic resources and hardly comply with the COVID-19 regulations. Trying to clean this encampment alone puts you at risk of getting affected. The environment is often crowded, dirty, with no running water or standard protective items.

2. Hepatitis A

You might contact hepatitis trying to clean homeless encampments without the help of a pro. As recorded in 2018, there was an outbreak of hepatitis and more than 700 homeless people in California were affected. This sickness can be spread by coming in contact with faeces of an infected patient. You can also contract this disease if you touch any spring used for illicit drugs. Such settings with limited hygiene lack access to basic amenities.

3. Diseases Spread by Fleas & Lice

You can contract an unknown disease in a homeless encampment such as typhus which is spread through infected fleas that eat rats and other animals.

You can also contact other respiratory diseases from cleaning a homeless encampment such as

  • Tuberculosis
  • Influenza
  • Pneumonia
  • Diphtheria
  • Meningococcal disease

Unfortunately, homeless encampments lack access to healthcare and are subjected to crowded living conditions. These unfavorable conditions can lead to an outbreak of respiratory disease which can be quickly contracted in the camp. These diseases are a danger to public health and to anyone who tries to clean a homeless encampment without proper precautions.

4. Fires

Homeless encampments are vulnerable to fire outbreaks. Just a little spark from a lighter or an inflammable vehicle can ignite the cardboard and pile of debris gathered up in these camps. This hazard can occur when you are inside and with no experience, you are deemed to doom trying to escape.

5. Death

You might come across a dead body when cleaning a homeless encampment. Homeless people suffer from poorer health, shorter lifespan and unexpected death. Most bodies are found on the sidewalks, railroads, and even side benches. Dead bodies in homeless encampments pose a serious health threat to every nearby resident and those who clean the camps. That’s why trained professionals are put in place to handle such dangerous tasks.

Contact our office for all hazardous material clean-up

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