Job Site Security Cameras

Combatting Homelessness in Public and Private Spaces

5 stars on Google

Conduct a Site Security Audit.

Use the form below or call (833) 227-1677 today.

As of the latest estimates in 2023, there are approximately 653,000 individuals experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States, up 12% from 2022. This figure comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, which provides a snapshot of homelessness in the country based on data collected from various sources, including the Point-in-Time (PIT) count conducted by local communities across the nation.

Homelessness is a complex problem with many underlying causes, and its impact is felt by citizens and business owners in public and private spaces alike. This blog post aims to explore the reasons behind homelessness, the challenges it poses to public and private spaces, and the innovative, humane security measures provided by Site Secure. Our goal is to address the homelessness epidemic with compassion while also protecting our clients and communities.

Understanding the Causes of Homelessness

Homelessness can result from a myriad of factors, often intertwined in complex ways. Understanding these causes is crucial for addressing the issue humanely and effectively.

Economic Hardship

The most common cause of homelessness is economic hardship. This includes job loss, stagnant wages, and the rising cost of living, which can make it impossible for individuals to afford housing. Many people are just one paycheck away from losing their homes, and without a safety net, they can quickly find themselves on the streets.

Health Issues

Mental and physical health issues can also lead to homelessness. Conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, and substance abuse disorders can make it difficult for individuals to maintain employment and housing. Additionally, the high cost of healthcare can drain personal finances, pushing people into homelessness.

Family Issues

Family breakdowns, including domestic violence, divorce, and the loss of a family member, can result in homelessness. Victims of domestic violence often flee their homes to escape abuse, only to find themselves without a place to stay.

Systemic Failures

Systemic failures, such as inadequate social safety nets, lack of affordable housing, and insufficient mental health services, contribute to homelessness. Veterans, for example, may struggle with PTSD and lack of support, leading to a disproportionate number of them becoming homeless.

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters can also displace people, sometimes permanently. Events such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and wildfires can destroy homes and communities, leaving individuals without a place to live.

Homeless Encampment in San Diego, California BEFORE Arrival of Site Secure.
Homeless Encampment in San Diego, California BEFORE Arrival of Site Secure.

Seeking Shelter and Safety

Homeless individuals often seek refuge in public and private spaces for shelter. Public spaces like parks and libraries, as well as private spaces like abandoned buildings, construction sites, and retail centers, are typical choices for homeless individuals to find temporary relief. These spaces become crucial lifelines for survival, making it imperative that we approach the issue with empathy and a commitment to finding sustainable solutions. Site Secure is committed to doing just that while protecting our clients’ interests.

The Impact on Private Spaces

While it is essential to address homelessness with compassion, it is also necessary to recognize the challenges that homeless individuals can pose to private spaces. Recently, 75,000 or more California men, women and children were unsheltered and homeless. In our home state of Arizona, the number is almost 15,000 individuals, a staggering 29% increase from just a few years ago. So where do they go and what are they known to do?

Retail Establishments

Homelessness can significantly impact retail businesses. A growing number of unhoused individuals use grocery stores for their personal hygiene, and for shelter, usually along the sides of grocery store buildings, or even in the privately owned parking lots.  It’s not just grocery stores either. Drug stores, retail strip centers, malls, restaurants, convenience stores, gas stations, and other retail establishments are common targets. Some beg for money from customers, who become annoyed and sometimes feel threatened.  Others steal. Some inject drugs and leave their syringes and other paraphernalia in rest rooms and littering store grounds.  A few intimidate employees with violence. When the homeless, or others, disrupt business, frighten customers, and threaten employees, retailers can and should act with vigor to protect their business and their highly valued customers, as the presence of homeless individuals near stores can deter customers, leading to a huge loss in revenue. Additionally, businesses may face increased costs due to vandalism and theft. Employees may also feel unsafe, affecting their reliability, job performance, and overall well-being.

Personal Property and Land

Private property owners often deal with trespassing and encampments on their land. This can lead to property damage, including litter, human waste, and structural damage to buildings. The cleanup and repair costs can be substantial. Also, the legal process to remove individuals can be lengthy and complicated. In some states, you can even lose the right to your own property and land if you don’t do something about it in time.

Commercial and Industrial Spaces

Commercial and industrial spaces are not immune to the effects of homelessness. Homeless individuals may seek shelter in warehouses, industrial yards, and vacant buildings. This can lead to theft of materials, vandalism, and safety hazards, such as fires and accidents. Businesses must invest in additional security measures to protect their property and ensure the safety of their employees.

Construction Sites

Construction sites are particularly vulnerable due to their temporary nature and the presence of valuable materials and tools. Homeless encampments on construction sites can result in significant timeline delays and increased costs due to theft and vandalism. Moreover, the presence of unauthorized individuals poses safety risks for both the homeless and construction workers.

Grocery Store Parking Lot Monitored by Site Secure in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Grocery Store Parking Lot Monitored by Site Secure in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Impact on Public Spaces

Homelessness also affects public spaces, creating challenges for citizens, communities, local governments, utilities providers, and even law enforcement.

Parks and Recreational Areas

Public parks and recreational areas are often used by homeless individuals seeking a safe place to sleep and rest. Though not public, private neighborhood parks governed by neighborhood HOA’s are also susceptible. This can lead to increased litter, human waste, and safety concerns for other park users. The presence of drugs and the potential for violent encounters can make these spaces feel unsafe for families and children. We don’t mean to be dramatic or triggering, but given recent times, we must also be on the lookout for pedophiles and child traffickers, as public spaces are common targets.

