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Hazards when clearing up homeless camps

A male volunteer found a homemade weapon at a campsite in Redding. Action News Now reporter Elizabeth Zelidon has obtained the weapon and has more on the safety concerns surrounding cleanups

Posted: Apr 4, 2019 6:25 AM
Updated: Apr 4, 2019 9:56 AM

REDDING, Calif - A man, cleaning up a homeless camp in Redding, found a disturbing homemade weapon at the site. 

The weapon was made of a tree branch with a railroad spike through the top portion. 

Community members who consistently go out and clear debris and camps said this is only the tip of the iceberg. 

Dale Ball, who is a member of Shasta Support Service, has gone out to clear dozens of homeless camps over the years.

He said some of the hazards he has faced include a knife attached to a PVC pipe and numerous used needles.

So, the organization has found ways to keep volunteers save. 

"We use pickers to pick up the trash or my favorite took is a pitchfork to kind of rake all the stuff to the center and then put it in a bag so you're not touching it," Ball said. 

Ball also adds he's worked with law enforcement so they can clear out the area of any major hazards before he enters. 

"We work in conjunction with law enforcement we usually have them go out and check the camps ahead of time give them plenty of notice to take their personal belongings out then we go in and try and stay as safe as we can," said Ball. 

If you're interested in learning more about the cleanup process and the safety measures these groups take you can message Shasta Support Service on Facebook. 

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