As the population of California is touching sky highs, the cost of cleaning up the human feces also increasing radically. And this cost is expected to rise in coming months as workers are forced to collect urine and feces of homeless people of California.
According to a survey, almost 130,000 people are homeless in California which is 25% of the whole country. And in 2016-17, the cost of cleaning reached an amount of $10 million. But at the same time, the cost of human in California is getting inferior day by day.
Last week, an official complaint was filed by the union of maintenance workers of California in which it was stated that their workers are living dangerously as they didn’t have proper equipment and training for dealing such situations. It was further stated that it is the responsibility of Caltrans to provide proper training, proper equipment, and necessary vaccination to the workers as they are cleaning the feces of homeless Californians. As our workers cleaning the property of Caltrans, so it is Caltrans responsibility to provide them with the facilities.
While giving an interview, Crouch said that their maintenance workers sometimes work in a slippery and muddy place where there are chances of debris. Other dangerous items like toxic materials pose threats to our workers. Crouch further said that their workers gather human waste, urine, and other feminine products in a five-gallon bucket, which is indeed disgusting.
The story does not end here as the workers also face the hostility from the residents for which they are clearing the places. Some of the people there had pit bulls with them and they lose the dogs on Caltrans workers, said Crouch. However, they also send rocks to our workers as well.
While giving an interview to Bee, one of the Caltrans workers said that he had been involved in six clean up and till now he has only been provided with the safety gloves. I have been exposed to 5-gallon bucket of human waste, and other toxic materials said the same Caltrans worker. The department in response said that safety of Caltrans is the top priority and we will see the grievance again.
Other than that, the homeless Californians are also causing govt tens of millions of dollars. According to Caltrans department, they have spent almost $29.2 million on cleaning homeless people’s mess since 2012-2013. According to stats, in the year 2016-17, Caltrans spent almost $10 million in cleaning which is 34% more than total cleaning expenditure in all 12 major districts. However, almost 7,000 homeless people camps were found on the 254 highways of the state.
A report was published by U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, in which it was stated that in the past year the homeless population of California reached to 134,728, which makes 25% of the whole United States. In a report published by Caltrans, it was stated that the US is filled with homeless people but their numbers are even worse in California. And according to HUD, almost 68.2% of the homeless people in California live in an unsheltered place like parks.
Before the cleaning starts, a notification is issued before 3 weeks by Caltrans and a normal cleaning needs days to complete. However, Crouch is hopeful that the grievance will cause the department to think about the homeless people of California. It was further said by Crouch that the duty of the Caltrans worker is to maintain the freeways and highways, trimming the trees along the highway. But keep in mind, that their duty is not to pick up human waste.
The number of homeless people is increasing massively in California and therefore the govt has decided to put mobile showers at the metro stations. The board of director of the metro has signaled positively over this proposal. While giving an interview, the Metro Director Hilda Solis said that this a problem related to humanitarianism and they know that a lot of people travel via buses and trains.
She also told that further discussions would be made with the Department of Public Works and Department of Public Health. If approved, then our first target would be to equip North Hollywood stations.