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Aftermath of Lompoc Police Riverbed sweep

It’s been one week after Lompoc police removed the homeless from the Riverbed area of town and set up a triage center in River Park.

One resident complains the homeless will just return to the Riverbed area after things calm down.

“I’m not sure having them go to River Park is going to make any difference. I think they are just going to go back to the Riverbed in thirty days,” said thirty year Lompoc resident John Burke.

Burke said he’s even seen some of the homeless back down in the Riverbed already.

One issue some of the riverbed homeless are facing since the sweep is getting help if they weren’t in the Riverbed at the time of the sweep.

“I’m homeless and where am I supposed to go?b They are only opening up the park to people that were in the Riverbed at the time of the sweep,” said a homeless woman.

However, Lompoc Police said the triage they have set up at River Park is helping.

According to Police, 55 people have checked themselves into the triage center. The triage is offering several social services to the homeless that include counseling, public health services, shelter services, drug, and alcohol addiction services, and even animal control services.

“We are dealing with people who have had long-term problems and resources are limited,” said Public Defender Christine Voss.

One suggestion Lompoc Police asked of the community on Friday was for people to offer up their homes to the homeless. They said, “the homeless are the type of people who would be excellent roommates and would be willing to pay rent if given a chance.”

That is a scary idea for some neighbors because they feel the homeless are often on drugs.

“I believe that’s why a lot of people are in the Riverbed because they are not able to go into the shelters. You have to be already clean to be able to be in a shelter,” said Tyann Campfield

Even a homeless woman is skeptical of that idea.

“That is crazy and scary! I am a homeless person, and you can’t let someone in your house you don’t know. I mean you don’t know if the person is on drugs, if they will steal from you, you have no idea who they are. A lot of us have an addiction which is why we are on the streets.” she said.

One thing that might be a safer option if people want to help is to donate.

The Family Service Agency and Public Defender’s Office are asking people to donate whatever they can whether that be food, clothing, or toilettes.

If you would like to donate, please bring the donation to the Civic Center in downtown Lompoc, at The Public Defenders Office.

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