Illegal Encampments

Dealing With Homelessness

Homelessness is an issue that affects people in every community throughout California and the nation. It is an extremely complex social problem that impacts the quality of life in our community. While being homeless is not a crime, many kinds of public conduct are illegal and should be reported to the Police Department by calling Dispatch at (831) 471-1151. These include being intoxicated, loitering, fighting, trespassing, soliciting, urinating/defecating, consuming alcoholic beverages in certain public places, camping or sleeping in parks, littering, obstructing sidewalks, living in a vehicle parked on a public street, disturbing the peace by loud and unreasonable noises, using offensive words, behaving in a threatening manner and at your discretion.

Reporting Homeless Encampments or Vagrancy

Homeless encampments on private property should be reported to Community Development's Code Enforcement Division at 768-3050. The City does not perform cleanups of homeless camps on private property.

To report a homeless encampment in public properties such as sloughs, wetlands and trails within city limits call Customer service at  768-3133.

Managing Illegal Encampments

The following Homeless Encampment Reference Guide concentrates on solid waste management. These guidelines are intended to provide an overview of the options available to manage encampments, abate solid waste in encampments in the process closure, and prevent the reoccurrence of solid waste accumulation in the closed encampments.

Find out what is being done to end homelessness by reviewing the Housing for a Healthy Santa Cruz County

More Information:

Review additional homeless resources and support.

Housing Services


Emergency Shelters


Food Resources


Family & Children Resources


Health Care Services


Mental Health Resources


Transportation Resources


Substance Abuse Resources