Massive homeless encampment engulfing swanky Calif. county: ‘I don’t want to be another San Francisco’

It’s one thing to see tents and drug addicts around Los Angeles’s Skid Row or in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, but when tweakers, sex offenders, and thieves take over a two-mile stretch of swanky Marin County — home to such celebrities as George Lucas, Tony Bennett, and the late Robin Williams — California’s wealthy tend to get miffed.

Binford Road in the city of Novato has become a haven for the homeless who have dragged their broken-down RVs to the multi-million-dollar community and parked them on the side of the street.

When the New York Post visited the shabby scene, they counted more than 70 vehicles hugging the shoulder.

(Video: YouTube)

And, while homes in the area carry an average price tag of $1.3 million, local authorities are encouraging the destitute to move on in, with the help of California taxpayers.

“I can’t park and move into a city street,” Kathy, who has lived in the area for 40 years, told The Post. “Why are they letting them do that?”

‘It appears to us this is just the easy way out – and California is making it really easy for them and very hard on us, the people who live here,” she said.

Crime is rampant in the camp.

In March, authorities went to Binford Road in search of convicted sex offender Daniel Worthen and instead found a dead body. The deceased man had overdosed on fentanyl while allegedly in the company of Worthen and was discovered dead in his own trailer days later, according to

When detectives executed a search warrant on Worthen, his trailer, and his two parked vehicles, they found “methamphetamine possessed for the purposes of sales and fentanyl on Worthen’s person.”

“Inside of the trailer, they located a loaded 9mm ‘ghost gun’ pistol next to Worthen’s bed, marijuana possessed for the purposes of sales and a digital scale covered in suspected narcotic residue,” the outlet reported. “Additionally, Worthen was in possession of stolen property that was taken in a reported auto burglary in San Francisco earlier in the day.”

One man who lives in his van told The Post that he won’t park at the camp because of the many meth addicts.

“I don’t like staying here because of all the tweakers that are here,” Louis Yuvan said. “Too many people that I’ve talked to have had their s–t stolen.”

The Binford Road squatters, as far as the local residents know, aren’t paying for the privilege of living in their community. According to one camper, the only money he pays for the space is $75 when he needs to have the sewage pumped from his RV.

A sewage facility is just one of the perks the homeless have access to in Novato. They also receive free groceries and medical assistance and are provided with porta-potties and trash bins that are typically overflowing with refuse. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, those services will be expanded to deal with the homeless crisis. One million dollars in state and county funds have been thrown at the problem.

Terry and Shelly were struggling to make it in Petaluma. Terry moved to the camp last year, and Shelly joined him in April. It was the Petaluma police who suggested they relocate.

“They said, ‘Why don’t you go to Binford Road?'” Terry told The Post.

The duo has no plans to leave anytime soon.

“This right here, this is heaven,” Shelly said. “We have a view of the geese, everything right here. To me, it’s relaxing. It’s serenity to me.”

Sgt. Adam Schermerhorn, a spokesperson for the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, dismisses the notion that the camp is a threat to public safety, despite receiving multiple 911 calls and reports from the public each day.

“We get on social media, a lot of complaints or questions about how the sheriff’s office is handling it, and how we’ve been working with the board of supervisors in order to try to find a solution,” Schermerhorn said. “But I think that’s another issue that the public oftentimes forgets, or chooses to overlook, is the only way that you’re going to help these people is if you get them to a spot where they’re willing to accept help.”



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