Needle Count: 4,065 Needles, 115 Tons of Debris Cleaned From SART Homeless Camp

The County of Orange has released the latest statistics from its ongoing effort to clean-up and clear-out the sprawling homeless encampment along the Santa Ana River Trail. Between January 22 and February 9:

  • Over 115 tons of debris have been removed from the project area,
  • Approximately 4,065 needles have been collected, and
  • 27 individuals have been transitioned to a shelter (14 to the Courtyard, 2 to Bridges at Kraemer Place, 1 to the Orange County Armory, 10 to non-County shelters).

For some reason, the County is no longer publishing the statistic for human waste collected.

Some hard-core homeless advocates contend these are all insulin needles. Then again, several weeks ago homeless advocate Muhammed Aly told this writer – with a straight face – that none of the bicycles in the SART homeless encampment are stolen but are purchased by the homeless with Social Security or disability payments.

According to Supervisor Andrew Do, the number of tents in the section of the SART between Ball Road/Taft Avenue and Memory Lane has declined from about 500 on January 22 to approximately 291 tents on February 9.

Contrary to the claims of homeless advocates, the County of Orange “still has 250 beds available at the Courtyard Transitional Center, Bridges at Kraemer Place, and the seasonal Armory Shelters in Santa Ana and Fullerton for those who voluntarily transition out of the Santa Ana Riverbed Trail in addition to providing links to wraparound services,” according to Do’s office.

Since no good deed goes unpunished, federal Judge David O. Carter granted the request by a radical Santa Monica attorney to issue a temporary injunction halting enforcement activity along the Santa Ana Riverbed Trail.

“I am disappointed that the judge did not wait until the hearing on February 13th to be able to hear all that the County has available and offered to those living on the riverbed,” said Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors Andrew Do. “We have beds available at all of our shelters and armories. Anyone living on the riverbed who is willing to accept help has received help.”

Earlier that same day, the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to accept more than $12.5 million in federal and state grants to address homelessness, including:

  • $9.7 million Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant which will continue to fund existing Continuum of Care programs,
  • Over $650,000 in Homeless Assistance grants from HUD, and
  • $2.1 million Housing and Disability Advocacy Program grant from the state, that will assist disabled individuals who are experiencing homelessness, provide assistance for applying for disability benefit programs, and provide housing assistance.

This is in addition to $3,394,944 for services dedicated to helping homeless individuals, approved at the January 23, 2018 Board of Supervisors meeting.

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