A creek bed near a homeless encampment in Escondido that is full of trash, blankets, shoes and other smelly debris, has upset the neighborhood.
Late Thursday, Escondido’s interim city manager, Jeffrey Epp, said they would like to immediately clean the mess up.
However, frustrated residents say the junk-filled creek bed has been a problem for years, and the city has not responded to their complaints.
“Trash, defecation, needles, garbage -- they’re discarding items, disgusting items,” said a local resident Patti Thompson.
The creek bed is located near the 1300 block of Las Villa Way in Escondido.
The line of trash, which stretches for about a half mile, is strewn near an assisted living home for seniors and an apartment complex. It also stretches toward the Escondido Fire and Police Department.
Angry residents say most of the trash has been stolen from a nearby Salvation Army donation bin. Buried in the debris are several empty Amazon Prime boxes. Residents say the boxes have been stolen from nearby porches.
A homeless woman, Norma Storm, said she’s lived at the encampment for several months, and went on the defensive when confronted with the complaints.
“If you have an issue with something that bad, then get a rake, get a trash bag and get out here and help us clean it up,” said Storm.
But Thompson says it would be unrealistic for the average person to try and clean up a mess she considers ‘hazardous waste.’
“I would suggest a fence. I would suggest security. I would suggest the city pays for it and I would suggest those are the solutions,” said resident Thompson.
Escondido's interim city manager Epp apparently agrees.
Epp said the city would take immediate action to clean up the trash and acknowledged it’s a recurring problem.
“It’s a mess. We’ll clean it up. End of discussion,” said Epp.
He could not say why previous complaints by residents have not been acted on.