Homeless issues continue to arise over riverbed project displacement

Cristal Ruiz

Advocates of the homeless rallied together on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at the Board of Supervisors meeting to remind them of the lack of permanent housing, shelters and resources for the growing homeless population.

These meetings are an opportunity for the public to speak about their concerns of the county.

Kimberly O’Neill, an advocate, voiced her frustration with the lack of action on the Board of Supervisors part to help the homeless.

“You guys don’t really seem to care,” Kimberly proclaimed and continued with, “you only care about the rich here in Orange County and don’t give 2 cents about the lower class.”

According to a settlement reached by the county and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California, homeless individuals living on the Santa Ana Riverbed were required to vacate the location with an extension on Thursday, February 23, 2017, specifically, individuals located between Orangewood Avenue and Chapman Avenue in the city of Orange. The county’s original vacating day was Friday, February 10, 2017.

The recent displacement has only showcased Orange County’s lack of housing and resources that.

Mohammed Aly, Director of the Orange County Poverty Alleviation Coalition, stated if the homeless continue to be displaced from the riverbed, “the only place for them to go is public sidewalks.” Orange County cities like Anaheim and Santa Ana continue to see a growing homeless population including families with children.

The county currently does not have any permanent affordable housing for the homeless. A year-round emergency shelter is set to open later this year in Anaheim. There is currently no date set.

The Board of Supervisors meet twice a month on
Tuesday’s from 9:30 a.m. to noon at 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd. Santa Ana, CA 92701.
The next meeting will be on March 14, 2017.