DALLAS (CBS11) – “Don’t mess with our neighborhood.” That’s the message from some Dallas residents who say the migration of homeless from downtown to Pleasant Grove is turning streets they have worked hard to clean up, into dumping grounds.
When the city shut down several downtown homeless camps last year, some moved south and they are overwhelming one man’s crusade to keep his neighborhood clean.
With 44 trash cans, a truck painted with anti-littering messages and cameras to catch people in the act, Ken Winn has devoted the last eight years to removing trash from Pleasant Grove.
“Put in probably 250 hours a month,” he says.
The 73-year-old lives in the neighborhood and said he felt like he was making progress polishing Pleasant Grove’s tarnished image.
But recently he started seeing photos of homeless camps and fields of trash building up faster than he could clean up.
“It sets me back and hurts me a little bit because I’ve worked so hard to clean up the neighborhood,” said Winn.
Winn said scores of homeless people have started moving in and have not only left a lot more trash, but they are also stealing his trash bags.
“They take trash bags and put back in the can all the trash then they take the bag for their own personal use,” he said.
Winn said he now has to use wire to secure his bags which the homeless take from the trash cans and dump out.
“Last couple of months since the homeless moved out here it’s getting bad again I can’t keep up with it,” said Winn.
If someone like Winn can’t keep up with it, then he wonders who will.
“Something needs to be done because they bring everything into the neighborhoods,” said Winn.
Since the homeless have been forced to scatter from parts of downtown, there isn’t an easy solution to this problem.
But this is something other neighborhoods will likely be concerned about, as the homeless population looks for other areas to settle in.
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