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South Coast City, Railroad Agencies Team Up For Homeless Camp Cleanups

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(Santa Barbara Police Department photo)
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Some of the debris removed in a homeless camp cleanup operation in Santa Barbara

More Than 5,000 pounds of debris removed

An effort to clean up some homeless camps on the South Coast led to 15 trespassing citations, and the removal of an estimated 5,500 pounds of debris.

The cleanup happened along train tracks in Santa Barbara. During the pandemic, concern about the spread of COVID-19 led to the state issuing orders to leave the camps alone. The idea was to prevent the movement of people which might spread the virus.

With the health orders lifted, the City of Santa Barbara worked with Amtrak and Union Pacific to remove the camps. Railroad tracks and right-of-way are private property.

Law enforcement officers and cleanup crews started at Castillo Street and moved east through the city along the tracks, clearing the camps and removing debris along the way.

Santa Barbara officials say they are also once again enforcing no camping ordinances in city parks.