Courthouse News: Southern California Inches Closer to Homeless Shelter Fix

Courthouse News: Southern California Inches Closer to Homeless Shelter Fix
August 3, 2018 Pierce Monahan

A pair of homeless shelters inside two National Guard armories in Southern California’s Orange County shut their doors mid-July, pushing over 200 people back into the street and exacerbating the county’s shelter crisis as housing shortages and rising rents ramp up pressure on residents statewide. At a federal court in Santa Ana Friday, U.S District Judge David Carter played his cellphone video of interviews with former armory shelter residents who are now sleeping in parks or on the streets throughout the county. In the video, a man who is sleeping on the ground near a public school said he tried to find bed space at local shelters only to discover they were at capacity. Other shelters wouldn’t accommodate couples, people with pets or late comers, the interviewees said in the video. Carter – who is presiding over a pair of federal civil rights lawsuits seeking to protect the county’s homeless population from unlawful treatment – has been pushing county leaders for months to approve sites for shelters in three service areas – north, central and south – in order to immediately house homeless residents. “I don’t want the [Santa Ana] riverbed to fill up again,” Carter said in reference to the homeless encampment along the river which local authorities cleared earlier this year. “My breaking point was these armories. Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good.”

 

Read Full Article