TURLOCK (CBS13) — Dirty needles turning up on neighborhood doorsteps have homeowners in Turlock concerned about crime.

“It was just right here on the grass right here.”

Michelle Colston has lived in Turlock all her life. She’s not used to close calls with crime.

“It was kind of scary.”

But she believes it fell almost on her doorstep after she found several dirty, used hypodermic needles on her front lawn.

“They’ve had a lot of problems with the homeless people living in the alleys and selling drugs and things like that.”

She says she’s seen more homeless people in her neighborhood in the past year.

“I think it’s a growing problem, I really do.”

When she posted a picture of the problem on Facebook, she found she wasn’t the only one finding needles.

Pastor Tim Guerino is the director of Turlock Gospel Mission, a center for the homeless. The center—open for only a year—is just blocks away from Michelle’s home.

“Are there issues of drugs in this city and things like that? Absolutely,” he said. “People have nowhere to go so they are on the streets.”

He works to clean up dirty needles nearby. He worries the homeless and drug problem may get worse. Prison realignment may turn released criminals into a new wave of homeless.

Michelle is now keeping an eye out for more than just needles.

“I will be picking up the phone a lot quicker and calling police.”

Turlock Police told residents if they run across a needle not to pick it up and call the police department immediately.


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