Conditions at many of these sites are considered public safety violations, with some, like this infamous Seattle camp, upgraded to "inhumane." It's worth noting that there are also some very well-put-together, organized, and funded homeless camps. Those are not the ones Carol is talking about.
"Oh, I've seen rats there. Cockroaches, too. You expect those in any city, but at homeless camps, it's bad. At a few really bad camps, there was a doctor who checked us out for lice and fleas when we left. And this was after we received these special plastic coverings over our clothes."
We know this sounds like a nightmare scenario with no good options, but ... that's only because that's exactly what it is.
They Have To Worry About Protesters
Carol's work is controversial. She regularly encounters protesters, and they rarely listen to her side of the story. Even if she's using airtight logic like I didn't actually close this camp, I'm just here to clean up the corpses and shit.
"A week before a homeless camp cleanup, we'll have refresher training. There are parts on handling things like needles, what to do with property with value. Um, there's a part about biohazards, what can be recycled, what to do when confronted. The biggest part is in ignoring protesters ... I've been spat on by protesters, and I've been heckled by them mercilessly. At a camp in the city, I had to pull out a giant corrugated steel sheet, and at one point it was over my head and would have easily fallen on me. You know what those people were chanting? 'Crush HER. Crush HER. Crush HER.' They wanted me to get injured."