Trust land blossoms into homeless camp under BIA's watch

About 45 members of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians of California have seen their trust land become a homeless camp over the last couple of years.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs allowed a non-Indian businessman to use the empty lot to park vehicles. But Haki Dervishi, the owner of a convenience store adjacent to the property, instead transformed it into a makeshift shelter for 40 to 50 people.

“This land does not belong to Haki. He could have parked a couple of licensed vehicles and as you've seen it, it's gone beyond that,” Kevin Bearquiver, a deputy regional director for the BIA, told The Palm Springs Desert Sun.

The BIA is putting up a fence around the property to let people know they can no longer stay there. The local police department also has been granted authority to patrol the land.

Get the Story:
Officials: Clock is ticking on illegal homeless camp (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 3/20)

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