Concern Over Growing Homeless Camp in Palm Springs

Concern Over Growing Homeless Camp in Palm Springs

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - There's concern over some tent cities going up in the City of Palm Springs. Homeless people have been setting-up several camps in and around the wash along Palm Canyon and Gene Autry, next to the Von's shopping center.

"You know how big is this tent city going to get? Is it going to continue to grow and grow and grow until we have a real issue here?" Douglas Clark said.
The Palm Springs resident takes regular hikes up the Murray Canyon trail nearby, he says he's recently noticed the growing problem. He says there's a lot more transients wandering around, harassing hikers and shoppers.

"I have talked to a couple female hikers that they've been approached by guys that have said, Do you have a light? Do you have a cigarette? Do you have any money? I'm hungry, that sort of thing,"

Homeowners and business owners say there's been an increase in disturbances because of homeless people. In fact, while reporting on this story, we witnessed a disturbance in the parking lot, but by the time Palm Springs police showed up, the homeless man involved disappeared. The property management for the shopping center says they've contacted police several times, but they aren't doing much about it.

They believe a recycling center there is also attracting a lot of transients. Mark McWaters admits the location is a convenient one.

"I've only been up here since last night, and I'm actually thinking of coming up here because its close to water and food resource," he said.

Clark says he's also contacted the Palm Springs Police Department, but never heard back.

"Our valley always has had homeless. This isn't a problem with the homeless, this is a problem with them creating a tent city and as they continue to grow in numbers, so does the awareness of the hikers that their not comfortable with all these homeless that are starting to show up," Clark said.
We talked the city who told us the police department has a homeless task force. We put a call into Palm Springs police, but our call has yet to be returned.

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