While the Great Depression had "Hoovervilles
," modern-day Arizona has its own homeless shanty towns (we'll call them Brewerburghs), one of which was uncovered under an Avondale bridge.
Starting in February, Avondale police Officer Michael Unger noticed that a lot of stolen property -- wire, copper, and stuff from businesses in the area of Dysart road -- were getting taken to a river bottom near the Agua Fria Bridge.
Unger checked out the river bottom and found that it was more elaborate than your traditional transient shanty town -- its residents actually had dug what the Avondale Police Department describes as a "cave," in which transients lived and stored stolen items.
In addition to a large number of transients bedding down in the Brewerburgh beneath the bridge, there was trash -- lots of it.
The Avondale Police Department called in a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office inmate work crew to clear out some of the garbage, which it did -- between 500-800 pounds of it.
During the cleanup, Unger found jewelry, electronics, and bicycles, as well as food items.
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This is not to mention so much human and animal feces that a HAZMAT team was needed to clean it up.
The "cave" the transients had dug was filled, the APD says, and the entrance secured with railroad ties in the hope of keeping the homeless from digging another cave.
To further prevent the homeless from bedding down under the bridge, "No Tresspassing" signs have been posted.
This (ahem) ought to do the trick.