Ballot Boxes and Civic Spaces

The proximity of homeless encampments to ballot boxes and other civic spaces can create security concerns, particularly during elections. There is a risk of vandalism, theft, and potential conflicts between homeless individuals and voters. In 2022 during the mid-term elections in Arizona, Site Secure protected ballot boxes to combat voter intimidation and protect the democratic process. We also protected the Maricopa County Vote Tabulation Center during official vote counts.

Festivals and Events

Homelessness can impact public events and festivals, where large gatherings attract individuals seeking food, shelter, and social interaction. While many event organizers strive to provide support and services, the presence of homeless individuals can still pose challenges related to safety, health, and public perception. Patrons who do not feel safe will not purchase tickets. Performers who do not feel safe will not commit to perform. Theft of expensive equipment is also a costly problem that damages the reputation of event promoters and organizers.

Schools and Universities

Homelessness also significantly affects educational institutions, including public schools and universities. Public schools often encounter homeless families and unaccompanied youth who seek stability and resources. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act mandates that schools provide support to homeless students, ensuring their right to enroll, attend, and succeed in school. Despite these protections, schools face several challenges, including increased demand for resources, safety, social and emotional impact, and community relations.

Landfills and Waste Management Areas

Homeless individuals may scavenge in landfills and waste management areas for food, recyclables, and other items of value. This poses significant health and safety risks, both for the homeless individuals and for workers in these areas. Additionally, it can lead to increased liability for landfill managers and waste management companies, not to mention additional costs due to the need for additional cleanup efforts.

Neighborhoods and Communities

Homelessness in residential neighborhoods can create tensions between residents and homeless individuals. Families may feel unsafe allowing their children to play outside, and property values can be affected by the presence of homeless encampments. Additionally, neighborhoods may experience increased crime rates, including theft and vandalism, which can strain community resources and law enforcement.

Night Vision View of Scottsdale, Arizona Community.
Night Vision View of Scottsdale, Arizona Community.

Site Secure: Innovative Solutions for Safety and Security

To address these challenges, Site Secure offers Mobile Security Towers designed to enhance safety and security in both public and private spaces. These towers are equipped with state-of-the-art features that provide comprehensive surveillance and real-time monitoring. Some of the features of our Mobile Security Towers Include:

360-Degree Views: Our Mobile Security Towers offer a full 360-degree view, ensuring no blind spots. Each camera comes with IR Illuminators for nighttime and low-light areas. This comprehensive coverage is crucial for monitoring large areas and detecting potential threats. We offer PTZ’s, radars, and other technology that help deter and detect incidents.

Real-Time Video Recording to the Cloud: All footage is recorded in real-time and stored securely in the cloud for 30 days. This ensures that video evidence is available for review and analysis, enhancing security and accountability.

User Access from Any Device: Business owners, contractors, law enforcement, and other authorized individuals can access camera feeds from any phone, tablet, or computer, from anywhere in the world! This flexibility allows for constant monitoring and quick response to any incidents.

AI-Powered Motion Alerts: Our towers are equipped with AI-powered motion detection, which sends alerts when suspicious activity is detected. This proactive approach helps prevent incidents before they escalate.

Red/Blue Flashing Lights and Speakers: The towers feature red and blue flashing lights, which act as a major deterrent. Homeless individuals typically see our towers and decide it’s too much of a hassle resulting in them choosing another site to enter. Using speakers, we can warn intruders that they are trespassing and that we are dispatching police. These visual and auditory deterrents can help prevent trespassing and vandalism.

Integration with Real-Time Crime Centers (RTCC): Camera feeds can be federated into local law enforcement’s Real-Time Crime Center (RTCC), providing a direct link between businesses, citizens, and law enforcement. This integration enhances response times and improves overall community safety.

Conclusion: Compassionate Solutions and Community Safety

Addressing homelessness requires a balanced approach that combines compassion with practical solutions to ensure community safety. Understanding the complex causes of homelessness and the challenges it poses to both public and private spaces is the first step toward effective intervention.

While innovative security measures like those provided by Site Secure play a crucial role in protecting businesses, properties, and public spaces, it is equally important to support initiatives that help homeless individuals rebuild their lives. Here are some resources and ways to contribute to solutions without enabling homelessness:

  1. Support Local Shelters and Housing Programs: Donate to or volunteer at shelters and housing programs that provide safe, stable environments for homeless individuals.
  2. Advocate for Affordable Housing: Support policies and initiatives that promote the development of affordable housing and improve access to housing assistance programs.
  3. Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services: Advocate for increased funding and access to mental health and substance abuse services, which are critical for many homeless individuals.
  4. Job Training and Employment Programs: Support organizations that provide job training and employment opportunities to help homeless individuals gain financial independence, especially those for Veterans.
  5. Community Outreach and Education: Participate in community outreach programs that educate the public about homelessness and promote compassionate, effective solutions.

By combining compassionate support for homeless individuals with innovative security measures, we can create safer, more inclusive communities for everyone. Site Secure is committed to playing its part in this mission, ensuring that public and private spaces remain secure while also addressing the root causes of homelessness with empathy and care.

Check out our online reviews, from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and Houston to Denver, Site Secure provides solutions to these issues including construction site security, jobsite security, and mobile security and surveillance camera technology.

Share this post!

Recent Posts



Trusted as a Security Partner by