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Redlands struggles to deal with homeless

September 17, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A community in San Bernardino County is struggling to deal with a growing homeless population. A homeless camp set up along the train tracks in Redlands is technically illegal, but for those that have made it home, there is nowhere else to go.About a dozen people live in the encampment, which is on public property. George Stover knows he is trespassing by staying but he doesn't know what else to do.

"What do you say to the people who want you out of here? I'm not leaving. I got nowhere to go because there's a lot of places to go that are dangerous. I grew up in San Bernardino and I know in that town it's dangerous," he said.

Redlands police have been reluctant to enforce the law requiring the homeless to leave the camp.

"We've moved them out of city parks. We were getting a lot of complaints that they were taking over the parks, so this is where they ended up and we have not been pushing them out," said police spokesman Carl Baker. Stover said the police do come to the camp and tell them to clean it up but have not required them to leave the camp.

Baker said he knows that if the city were to push them out, they wouldn't simply disappear. "Homelessness exists everywhere, even Redlands. You can move them out of one place, but all you can do is move them out of that place and displacing them somewhere else."

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