A city councilmember warned Wednesday of the potential health issues the growing homeless community poses in Malibu, California.
Councilman Jefferson Wagner said people living in RV’s are clogging up the coastline by staying for days and weeks at a time, which has denied residents beach access and parking, according to Fox Business.
“Motorhomes have 30- to 40-, 50-gallon capacities in the septic systems. They’re dumping [sewage] right onto the rocks or onto the beach, into the public right of way,” Wagner stated, adding that the issue was “a health violation, and it’s a humanitarian violation.”
However, officials have attempted to remedy the growing problem by banning overnight parking, using signage to instruct people to move their vehicles and RVs every few hours, and offering housing vouchers.
However, resident Clarence Chapman, whose home overlooks Coastline Drive east of Malibu, claimed the signs were torn down by vandals and that the homeless population brought more than just parking issues to his neighborhood.
“No one else has my vantage point,” Chapman told Malibu Magazine in December.
“There was a prostitution operation that lasted for one summer a couple of years ago, and I saw large semi-trucks pull up alongside the highway and call girls running across the highway to meet with the ‘customers,'” he stated.
Resident David Estes said he had serious concerns regarding the lack of sanitation.
My landscape helper saw an RV come up the hill and use the drain to dump his waste into a drain that goes into the ocean and, when my assistant tried to approach the man asking him what he was doing, the man responded, with expletives, that he should stay away and mind his own business. Just a little while after that happened, I saw—and took a picture of—the same RV parked back on the PCH where it had been parked before.
In 2018, the city adopted the Homelessness Strategic Plan which employs two full-time outreach workers who offer services to Malibu’s homeless population and work to connect them with permanent housing solutions.
“The goals of the Homelessness Strategic Plan are to assist homeless individuals in a more effective way, mitigate public health and public safety impacts, and align Malibu’s local efforts with those of the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative,” the site read.
In December, Mayor Pro Tem Mikke Pierson explained that the city was working to find an area for a parking program.
“We’re not sure where to put that safe parking program and there are a lot of obstacles—if you put it on public property and you can’t get people to move, that creates issues. So, it needs to be on private property,” he said.
“Whatever site it is placed on, there are a lot of details to handle because we have to provide bathrooms, security and social workers,” Pierson concluded.