How to Remove Homeless People From Commercial Property Safely

remove homeless from commercial property

Homelessness is a problem that affects everybody — including businesses that want to provide a safe environment for staff and customers.

Companies that humanely remove homeless individuals and encampments from their property eliminate loitering and panhandling that can detract from customer experience and even lead to vandalism and theft.

By installing security cameras and video monitoring services, companies can effectively safeguard against loitering by getting authorized people to the scene. However, there are effective ways to deal with homeless people loitering on your commercial property.

How Do I Remove A Homeless Person from a Commercial Property?

Removing homeless individuals from commercial property safely and compassionately requires a careful and lawful approach.

If your primary concern is a homeless encampment, putting up signage indicating the prohibition of loitering and a clear notice that individuals found violating this regulation will be subject to enforcement actions by law enforcement agencies.

With the help of the local police department, removing homeless encampments on private property can be highly effective because they add additional protection.

You can enforce rules and have legal liability with your private property so loitering violators can be apprehended.

To keep your property free from homeless encampment or discourage misuse of public amenities, you can put up signage that they can be forced to leave if they engage in prohibited conduct (e.g., illegal lodging, drinking alcoholic beverages, drug activities, etc.)

Tips for Dealing with Homeless People on a Commercial Property

homeless encampments
  • Put up signs stating that loitering is prohibited and that people who break this rule will be subject to law enforcement. For instance, signs that read “This space is for customer use only” can be effective without being off-putting.
  • Avoid confrontations and provoking homeless people. Maintain a safe distance and ask for local authorities when dealing with homeless encampments.
  • Do not offer food and money; they will attract more to your business and private property. To help homeless people, donating to food banks, local charities, and social service organizations is a better choice.
  • Do not permit encampments; make sure store shopping carts, bedding, and other personal belongings stay away from your building.
  • Keep storage sheds, exterior power outlets, and trash dumpsters locked to eliminate hiding places for homeless people.
  • Keep your property illuminated at night with motion-activated exterior lighting. Restrict access to alcoves, sidewalk overhangs, and other areas protected from inclement weather.
  • Make sure any parking areas are adequately secured and implement nighttime curfews.
  • You can use graffiti-resistant paint or anti-graffiti coatings to avoid vandalism on your property.
  • Planting vines and raised planter boxes at the sidewalk level helps by allowing plants grow and avoiding more panhandling. Trim landscaping and mature trees, except where environmental noise mitigation is a concern and higher plants will not cover areas.
  • Shape benches for sitting only.

Should I Get Employees to Deal With It?

You may be tempted to have employees deal with removing homeless people from the property, but this could potentially put them in dangerous situations.

To safely remove homeless people from your property without putting anyone in danger, calling local law enforcement is a good option. Police are equipped to handle these situations and can safely take the person elsewhere.

It is where security camera installation comes in handy, as cameras let businesses remotely monitor premises for loiterers and quickly deal with the situation by getting authorities to the property.

How Does Loitering Affect Your Business?

commercial property security for homeless

Having homeless loiterers on your property has undesirable effects on business, and it can be hard to take care of the problem without risking dangerous situations.

If a shopping center, restaurant, or any other kind of business has panhandlers hanging around their building, this can affect employees’ reputation and well-being.

This problem can also increase over time if it’s not taken care of, with your property becoming known as a place where homeless people can camp out.

Security Cameras for Homeless Loitering

Installing security cameras outside your business is a great way to deter homeless people from loitering on your property and reduce crime. Security cameras also help you get authorities to the scene when someone is loitering or causing a nuisance.

Police get many calls about disturbances, and few can be acted on seriously. If you have video footage, that will give your case more priority, meaning law enforcement will take care of it quickly.

Some cameras can send cloud-based alerts to your smartphone if an intrusion happens and instantly call local law enforcement. Suppose you have an area homeless people are breaking into.

In that case, these cameras can help by automatically detecting anyone who enters and ensuring they are taken off your property promptly.

Also read: Ways To Stop Package Theft in Apartment Buildings

Remote Video Monitoring for Homeless on a Commercial Property

remote video monitoring service

If you want to be sure your business is safe from loitering and vandalism, live video monitoring can provide the level of protection you’re looking for.

With remote video monitoring, trained security agents monitor feeds from your security cameras at all times, ensuring any crimes are instantly detected so that agents can deal with the situation accordingly.

Agents may talk down to loiterers through speakers and ask them to leave. Agents can call authorities to remove them from the property if they refuse to leave.

Smart CCTV Monitoring

Combining smart security cameras with video monitoring services is the most effective way to ensure law enforcement gets to the scene to take trespassers off your commercial property.

smart surveillance system with video analytics will detect any intrusions and alert the live agent to ensure no incidents are missed. The agent can then determine whether it is a false alarm, a loiterer, or a more serious crime in action and call law enforcement if necessary.

Security agents may also talk down to people on your property through speakers to ask them to leave or warn them they will call law enforcement.

Video Monitoring vs. Security Guards

live security monitoring

Both options have specific pros and cons, but in situations where people can behave unpredictably, remote monitoring is often a better option.

Remote camera monitoring with a professional monitoring service is more effective and less costly, ensuring no security guards are put in situations they aren’t prepared for.


Homelessness is a widespread problem: about 568,000 people in the U.S. are homeless, and most of them have mental illness.

Effectively discourage loitering on commercial properties while maintaining humane and respectful practices, businesses can adopt a multifaceted approach.

If you have a commercial property experiencing loitering, vandalism, or other disturbances, we know how to help.

Safe and Sound provides top-quality security cameras and live video monitoring services to keep your business free from loitering. Contact our commercial security experts today to learn how to remove homeless people from your property safely.

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