Facing Eviction, Homeless Camping Next Honda Center Move To Other Side of Santa Ana River

homeless honda center sign 2 AB feat

Yesterday, OC Public Works and OC deputy sheriffs began the process of evicting the segment of the Santa Ana River homeless encampment that runs north about 2,300 yards along the west bank of the river from Katella Avenue to a railroad crossing. The tents were pitched on a dirt county maintenance road. By early afternoon, there were still several tents left whose occupants were trying to move their belongings.

I stopped by the northern point of the eviction zone, where the railroad runs between the Honda Center property and the Anaheim Equestrian Center, the Phoenix Club and the Shriner’s hall.  This was how it looked a month ago:

Behind the Honda Center 2

This is how the same encampment looked at mid-day yesterday:

homeless behind honda center 7-17-17

An encampment resident left a message for the Honda Center:

message for honda center 7-17-17

An older man told me he’d been living there until the OCPW notices arrived, and yesterday was helping other camp residents transport belongings, such as dozens of bicycles parked in front of a large tent that appeared to serve as a common area. A U-Haul truck had just left; the gentleman said a Pastor Donald from the Rock Church in Anaheim had provided to transport the property of the encampment residents.

This encampment is connected to an even larger encampment on the east bank of the river by a railroad bridge. It was apparent the east bank encampment had grown even larger in the past month:

east bank SA River 7-717-17

east SAR bank camp 7-17-17

east SAR bank homeless 7-17-17 3

A good samaritan-type woman was also there. I asked her and the former Westminster city employee if the Kraemer homeless shelter were an option. Neither was certain if it had available space, and the volunteer woman criticized its dormitory-style sleeping arrangements. The man said shelters were full and complained about the lack of affordable housing. Our discussion was cut short when the women said it appeared deputies were driving up the river access road, got in her car and left.

This writer arrived at the southern point of the eviction zone around 1:30 p.m. Two heavy-duty county vehicles, including what looked like a trash truck, were rumbling away, and there were still three OC Sheriff’s Department squad cars on the scene. I was talking to homeless activist Mohammed Aly when a homeless woman cycled up. She was upset and asked Aly how much more time the police had given them. He  said about three hours. The woman had already moved her tent across the river but was concerned about the rest of her things, as she had a new job cleaning offices and wanted to sure she secured them.

Many of the homeless had already relocated across the river, especially to a county-owned greenbelt that extends north from Katella Avenue as part of the recreational Santa Ana River trail. It’s landscaped with trees and a public restroom:

greenbelt Katella 7-17-17

greenbelt south of Katella Ave 7-17-17

The Santa Ana River homeless village is now firmly ensconced on both sides of the river from the 22 Freeway all the way north to Ball Road – a distance of nearly five miles. The encampment is beginning to extend north of Ball Road in the direction of Lincoln Avenue. If that trend continues, it will come into direct contact with older, established neighborhoods in Orange and District 5 in Anaheim.

The growing Santa Ana River homeless encampment is contained within the 3rd Supervisor District, which is represented by Todd Spitzer. Last week, Spitzer announced he running against District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, partly on the claim that he is “Solving Homelessness”:

Spitzer campaign site homeless

The county recently announced it is allocating $750,000 for a partnership with the non-profit CityNet on a program to entice residents of these homeless encampments to accept help to put them on the road to self-reliance and becoming productive members of society.

At the same time, Spitzer’s claim is tough to swallow for tens of thousands of voters who, on a daily basis, see more homeless living in encampments that are getting bigger and bigger – and bringing crime in their wakes – in defiance of a county government that seems paralyzed by the ACLU.


  1. Anaheim Resident

    Move across the street …haha…into Anaheim.

  2. The trail of tears continues.
    The Confiscation, destroy, arrest and murder the homeless ordinances are still in effect.
    Not dying fast enough for those driving by and have to look at these people.
    Google search the cost of homeless people on the streets in the OC
    Google search homeless deaths on the streets in the OC
    Hey don’t you mind that it cost us more to leave them out there to die than to put them up in a condo in an Irvine Apartment?
    Odd, even crazy it seems…

    • These are people who want to live homeless. They don’t want to live in a condo. Why don’t bleeding hearts such as yourself get that? They want the freedom to not pay rent, not pay bills, do drugs, drink and steal all day long.

