The County Government Tours Homeless Encampments in Southern Humboldt

Law enforcement attaching a no trespassing sign

Sgt. Jesse Taylor of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office takes a photo as a no trespassing sign is attached to a tree. [Photo by Supervisor Estelle Fennell]

Government agencies and officials toured homeless encampments “on private (and some State owned land) on the north end of Redway,” according to Supervisor Estelle Fennell (who posted the accompanying photos and more on her Facebook page.) She was accompanied by members of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, Humboldt County Health Department Director Connie Beck along with Mental Health, social workers, Environmental Health.

[Photo by Supervisor Estelle Fennell]

Government officials and private citizens preparing to visit homeless camps on the north end of Redway.[Photo by Supervisor Estelle Fennell]

“One big takeaway is that local efforts are really making a big difference in cleanup efforts,” wrote Fennell. “The first camps we visited had been the subject of sustained and concentrated efforts by So. Hum. Locals on Patrol and the Eel River Cleanup Project.”

Fennell said, “It was obvious that there had been an extensive network of camps and a significant impact on the environment but the area had been thoroughly cleaned up.”

However, there were many areas still needing work.

[Photo by Supervisor Estelle Fennell]

“A camper was in the middle of excavating this deep hole.,” wrote Fennell. “It was unclear what was intended but it’s on the edge of a steep hillside and dangerous in many ways.” [Photo by Supervisor Estelle Fennell]

[Photo by Supervisor Estelle Fennell]

“Used Hypodermic needles found in camper’s backpack were confiscated,” Fennell said. [Photo by Supervisor Estelle Fennell]

[Photo by Supervisor Estelle Fennell]

A camper with a sense of humor….[Photo by Supervisor Estelle Fennell]

[Photo by Supervisor Estelle Fennell]

Piles of trash. [Photo by Supervisor Estelle Fennell]

[Photo by Supervisor Estelle Fennell]

“Health Department staff working with a camper,” explained Fennell. [Photo by Supervisor Estelle Fennell]

Fennell was grateful to the various agencies and the local volunteers who had been working to clean up the encampments. She wrote, “A big “Thank You” to Director Beck and her crew as well as Sgt. Taylor and his team and also to the community for stepping up.”

For more photos of the extensive encampments, click here to go to Supervisor Fennell’s page.

NOTE: The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office states on its Facebook page,

On 09/29/2016, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office conducted a one-day operation in Southern Humboldt homeless camps. This operation was in response to ongoing trespass camps that surround the Garberville and Redway areas. Also joining the operation were members from the Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Health, District Supervisor Estelle Fennell, and a local property owner.

Due to the persistent efforts of Southern Humboldt Locals on Patrol, Eel River Clean Up, and Southern Humboldt property owners, most of the camps were unoccupied and cleared out. There were several health code violations and water diversions that were located and will be further investigated.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to inform any property owners, who are experiencing trespassing, and would like assistance in dealing with transient camps, to call 445-7251 to make a report.



  • I’m sorry but those signs are wothless!!they are already gone.they are just paper and nails.

    • Well they need to post something,,,just can’t let people squat and trash private property

    • @G-ma – I agree, the signs won’t do shit. We need to figure out a better solution. Also it says there was water diversions, better contact the northcoast waterboard. They get real pissed off about that.

      • I know that people will not change until the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of change.
        If people with two good hands and two good feet were stopped from getting free entitlements like SSI for just being an alcoholic or being a drug addict, they would move pretty fast to find some employment for money, so they could eat.
        That would be a start.
        All this crap happened during the Ronald Reagan Presidency. He thought
        [wrongly] that the country would save money by giving the bums free money, and closing the mental hospitals.
        But we can still fix it. elect conservatives, the Liberals would like to vote sanely but they are too far gone and wrapped up in the whole P.C. movement
        so that they are afraid to shit sitting down,

    • I’m so sorry too–to burst any bubbles of hope, but the entire operations worthless–address root causes or keep wiping the same pile of dog shit off the same pair of shoes..
      (Too many people need to concentrate and cast their concerns and condemnation on others whose issues appear “worse”. “Codependents” That’s what this is. I’ve seen worse trash piles on plenty of properties..If you sit in judgement..well..have fun accomplishing nothing..I ain’t judging..)
      But don’t expect any of this same-ol-same-ol to accomplish anything more than closing the South Jetty in the 90’s=More homeless in town. Maybe we’ll get our own Playground for my Friends of the Devil..

