By Staff Reports
(Apple Valley)– This past week, Apple Valley police responded to multiple calls for service regarding homelessness around Town, including aggressive panhandlers and a structure fire started by transients.
In several incidents, homeless persons were offered resources. In some cases, narcotics violations and citations were issued. Several individuals were arrested for outstanding warrants or illegal camping within Town boundaries.
“We want to remind our residents that one of the things they can do to help reduce homelessness is to avoid giving money and other items to homeless persons, which only encourages more panhandling and loitering,” said Code Enforcement Manager Guy Eisenbrey. “Instead, residents may consider supporting a local nonprofit or faith-based organization that is already serving this community. For example, the Town helps fund local nonprofits including the High Desert Homeless Shelter and Feed My Sheep food bank, to name a few, and actively works with the County Sheriff’s HOPE program.”
The Homeless Outreach and Proactive Enforcement (HOPE) program, uses a proactive community policing approach intended to reduce calls for service and resources required in addressing the homeless population. HOPE links homeless persons with resources and service providers throughout the County.
Apple Valley police and code enforcement officers offer HOPE services to homeless individuals they encounter and will sometimes transport them to nearby shelters or family members.
Apple Valley residents and business owners have expressed growing concern regarding the increasing number of homeless persons loitering, camping and panhandling around Town. Some reports state that transients are scaring employees and customers and are urinating and defecating in trash enclosures and service docks. Areas of concern include high traffic areas such as shopping centers near Apple Valley Road and Highway 18, Dale Evans Parkway and Highway 18, and pockets of open desert, where encampments have been found.
To learn more about HOPE visit: https://wp.sbcounty.gov/sheriff/programs/h-o-p-e/, where you can find a helpful Resource Guide and list of nonprofits providing services in mental health, transitional youth, shelters, domestic violence, and more: https://wp.sbcounty.gov/sheriff/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2017/07/RESOURCE-GUIDE-2016-for-web.pdf
To report homelessness in Apple Valley, please contact the Town’s Code Enforcement Department at (760) 240-7560 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Sheriff’s Dispatch at (760) 956-5001 or use the Town’s mobile app “Apple Valley Connect” to send location information and photos.