Homeless Encampments Are A Growing Public Safety Threat

The homeless encampment by Angel Stadium gets most of the media attention because it is the most visible, but in reality it is the “downtown” of a giant linear squatters city sprawling along the Santa Ana River from Chapman Avenue all the way to Ball Road.

There’s a growing suburb sandwiched between the riverbed and a line of businesses facing Main Street, as well as encampments between the riverbed and the Honda Center parking lot. One particular encampment is accessible via a gravel road next to the railroad track next to the Honda Center. I visited that particular site about an hour ago:

I wasn’t able to fit the entire encampment in the frame.

The residents had erected this helpful directional sign:


Notice the Theo Lacy Jail directional marker.

There was a late 1990s model Japanese sedan parked at the encampment. While I took these photos, a bronzed, beefy shirtless man emerged from the car and marched in my direction, yelling and asking what I was doing.

When I said just taking some photos, he yelled at me to go away. I asked if this was his property, to which he replied, “It’s gonna be your ass if you don’t get out of here.”

Nice to know that living directly adjacent to a major sports and entertainment venue are thugs willing to assault people up for snapping a photo of their tents.

This bicycle-borne travelogue of the Santa Ana River encampments was posted on Facebook a few days ago:

In addition to the piles of stolen bikes, there are encampment denizens carrying machetes, pipe wrenches, and publicly shooting up heroin in broad daylight – among other anti-social behavior.

It’s heartening to know the Orange County Board of Supervisors is responding to this growing and dangerous concentrations of criminals by installing showers and bathrooms on the novel theory that the way to remove these encampments is by making them more permanent and provide amenities that will only serve to attract more homeless. It brings to mind the infamous Vietnam War anecdotes about destroying the village in order to save it, and similarly illustrates the madness of so much of our approach to the homeless problem in Orange County.

Radical homeless “advocate” Mohammed Aly seems to carry more political weight with the Board than the great silent majority of taxpaying, law-abiding homeowners and businesses weary of the growing disorder and crime.

In Anaheim, a cadre of progressive activists continue to lobby the Anaheim City Council to repeal the anti-camping ordinance – which would open the floodgates to more of these criminal camps setting up in neighborhood parks. For the average, working Anaheimers who live with the consequences of existing encampments, the detachment from reality of these progressives must be astounding.

This vast criminal village lies within the 3rd Supervisor District. This is a metastasizing public safety problem. Supervisor Todd Spitzer needs to make up his mind whether he wants to be remove them or make them permanent by installing showers and bathrooms.

And since this bleeds over into the 4th Supervisor District and impacts residents and businesses there, it’s time for the candidates running for this seat to start telling their would-be constituents how they propose to end the County’s paralysis in the face of this public safety threat.


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