      • You are so oblivious to the problem. Homelessness is no longer about bums or drunks, try staying in the streets for a night. I know people who work living in the riverbed because they can’t afford rent do to their low wages, people need to make $25. an hour to afford a one bedroom apartment. Remember we had a recession in 2007 that left people homeless. Now we have reached a deppresion.

        • Lou, You would be well served to present these “working” homeless, as Mike and Jeanie would be to bring forth a single example of the homeless “Disney workers”. It might be true, but you are not believable.

          Perhaps if you put together a “presentation” your claims would be taken seriously. But, for now, many do not believe your outrageous claims. As residents, homeowners and public stewarts, we see a downtrodden, addiction-fested, crime camp. I would go so far as to agree with you that camping should not be a crime, urinating/defacating in public, drunkenness, drug use, theft, begging, badgering, scavenging SHOULD AND IS A CRIME. So why don’t you start by policing the community and rid it of the bad apples.

    • There is not trail of tears where the white man has destroyed the native people The homeless Americans have 12 free years of education, and those will any sort of will to work can and do. Those who fail socially have access to heavily funded federal, state, local and not for profit programs. As Nunya correctly observes most of the “campers” are there by choice – looking for hand-outs and seeking another fix (drugs/alcohol).

      They have burned bridges or walked away from many offers of help – and have avoided any responsibility for themselves contributing to a bigger and better society – rather, becoming a continuing drain on that society. The resources are much better spent on seniors so they live with dignity and children so that they can avoid the social drop-out status that the homeless represent.

      No tears shed by this dog.

    • …Trail of tears???? What a sap!
      There’s no trail of tears. They are a pack of parasites who want to rob, rape and steal from you. Why don’t you take you trail of tears down there and do give them all of your money? Because all it would result in would be extra heroin and empty booze bottles. You are probably one of those morons who hold up traffic so you can hand some drunken hobo a $1 bill at intersections and on ramps.

    • Get the hell off of your phony baloney high horse you arrogant jack ass. How about you go spend all of YOUR money housing these animals and you will see that they’ll just wind up in exactly the same situation in under a year. How stupid are you?

    • did you hear about the housed individual who was stabbing people experiencing homelessness in the eyes with a railroad spike. He also lit them on fire and murdered them while they slept. I believe 2 of the victims were senior citizens and possibly a veteran. He killed, that they know of, 5 people and assulted 12. He was from orange county. So horrible.

  3. They had 2 weeks notice not 3 hours. The county published eviction notices 2 weeks ago. The woman complained about dormitory style sleeping…let’s see, 2 meals a day, showers and laundry facilities as well as job seeking skills and assistance and she complains that the FREE shelter has dormitory style sleeping? Hmm…what’s wrong with this picture

    • Concerned Senior

      If Todd Spitzer thinks he’ll get my vote for “solving homelessness”, he’s mistaken. That’s a joke! So many social services and police have been trying to solve the situation for years and the homeless population keeps growing…why??? Because society makes it attractive and easier than working 40 hrs a week for these mindset people. Yes some are on drugs, some are alcoholics, and some are mental cases, but ALL have been offered help, shelters, lodging, tickets to family members, etc. They refuse the help! And I know for sure a seasoned politician like Todd Spitzer does not have the answers…

      • You are correct. They do not WANT the help.
        The city council and police in Orange have been so paralyzed with fear about retaliatory lawsuits, they ignore the laws and allow his problem to grow exponentially.

        The solution is actually simple. Just enforce the current laws. No exception. Since you can’t force them to be productive members of society. Make it so hard to camp and do drugs that they just move on to the next apathetic community. As a tax paying home owner in Orange, I am sick of crime, debris, and community rot that they bring with them.

        Just enforce the laws and let the courts figure out the frivolous lawsuits. In the meantime, call the police every single time you see some vagrant setting up a tent. It is illegal to camp in Orange and they WILL move them along. You have to take action.

        • Nunya you are spot on – except the solution is not to fob off the problem on the next community but rather for all cities in a region to pool resources and develop a strategic plan with pooled (combined) resources to move the homeless with incentives to a non-urban location with controls and standards in place. One of those standards is shelter, food, and care is offered with compliance to “rehab” standards.

