Beach Detail Locates Entrenched Encampment

PPTFH Volunteers Sharon Kilbride and Bruce Schwartz investigated a large illegal camp, after LAPD discovered it camouflaged under vines and sheltered in  tree branches.

Concerned residents off an El Medio trail saw an unhoused man frequently going down private road and entering private property thru a fenced area, and reported it to SLO Brian Espin. He asked the LAPD Beach Detail to check on the area.

The  Detail with Officers Jose Bermudez and Worapop Yunphian, discovered an entrenched homeless site on that private land that borders Topanga State Park off El Medio Avenue. The owner had filed a “No Trespass” report with LAPD, so police were able to go onto the property to enforce that ordinance.

A camper was found and cited for being in a very high fire severity zone, and upon further investigation, it was discovered he had several outstanding warrants. He was taken downtown and booked.

Members of the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homeless (PPTFH), Sharon Kilbride and Bruce Schwartz surveyed the property once it was reported by LAPD.

Generally, trash is bagged and then hauled out. That not only discourages future homeless from camping in a location, but also restores the native environment.

At this encampment, a structure had been built out of several tarps and wood posts. It had been camouflaged with additional vines and tree limbs.  The structure had a closet and also included an additional structure, a “porch.”

A large number of items had to be removed.

There were drug pipes, multiple propane canisters, a ladder, a shovel, three hatchets, a machete, a warming device, an end table, shelves, numerous tools, a carpet, welcome mat, a bag of clothing and five full bags of garbage stashed a little away from the site.

Kilbride and Schwartz knew that the amount of stuff that needed to be hauled out to restore the area would require a pickup.

Carlos Rodriguez, a PPTFH Volunteer, who also helps keep the area below the Huntington Palisades cleaned of homeless encampments, was called to see if he could help load the items.

Although the dirt road/trail on this private property because the sides of the hill are washing out with the rains, Rodriguez was able to drive about a quarter of a mile to get closer to the site.

On March 3, Sunday around 9 a.m., three volunteers and Rodriquez started bagging and hauling. Volunteers had to lug bags and furniture up a small hill to reach the vehicle.

Two hours later the campsite  on private property was cleaned. Normally PPTFH does not clean on private property, but the fire hazard was so great, and on the edge of the park, it was deemed necessary.

A large number of propane canisters and tools were found on site.

Because the person had chopped so much wood, at a future time, that will need to be taken out of the property. A dry summer will make it tinder and threaten homes in that area if a fire were to break out.

Members of the LAPD beach detail and volunteers next to the full pickup.

As the volunteers were leaving the area, the officers showed them another encampment. Following the fence line below the homes on the hill, it appears that someone had been living there. There were clothes, backpacks and blankets.

Volunteers cleaned most of it, some still remains, because the truck was already filled. Perhaps the people who live in the homes above can take a walk down and finish the job.

This was the area once the camping material was removed. The chopped trees that served as a brace for the tent, still need to be cleaned out for brush clearance.

If you want to find out more about a no-trespass form, contact senior Lead Officer Brian Espin at his email

If you want to find out more about the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness click here.

trespass form

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6 Responses to Beach Detail Locates Entrenched Encampment

  1. Stacey Henning says:

    Sincere thanks to everyone who helped clear these sites.
    I am truly grateful.

  2. M says:

    Sharon and Bruce are FABULOUS!! All the LAPD officers and Mr. Rodriquez are FABULOUS! They are the most fabulous VOLUNTEERS.. The Palisades is very lucky to have such dedicated people looking out for their community and the surrounding areas.
    Cleaning up such encampments in order to keep the area safe cannot be a wonderful way
    to spend your day. However, these VOLUNTEERS just keep on ‘truckin’………..
    Thank you VOLUNTEERS and thanks to LAPD officers who serve the Palisades in many ways.
    Thank you!!!!!!

  3. Kathleen Jensen says:

    Sharon is one badass woman not afraid to confront encampments. She & Bruce, Carlos, LAPD, & other volunteers have made hillsides safer. They’re so awsome. Thank you!

  4. Bruce Schwartz says:

    We have been cleaning encampments for ten years. It is my hope that readers/Palisadians will step up to volunteer as we get older..

  5. Richard Andonian says:

    I never see my reply published. Why is that

  6. K.C. Soll says:

    Heroic! I am so glad to see the praise for the hours of mental, emotional, and physical work.


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