By LAURA RIEBAU
Union Bank has moved out of its building at 6010 El Cajon Blvd. and a struggle to keep the property from becoming a homeless encampment, along with a vacant building across the street at 5987, is taking place.
Resident neighbors to the sites have been vigilant for several weeks now with the help of College Area Business District, the SDPD Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) and Terry Hoskins, El Cerrito Community Council (ECCC) Community Relations Officer. Unfortunately, each time the police visit, get people to vacate the lot and leave, the homeless return. It’s a loop-around problem.
According to a community member, one moves in, then others join, and then it becomes a community growth with transients living in vehicles like some that wanted to take over the 5987 El Cajon Blvd. property. The owners of that lot are also making calls to get those individuals removed. They do not want the homeless taking over their vacant property, they are hoping to rent it out soon.
In what has become a cycle for the past few weeks, SDPD clears the lot, but the homeless return later or the next day. Union Bank has been contacted about posting “no trespassing” signs and having a letter of agency with SDPD to allow them to take action on the property. The homeless are leaving behind belongings and carts each time they clear out.
Neighbors’ suggestions to secure the site include:
Fence off the property completely, to avoid invaders.
Block the parking lot entrances with chains to avoid vehicles driving in.
A letter of agency with the SDPD so these people can be evicted with just a phone call from nearby residents.
The Union Bank needs to hire a security patrolling agency to monitor and patrol the lot until they decide what to do with it.
There is also a suggestion for Environmental Services to clean up the junk and trash from the location because so much is left behind after every eviction.
During our January meeting, there were comments regarding homeless encampments in the area. If you are noticing problems, the list above could work. At the very least, have the property owner get a Letter of Agency with the SDPD, available at www.bit.ly/3fMAnBb.
Also, download the Get It Done app to your mobile device; or report non-emergency issues with homeless online at www.bit.ly/31PPAJw or by calling 619-531-2000.
— Laura Riebau writes on behalf of the El Cerrito Community Council.