Two weeks ago, the City of Atwater, CalTrans, and Highway Patrol discussed Atwater’s homeless issue.

“The best way to manage the homeless issue is for the City of Atwater to collaborate with CalTrans and the Highway Patrol,” said Atwater Mayor Paul Creighton. “In order to get things done, you just need to sit down and talk.”

Creighton told Merced Daily “One of the health and safety concerns mentioned by CalTrans were infected needles intentionally being set (needle up) in the ground to keep others homeless people from going into their homeless encampment, this could be dangerous for innocent people like workers from CalTrans or anyone trying to clean up the encampment in general.”

“I’ve visited some of the homeless encampments in Atwater. There’s a lot private property rights being violated right now,” said Creighton. “I’ve talked to at least 16 transients at some of these homeless encampments in Atwater, so far two transients that I came across are getting help right now,” said Creighton. “We want to find the homeless help, if they don’t accept the help, there just vagrants and criminals. We want to make those people as uncomfortable as possible and let them know they can’t do that in Atwater. The City will also be in constant contact with the surrounding cities when encampments are being cleared.”

Atwater City staff is currently working on a plan to continue to identify these people that constantly move around.

Nearly 50 tons of debris from a homeless encampment was recently removed on SP in Atwater, according to Creighton.

To see the latest update on what Atwater is currently doing to tackle their homeless issue, you can watch the Atwater City Council meeting video at 2:04:18.