Anaheim Councilwoman: Kick Homeless Out of Parks, Bring Dogs In

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Anaheim Councilwoman Lucille Kring has hit upon what she considers an ideal solution to the city’s homeless problem: turn parks where homeless people congregate into dog parks.

“It’s a social activity. It’s wonderful for the dogs. It’s wonderful for the owners, and it really keeps the homeless out,” Kring said.

Kring was responding to several frustrated residents who attended the council meeting and complained about homeless people at Twila Reid Park in west Anaheim. They demanded the city do something to rid the park of homeless people and said adjacent neighborhoods had become havens of crime and drug use.

Kring’s response was rooted in past practices by city officials. The homeless population in the city’s La Palma Park went down significantly after they turned it largely into a dog park, Kring said. OC Weekly reported on the tactic earlier this year.

Kring also indicated that when she and others conducted a flashlight dog walk through Maxwell Park, which is nearby Twila Reid, it helped scare homeless people away.

“A few months ago my policy aide and I had a flashlight dog walk at Maxwell with the police who take care of west side, and it was wonderful, there were no homeless that night there,” Kring said.

Kring asked that turning either Twila Reid Park or Maxwell Park into a dog park to keep out homeless people be placed on an upcoming council meeting agenda.

Kring, however, did not make any suggestions regarding how to help the homeless people who would be displaced. And she went so far as to criticize churches that provide food for the homeless people at Twila Reid Park.

“I would like them immediately to stop feeding the homeless,” Kring said. “You’ve got the trash. You’ve got everything incorporated with feeding people who should not be fed there.”

Following these comments and Kring’s direction that the city manager request that the church not feed the homeless people, residents in the audience applauded.

Kring’s comments were not entirely harsh toward homeless people. At one point, when she was about to say that having good people in the parks doing things keeps the bad people out, she stopped herself and said the city does have an obligation to be compassionate.

“I don’t want to say bad people because a lot of people aren’t homeless by choice, they’re homeless because of an illness or bankruptcy, a divorce, thank God a lot of us are not there,” she said. “But who’s to say not one day.”

Please contact Adam Elmahrek directly at aelmahrek@voiceofoc.org and follow him on Twitter: @adamelmahrek

  • Nick Smith

    She’s nothing but a stuck up that doesn’t have a clue what it’s like to live like the homeless has to live and if anyone fallows her actions are heartless pieces of crap just like her. You’re nothing but rich snobs and you’re nothing to me and will never be anything to me no matter how rich you are it don’t mean Jack.

  • Nick Smith

    She’s nothing but a stuck up that doesn’t have a clue what it’s like to live like the homeless has to live.

  • Greg Diamond

    Kris Murray gave an impassioned, sure to show up in future campaign material, speech about the City’s need to take care of its homeless back when the Council approved the Kraemer Place homeless center some months ago.

    I suggest that it would be appropriate for her to be the one to explain, publicly and in detail, to her Council ally why Kring’s remarks here are so repulsive.

    As for Kring, she can explain how the drowing death of that 3-year-old Syrian refugee boy who washed up on a Turkish beach this week was a GOOD thing because it dissuaded other refugees — who were, after all, themselves homeless — from escaping their own unfortunate fate and despoiling the dog-park-level beauty of Europe. Maybe Murray will have something to say in reply to that.

  • Zia Back

    So this is the work of Lucille — I should have known https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AJAbQ3Q1ss&feature=youtu.be …. waiting for the death knoll of the major class action law suit…..

  • Cynthia Ward

    Lucille Kring. The gift that keeps on giving.

    Yes Lucille, the dog park at La Palma park has certainly moved the homeless encampment out of that area. But despite her backwards beliefs, it did NOT “solve” the “homeless problem.” Human beings without a place to live moved from the park into the neighborhoods, finding every little nook and cranny in alleys or trash enclosures that they could commandeer. The situation became much worse for residents as we walk the street in the evenings with our dogs. (gee, does anyone think this is better than the shelter?) The other night we had a genuinely terrifying encounter I thought for certain would end in physical harm. Lucille’s “solution” is no solution, it isn’t even a very good Band Aid.