      • Maybe there will be less destructive tresspassing homeless here if word gets out that Sohum won’t tolerate the tresspassing, trashing, drug abusing, careless with fire, preying on the town abuse. It’s reached critical mass. Something has to be done if any modicum of sanity is to be maintained. Letting them continue on with their abuse of this area is not the answer.

  • The LEOs need to go in every day and sweep out the illegal encampments until the transients know they can’t stay there. If they did this for at least seven days in a row, these people will eventually move on. Then the LEOs will only have to sweep as needed after that. Aggressive sweeps will be the only way to get them out of here.

  • Redway??? What about Garbetville???? Coming off the exit for Sprowel Creek Road are 3 separate ones holes cut in the fence etc. I was told the first one is known as “needle hill ” one is the “mean camp” and one is the ” nice camp”.
    In the last 2 years I have watched as town had gone down hill, violence, vandalism, drugs, the addicts, scum dealers and homeless run this town now. Just ask them , they’ll tell you so. Guy got in my face when o asked him not to leave his trash on my porch and told me go ahead… Call the cops… No one is coming!! How would you like to be raped? i could kill you before anyone even knows what happened. Hmmmmm

    • I hope you have some protection and I don’t mean a condom

    • Wow! That is horrifying! I’m so sorry you had a traumatic experience like that. I’ve had some terrifying experiences with the “bad” homeless & drifters and I’ve had some great ones.

      It sucks that the “good” people who fell into hard times (whether it’s their own doing or not) are punished & resented because the “bad” ones come to town & cause issues.

      Some of the homeless are a part of the community & feel like they’re apart of the community, which means they take care of it. The drifters & “problem” ones come to town, destroy & move on. They are the real problem.

      Eel River Cleanup knows who the good ones are & who the problem ones are. As a community, we should help (in any way we can) the good ones. That’s what community is about. Not chasing off anyone who doesn’t have a home. That’s so harmful & wrong.

      What if you lost your home & had no family? What would you do? Would you live in your car? What would you do if everytime you tried to settle down enough to get a job, people came & ran you out of town. Where would you go & what would you do?

      I can understand why Humboldt County is #7 on the highest suicide rate in California! We’re a small County population wise, which means there are a HUGE number of suicides!! If I had nowhere to go & no one to help me, I wouldn’t want to live like that. What other choice do they have.

      I am so NOT saying we should ignore the problem people. I’m just saying, we need to do more than just run everyone off.

      • Donate to ERCP!!

        • I already do. They do amazing work & the people who do it are amazing people!! They donate their time to pick up other people’s shit (literally & figuratively). I plan to take a few days off work to help with that. These pictures helped to solidify my decision.

          If everyone took one day to help, they would be fully staffed for at least a year. Our community needs to step up & be apart of the community before it’s destroyed!

      • Redwood City Gal

        Sour tangent writes,

        ” What would you do? Would you live in your car? ”

        People have been “living their cars” for many, many years. They haven’t destroyed the environment, taken over towns, etc. They have stayed in the shadows, under bridges and other such places. They have moved on when asked to, creating as little trouble as possible. Yes, they lived in their cars, if they had them. These people were called Hobos back then. How do I know? I married one. As soon as he was old enough, he joined our armed forces, got his GED, learned a trade, got married, bought a decent business, his wife had a child, they bought a house and are now respectably retired. He had no one to hold his hand. Did it himself. Maybe someday these squatters will do the same, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

  • I think it s all a little to late ,but at least the cops were there for a lil while .that camp has been there for at least 8 yrs .

  • Wow, thank you Super Fennell, Sgt Jessie and LE and Beck and all at dhss and especially all on locals on patrol and eel river clean up crew. This kind of continued community effort is really making a such a positive difference.
    Locals on Patrol will be having their first annual block party on Saturday Oct. 8th at the Garberville town square to celebrate.

  • As bad as these photo are, they nothing compare to sites closer to the big cities. I know I see them when I go south to the big cities. Pick a city, and it is worse. “HOOVERVILLE” like the old days!

  • Wow! No Trespassing signs! That ought to solve the problem ha ha ha! Like the eradication of destructive mega-grows this is happening a decade too late. It will take A LOT of effort and $$$ to now stem the tide and reverse it. Our area is on the lips of vagrants everywhere and our reputation as a beautiful, slack chill hang will be ringing out for years- even after measures are taken. That is the way reputations work. That is why we are STILL paying for Gallegos’ idiot statements about going easy on weed grows. People are out there, beyond the redwood curtain and it is brutal. They hear about our special spot and – here they all come!