          The entire homeless model in place is based on pacification and assumptions that homeless are rational and functional citizens. They are not. However, there may be some potential for rehab but not by dispersing them in housing that does not exist – or into jobs for which they cannot hold.

          The CCC established by President Roosevelt is the gold standard on how America dealt with far worse homeless problem in the 1930’s. Sad that all of the sol called “leaders’ are incapable of reviewing basic US history!

          Even this dawg knows the score!

        • How would you feel if I stated that all people named Nunya are hateful humans? Please don’t put people in a box. These humans are all individuals experiencing homelessness. Everyone has a different story. Please dont judge someone for there CURRENT situation. This person might save someone’s life that you hold dearly.

    • please go visit your local shelter. where you are not allowed more than a backpack, no animals, and sometimes must stay in the same facility as where a man that has raped you is staying.

  4. Every day we wake up we get the choice to choose a new path. Some are self medicating to help escape the pain of something horrible that has happened to them. We shouldn’t judge humans, god’s children. These are people’s sons and daughters, mom and dads, brothers and sisters. Think about a time in your life where you were in a rough situation. How did you pull yourself out of it? Did you have help? Support? Maybe someones love and wise words helped you. This is what we should be offering. Don’t judge a book by its cover, don’t even judge a book by a chapter. If your community needs help then help. Find someway. Show love, compassion, not hate and fear. Talk to them. Listen to there stories, and I can guarantee you that you will find someone that has grown up in the same neighborhood as you. Worked in the same field as you. Has kids like you, lost someone like you have. Years from now we will start hearing many stories of the people that once stayed here, but now they will be in a different chapter in their life. They might even be your neighbor.

  5. Good people these are. We need to provide facilities for them

    • You are not Yoda. Facilities are no answer at all . Take a nice long 3 day road trip to LA and visit scores of homeless shelters and then report on your findings.

      Follow the wisdom of this dawg.

      • I am having a cum-by-ah moment reading from the Dawg chronicles. You have said everything I think. So I thank you for taking care of business and saving me from tying all of the same comments. Hey y’all, missing a bike? I guara-damn-tee you none of them bought a bike. Wake the F&%$ up

  6. These are human beings not garbage. Please let’s help them. This a very rich county. There’s no excuse for not helping.

    • We do provide for them. Have you read a property tax bill? Seen how much we pay in state and federal income tax? We pay for their Healthcare food housing Etc already. The problem is that they do not use it for their basic needs that use it to satisfy addictions unfortunately. They shun public assistance because there are rules and regulations such as don’t do drugs don’t drink too much alcohol and seek employment. Don’t kid yourself, this is an active choice these people are making, they don’t want our help they just want the things our help can provide. for most of them there’s no intention on changing nor desire to do so

    • Helping is NOT handouts. This perpetuates a welfare mentality and causes more harm then good.

      Visit a shelter, stay overnight and report back.

      • our giving of food and hygiene is just the beginning to build a bridge of trust. As you may know trust takes time. Many have been “screwed over” and is why they are in their CURRENT situation. By developing this trust we can hopefully build relationships that will allow us to seek help for individuals. What you don’t see are the women that are fleeing domestic violence, some homeless for there first night. Many kicked out of there homes for choosing the same gender to love. Many escaping alcoholic fathers, abusive partners. Every person has there story.

        • And there are lots and lots of people who have the same story and are NOT homeless.

          I want them to get on their feet and out of homelessness, too. But underwriting and enabling homelessness perpetuates it. If you subsidize something, you get more of it.

  7. As a triathlete who rides the river trails the situation is out of control! On more than several occasions triathletes riding both solo and in groups have been harassed with objects being thrown at us, including bottles and grocery carts; and the homeless intentionally causing accidents/pile ups by walking and skating boarding in front of us. Thankfully, no one has been seriously hurt, that I know of (yet).I am a compassionate person and I certainly don’t have the answer to resolve the homeless situation in the OC, however, their presence is not welcome if they can’t respect others. They are going to cause serious harm to those of us who have a right to be safe and ride the river trails!

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