California

Police in California find homeless campsite hidden atop Amtrak station

Authorities found a homeless man camping on top of an Amtrak station in Antioch, Calif.
Authorities found a homeless man camping on top of an Amtrak station in Antioch, Calif. Antioch Police Department

Just one thing gave away a campsite hidden inside a concrete ring on the roof of an Amtrak station in Antioch, Calif.

A passer-by happened to see the homeless man who lived there lower his bicycle off the rooftop and notified police, reported the Antioch Police Department on Facebook. A city public works truck hoisted an officer on a boom to check things out.

The rooftop camp, hidden from view from the ground by the concrete ring, had to be removed for safety reasons, police said.

“Homelessness is not a crime and we try to get our homeless citizens into services so they can have a stable environment,” wrote police on Facebook. They did not say how long the man had been living on the roof.

A January 2017 survey of homeless people found an estimated 553,742 people experiencing homelessness on a given night in the United States, reported the National Alliance to End Homelessness. About 34 percent of those lived in a place not meant for human habitation. California, which has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the nation, reported the largest increases in unsheltered homelessness and chronically homeless people in the 2017 survey.

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