Berkeley, Calif., has removed more than 75 tons of garbage, human waste, and drug paraphernalia from homeless camps since September, according to the city's latest budget proposal.
The 2023-2024 budget describes the work of Berkeley's Homeless Response Team, which it says "performed at least weekly garbage collection and debris removal from encampments across the City, removing over 151,000 pounds of trash between September 2021 and March 2022."
The scale of Berkeley's encampment cleanup efforts is indicative of the homelessness crisis facing many California cities, which worsened amid state and local government-imposed lockdowns during the pandemic. Sixty-four percent of Californians say homelessness is a "big problem" in their part of the state, and 63 percent say the number of homeless people in their community has grown.
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