  • What are they going to do next? A visit is nice, but what’s the plan?

  • Keep one in the Chamber!

  • “One big takeaway is that local efforts are really making a big difference in cleanup efforts,” wrote Fennell. “The first camps we visited had been the subject of sustained and concentrated efforts by So. Hum. Locals on Patrol and the Eel River Cleanup Project.”

    That should read: “local efforts are making THE ONLY difference in cleanup efforts”

    ‘Cause the county isn’t doing shit.

    Nice photo op, no substance.

    Thanks for nothing.

  • Garberville off to a good start . congratulations on taking steps to re-gain your town awsome!!!come.on Eureka it’s our turn

  • Ercp rocks . Thank g- ma

  • Humboldt County Sheriff Deps have an impossible job! Keep on rousting! And thanks!

  • That giant hole has been set on fire many times by the campers this summer. They are completely negligent with fire and pose a huge risk to the surrounding neighbors and community. They need to go.

    • So… You said they built a Dakota Fire Hole (marvelous technology) and are yet somehow negligent??

      • Is that was that was? Remind me the next time I go camping to just ignore the no burning rules and excavate a giant hole in the woods.

      • They have had at least six fires in that camp this year that got out of control where Cal Fire and our local fantastic volunteer departments had to respond to & extinguish. What do we see in that one picture? A stove & a refrigerator that came out of one of the two campers (RVs) that got torched on the side of the road.

  • Who is going to replace the personal hygiene items that have been taken from a woman friend and numerous people. They say they are cleaning up camps, Then why are they taking personal items they said they would leave. These yahoo touwn patrol _____infiltrated the local clean up crews and have then systematically gone back and harassed these people. Don’t all you idiots know you are one paycheck away from being in the same situation. The town square was closed the day after one of our, oh so friendly locals and his juvenile crony nearly beat a man to death. Has everyone so easily forgotten the man who was beaten to death by a local some local or locals on the eve of the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. You people are breeding hate, hate, hate. Have you so easily forgotten what is written in the bible you never bother to pick up. Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you …
    And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me. Your day of reckoning is coming you low down dirty filthy thieves. If not in future Karma, then surly when you knock at the pearly gate and are not let in. I hope and pray you get everything you deserve. Whatever it is you definitely have it coming. Some day soon you life will unexpectedly start to crumble you will remember the words you read here. Lord help you!!!!

  • Amen! Here i thought it was forgotten. No one understands when i have pointed this out myself. Thank You My Brother! Amen!

  • There was a big pile mostly under a tarp at the large pull-out just north of there leaving Redway going north around 6pm. There has been a burnt out car there, that I either overlooked, or has finally been moved— I was focusing on the pile and what appeared to be a written note on the tarp. Could this be some of the personal possessions left to reclaim? Anyone have an explanation for this pile?

  • Sam.Hooverville didnt have plastic. Plastic is what almost of the garbage these days consists of.Plastic rots eventually, it just takes longer and is toxic.Thanks for any good any one does these days.Light still shines through darkness. Lets keep it that way.

  • Sometimes when I see what so many wealthy people these days find so easy to do to the impoverished and suffering. I truly feel I’m ready to leave this life and see what’s on the other side of eternity for me

    • Honeydew Bridge Chump


      Hardened hearts all around, even from those that entered Humboldt this very way.

    • careful what you say “in public” Any mention of your own death is likely to have your “friends” (or complete strangers) send sherriff on a wellness check. i do know how it feels when youve just had enough sufferring.

    • How about another town? The world is a large place. Don’t get stuck in the humboldt rut. Maybe it’s time for a change of pace.

  • If the police go proactive on this they can make difference. We saw what happened in the past with no one doing anything about the homeless. Now with the community watch and the police participation we might see a difference. Thank you community watch and thank you sherifs for stepping up to try and make a bad situation better. Only we can make a difference.

    • Make a difference, how bout taking all those folks to available serives up north to help, instead of just posting no tresspasdong signs. Better for us but not them, what a difference! Hey Jesus called and said your plan lacks compassion.

  • Actually God did that, not Jesus!

    • Or competing groups of higher intelligence’s seeking to control the experiment that is Humanity on Earth.
      Good a story as any.

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