A few well-tended campsites would have been tolerable, but the homeless encampment near Lila Keiser Park in Morro Bay had mushroomed out of control and was impossible to ignore.
After warning campers several days in advance, police removed 17 campsites in a sweep Friday. The cleanup yielded a disgusting haul of garbage, including more than 10 buckets of human waste and 18 syringes.
As disturbing as it is to evict homeless people from whatever shelter they’ve managed to find, officials can’t look the other way when illegal campsites pose a threat to public health and the environment.
Still, this sad situation once again points to the need for a range of homeless services throughout the county. Unfortunately, those services are in especially short supply on the North Coast. While there is a meal program, there is no overnight shelter, safe parking program or day shelter.
There have been discussions about what can be done to improve services. That’s a start, but we hope this incident will be a catalyst to move from discussion to action.