Saturday, November 11, 2017

Homeless People Cleared Out from Santa Ana River Trail


At LAT, "'It's been a night from hell': Homeless pushed out of Santa Ana River face uncertain futures": 
Lisa Weber pushed her red-rimmed glasses higher on the bridge of her nose Thursday morning as she pondered how best to move her belongings off the dirt trail she has called home for months.
Her blue eyes seemed to show a glimmer of hope in contrast with her doleful expression. A friend living in a tent farther down the trail passed by and waved.

Like other parts of California, Orange County has seen an uptick in its homeless population in recent years. Scores of homeless people who have set up camp in the past year along the quiet trail overlooking the Santa Ana River in Fountain Valley feel they’ve found safety and camaraderie there.

However, beginning Friday, Orange County sheriff’s deputies began evictions at the various homeless camps along the river as part of a crackdown sparked by complaints from nearby residents.

The situation underscores the tension created by the homeless surge in this suburban county, where officials removed bus benches near Disneyland after complaints from merchants and where a massive encampment in the Santa Ana Civic Center has sparked debate.

Many homeless people are now scrambling to figure out where to go next.

The county plans to permanently close the west side of the Santa Ana River flood-control channel between 17th Street in Santa Ana and Adams Avenue in Huntington Beach as it prepares to start maintenance of flood-control district property along the trail, officials have said. That area includes the Fountain Valley encampment.

“I’m on my way out the gate,” Weber said as she looked toward the fence at the entrance to the river trail on Edinger Avenue. “I’m not scared because I have a plan, but I know other people are worried about where to go.”

Weber said she likely will begin sleeping in her Oldsmobile, which she recently bought for $100. The car runs, she said, but not very well. She’s afraid it eventually will be impounded because of child support she owes from decades ago.

But right now, she figures it’s her best option...