Homeless Shopping Cart Code Enforcement In Visalia

The City of Visalia has found a way to corral shopping carts pushed off store parking lots and the 3-week old city ordinance is now being enforced.Because of the ordinance, homeless people pushing shopping carts in Visalia will soon be a thing of the past. The new city ordinance gives police the power to confiscate shopping carts that have been taken from a retailer.At the oval, a popular public park where homeless people like to hang out, KMPH saw only a couple of shopping carts.Visalia Vice Mayor, Steve Nelsen, says code enforcement is doing it with a friendly approach and it's being well received. "That homeless person's whole life is in that cart, so we're trying to be compassionate; we're explaining to them why we're doing it."This week the City of Visalia has removed 30 carts from homeless people in the parks and 38 from city streets.Visalia resident Ted Rose says he supports the ordinance. "It's a good thing. It's an eyesore to the public. They [the homeless] need to stop hoarding things and travel light if they're going to be homeless."Homeless people have two options after surrendering their carts: They can put their personal property in a heavy duty bag provided by the city or they can store their valuables in containers at the rescue mission.The City of Visalia hopes the new ordinance will get shopping carts off the streets and back in supermarket and retail store parking lots where they belong.The ordinance also makes store owners responsible and they face fines of $50 if stray carts are not collected in 3 business days. Fines will also be assessed if more than ten carts from a store are retrieved within a 30-day period.