Homeless Encampments Are A Growing Public Safety Threat

Behind the Honda Center 2 AB

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:

Behind the Honda Center 2

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

The residents had erected this helpful directional sign:

behind the Honda Center closer b


Notice the Theo Lacy Jail directional marker.

There was late 1990s model Japanese sedan parked at the encampment. While I took these photos, a bronzed, beefy shirtless man got out of the car and began marching 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 beat 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.

UPDATE: the owner of the video has removed it from Facebook.

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 is astounding.

This vast criminal village lies within the 3rd Supervisor District. This is a metastasizing public safety problem. Since it is on the boundary between the 3rd and 4th Supervisor Districts and bleeds into the latter, tt’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.


  1. Statistically the homeless are more likely to be attacked and killed than to hurt anyone, so it is the homeless safety that is a problem.
    The tax paying majority are being hosed by the politicians and the cost of leaving them on the streets. We pay with our tax dollars for police code and ER visits to the tune of $300,000,000 a year just in the OC!!!
    Google search “cost of the homeless in orange county”.

    The politicaL goal now is to wait for them to die from exposure and suicide – they are not dying fast enough though…

    seeya soon

  2. Larry Herschler

    I repeat use Fairview and the other state devopmental cemters. The beds and services are already there. You can have meetings, commotos and feel good service but nothing is Giotto solve this situation

  3. The city just posted a video with city net regarding the camp off the 91 and Harbor. They stated most homeless are service resistant and have significant drug issues. They’re not being left there. They’re refusing help. They’re choosing the lifestyle. It’s a huge public safety issue that’s not being addressed. No matter what side you’re on, the encampments are against the law and in no way a solution.
    You complained about the consistent nuisance of STR’s Mike,yet these cause problems significantly worse!

  4. It’s disgusting and reflects poorly on our county. Please get rid of this blight on our area! I’m done with sympathy, it doesn’t help.

  5. New South Wales

    If Jose Moreno wants to give squatters’ rights over pieces of city owned property to the homeless, then he should give up his and his assistants’ offices at City Hall and his parking space in the garage.

    Tell City Council to keep the Anti-Camping Ordinance and protect our parks and neighborhoods.

    Either email the council or be at City Hall (200 S. Anaheim Blvd, 1st Floor) tomorrow at 5:00 pm for the Council Meeting’s Public Comments Section.

    City Council Contact Emails Are:
    dbarnes@anaheim.net – Council Member Denise Barnes
    jmoreno@anaheim.net – Council Member Jose Moreno
    jvanderbilt@anaheim.net – Council Member James Vanderbilt
    kmurray@anaheim.net – Council Member Kris Murray
    lkring@anaheim.net – Council Member Lucille Kring
    sfaessel@anaheim.net – Council Member Stephen Faessel
    ttait@anaheim.net – Mayor Tait

  6. Put them on a bus and take them to George AFB. If the homeless want a home they can squat there. No one lives there and it is on Federal Property. Since most are drug addicts from other states, I view this as a Federal Issue and not just a California Issue.

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