For the past two months, motorists on the 57 freeway see hundreds of stuffed black trash bags on the Santa Ana River bank between Orangewood and Chapman avenues – stacked in large piles and covered in black tarps.
Contained in that make-shift storage yard is a mountain of detritus and stuff – mattresses, clothes, blankets, sleeping bags, propane tanks, among other things – left-behind by the inhabitants of the enormous homeless encampment when it was dispersed. The radical souls at the ACLU secured a temporary restraining order forcing the County of Orange to send work crews to collect, bag it, tag it and store it for 90-days within 15-minutes walking distance of those to whom all this stuff ostensibly belonged. The County even pays for security to watch the stored mass of abandoned belongings.
“They need to pack and tag it and store it,” ACLU homeless policy analyst Eve Garrow told the OC Register.
The 90-day clock on the TRO runs out on May 24. Suspecting no one has claimed a single scrap of stored stuff, OC Daily contacted the County of Orange about it.
“We have had no calls or requests to reclaim property from the storage area associated with the east side project area,” was the response from County PIO Carrie Braun.
Should we be surprised? After all, this is stuff the homeless people living on that stretch of the Santa Ana River didn’t want. They left it behind when they moved across the river. Does it make any sense to force taxpayers to pay to store and guard a stockpile of rubbish that the homeless didn’t want? One expects that type of progressive insanity from the ACLU, but a federal judge like David O. Carter – who issued the TRO at the ACLU’s behest – ought to have more sense.
In the meantime, for three more weeks, Orange County taxpayers will continue footing the bill to store and guard a giant repository of junk nobody wants. It’s an obviously absurd situation, it has the force of law and the ACLU – having momentarily satisfied the demands of its ideological id – could care less. It’s a farce, like so much that passes for policy from progressive homeless advocates.
When Judge Carter granted to ACLU’s TRO request, the radical advocacy group’s Garrow told the OC Register: “There’s no deadline for considering everything trash.” It would seem the homeless themselves have effectively deemed that deadline come and gone, since none of them have tried to get any of this junk back.