    Now to piss off the neighbors as well. There is a mindset in which some believe all unhoused human beings are criminals and scum. DOn’t get me wrong, some are. Some perfectly respectable housed folks are scum too. It’s called the human condition, and it is not defined by whether there is a house key dangling from your key chain.

    I am not sure what we are supposed to do, truly I am at a loss as to how we even begin to address the situation. I feel for those who are being inundated. But each area of the city gets the same allocation of police coverage. If anything, the flatlands draws more coverage and the hills often has a longer response time, they are left on their own slightly more, as statistically they have less street-crime type incidents. If the problem in West Anaheim was caused by less Police protection than other parts of the city, we could shift resources. But at this point we are stretched so thin for coverage that offering Twila Reed area more cops means pulling them from elsewhere. You can’t have mine, we already don’t have enough. In fact the only area of town that has enough coverage is the Resort, where they famously “tax themselves” to pay for services. City Council tells us this with a smug, self-satisfied look, like they are PROUD to tell us that their failure to provide even the most basic of services adequate to provide a location others want to visit is so complete that people will voluntarily reach into their pockets to fund those most BASIC of services. We aren’t talking gold-plated goodies, this is public safety, the most basic bare minimum service for government to offer. if they do NOTHING ELSE they should keep us safe, and they have dropped the ball so badly that one area taxes itself to provide that service.

    Is this the solution? Does the Resort point the way for the neighborhoods of the future? If we all get the same Police coverage, and some areas are dealing with bigger problems than others, are they permitted to hire their own cops like the Resort does? How about security guards? I would kick in a few bucks a month with my neighbors to have someone patrolling on foot for a few blocks. Gladly. Once upon a time I nailed a local developer for trying to put a tax assessment district in the Colony. I now regret it. OK not really because he was trying to sucker punch people into it instead of being up front with his plans, which mostly involved getting the entire neighborhood to “fix up” at our expense so his properties would be more valuable. But today I would SERIOUSLY agree to a self-funded district of some kind, if it did not impose costs on those unwilling or unable to fund along with us.

    Will we now FINALLY get the tres amigos to admit their spending plan has blown chunks? Will they wake up to the reality that they have failed at the most basic job they are tasked with accomplishing? or will we hear how the JW Marriott is going to fix everything now? because 10% of something is better than 100% of nothing? When the “answer” to human beings trying to survive without shelter is to “come out with your dogs” we have truly slipped into complete insanity. Thank you, Lucille Kring, for showing us who you are. What I wouldn’t give to get my vote back.

  • David Zenger

    Well, there you have it.

  • RyanCantor

    “Following these comments and Kring’s direction that the city manager request that the church not feed the homeless people, residents in the audience applauded.”

    City of Kindness vs. City of Fear

    How sad.

    • Steve W.

      Kring may have spoken clumsily, but are all those West Anaheim residents supposed to cede their public parks to homeless encampments, and suck up the attendant crime, drug use and public nuisance? Talking about being compassionate is easy.

      • RyanCantor

        No, but treating a homeless individual like a fox that needs to be driven out with dogs is pretty darn inhumane.

        It wasn’t an issue of speaking clumsily. It’s an issue of judgement and condemnation. This isn’t the first time Ms. Kring has made clear how she values those of a lower station in life.

        While these people are homeless, they’re still her constituents. They deserve better than to be treated like some varment being driven out by a pack of hounds.

        • David Zenger

          Yeah, she’s a real piece of work, alright.

          She’s entitled to her prejudices and who knows, she may even represent a substantial group who believe killings by the cops are a good thing since they “save us the cost of a trial.” She is entitled to blurt them out, too.

          However Kring thinks that she is also entitled to go back on her word, and her positions time and time again. And that makes her a serial liar and a bigot to boot.

          She just doesn’t seem to be very bright, either, since she lets the same gaggle of kleptocrats jerk her around over and over again.

          This woman is probably one of the lowest political creatures I’ve ever seen. And that’s saying something.