Homelessness is a societal problem experienced by numerous persons who call the High Desert home. It has become prevalent in even the most affluent of areas. The City of Victorville is not immune and has experienced a higher incidence of the phenomenon due to its central location and the availability of needed services.
Code Enforcement's goal is to promote a positive City image and to assist the City's Police Department in addressing homeless encampments. To accomplish this goal, Code Enforcement has established a procedure for dealing with encampments. In all cases, we recognize each and every individual is deserving of dignity and respect.
Noticing, Enforcement and Abatement:
Areas with a newly established encampment and moderate amounts of trash or debris:
- Police and Code Enforcement issue a notice of a planned abatement to occupants and return no sooner than 3 days later accompanied by a City Clean-Up Team to quickly remove small to moderate sized debris and store items of value for up to 90 days in an effort to prevent additional trash and debris from being generated by occupants.
Areas containing a large amount of debris or an encampment in an unsecured vacant structure (squatters):
- In most cases the same process applies, however in instances where property conditions exist that encourage encampments, the property owner is notified by Code Enforcement of the need to abate the repeated nuisances. Police or Code Officers will also request the property owner submit a signed "Trespass Agreement" authorizing the City and its agents to act on their behalf. All parties will then work cooperatively to enforce the order and help ensure the property owner can access the property to clear the encampment and debris. Owners are encouraged to assess the property and determine if physical improvements, such as fencing and trespass signage, should be considered. The City also encourages and utilizes alternative board up materials, such as Secure View Products or VPS (Vacant Property Security) metal screen products.
Best Business Practices:
- Lock external electrical outlets;
- Use bright motion lighting on exterior areas;
- Lock external water hose valves;
- Control access to complementary internet Wi-Fi;
- Secure trash enclosures;
- Post quality no trespassing and no loitering signs;
- Maintain a property maintenance service to regularly inspect the property and clear/secure the property;
- Do not feed or give money to non-patrons;
- Consider private security measures;
- Play elevator music outside to drive unwanted persons including juveniles away from their property; and
- Always call the Police Department to report trespassers and damage caused by them and 911 if they become violent or aggressive.
- Ensure Code Enforcement has a current 602L Form (Trespass Agreement) on file to assist Deputies with prosecution efforts. Get your form here, complete it, and return a copy with original signature to Attn: Code Enforcement, PO Box 5001, Victorville, CA 92393.
San Bernardino County's HOPE Team
Our contract with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department has enabled us to tap into additional resources for our homeless population. The Sheriff's HOPE Team has been a long time partner, helping us identify our homeless, connecting them with vital resources, and getting them the help they need.