UNITED STATES−Homeowners in the Lakewood subdivision of Castro Valley have been charged for the cost of clean up of a homeless camp that overflowed into the property of the subdivision.

According to reports, the Lakewood homeowner association (HOA) was charged over $20,000 for the clean up of the homeless encampment located in the San Lorenzo Creek ravine just below Lakewood, near San Francisco. The encampment was reported in October 2017, but homeowners indicated the property lines were not clearly marked.

There have been two bids made for clean-up crews to remove the debris. Residents will be tasked with choosing between $21,000 and $21,844  to clean up 50-60 yards of trash.

Lakewood is a 75-home subdivision, where Walsh Property Management is responsible for the Lakewood HOA. The cost for clean-up breaks down to approximately $300 for each homeowner.

“There are no fences and such that would mark where the property line ended, so we were kind of hoping that is was someone else’s responsibility. Unfortunately, this one happened to be on the association’s property,” Ed Walsh told San Francisco’s KPIX news.

Alameda County told the HOA that the encampment was on their property in August 2019. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office is keeping tabs on the area that has been vacated to prevent the homeless from setting up camp again.

In San Francisco, there is a $320 fine for not cleaning up your dog’s waste, but no fine for humans who relieve themselves in public. The city has received 16,000 complaints regarding feces in the street. An ordinance was passed in the city that bans plastic straws. Hypodermic needles in a plastic casing are given away free to the homeless to reduce the spread of AIDS. The used needles are part of the debris left behind.


According to Calmatters.org, homelessness is “California’s most vexing issue,” where over 150,000 of California’s residents have no place to call home.

California’s homelessness crisis — and possible solutions — explained

In a section on the Calmatters.org, the organization discusses issues pertaining to homelessness, and recycling, where it notes clean up is the responsibility of the land owner.

Canyon News contacted the Alameda County government office and Walsh Property Management for a statement, but did not hear back in time for print.