Purchase of Bus Terminal for Homeless Services on Supervisors’ Agenda

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An abandoned bus terminal at the Orange County Civic Center appears to be on the verge of being used for what many advocates – and some elected officials – have long hoped for: a homeless services center.

The bus terminal, which lies right next to where hundreds of homeless people live in the Civic Center, is up for a closed session discussion Tuesday by county supervisors.  They’re considering whether to have the county government buy the terminal from the Orange County Transportation Authority.

At the same meeting, supervisors will talk about plans to protect homeless people — especially those encamped in the Santa Ana River bed — from expected El Niño storms. 

Up for action is approval of up to $500,000 for temporary emergency beds and services for homeless during the El Niño season, with county staff running a competitive bidding process to pick a contractor to provide the services.

Meteorologists say this could become the most powerful El Niño ever recorded. A major concern is that the heavy rains will turn the largely concrete riverbed into a raging river that drowns homeless people who live there.

During a day-long trip last week, county officials counted 440 homeless people in the riverbed.

You can contact Nick Gerda at ngerda@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

  • Paul Lucas

    And in addition to the santa Ana river separartinkg the closest homes to the Kraemer site center there is also the whole 91 freeway east and west running in between them So ts even more than a mile away as they now have to funnel across the bridge at Kraemer and Glassel or at Tustin ave. So there is very little chance of the Riverdale neighborhood being over run with the great unwashed.

  • Paul Lucas

    Ok my comments are on moderation right now so Im assuming I hit a nerve.

    • Hi Paul,

      Thanks for mentioning this – as far as I know there’s only two reasons comments would be automatically moderated: profanity and a certain amount of down-votes from other commenters. I’ll look into this and figure out what happened.

      – Nick Gerda

      • Paul Lucas

        yeah this has happened before. Its because when someone down votes my comments the disquss program does that automatically. take a look at my comments ion the que waiting moderation by yourself. It becomes quite obvious that I hit a nerve especially in the identification of a pseudonyms real identity.

        • Was it the long comment that starts with “You need to go take a look at that area son”? It’s showing up as approved and on this page seems to be at the end of a long string of comments in reply to LFOldTimer. Is it showing up on your end?

          – Nick Gerda

          • Paul Lucas

            Yes Nick they are both here now. the disquss alogorythm will send them there automatically if anyone flags my comments until you or another moderator approves or deletes them. I think Cunningham was writing under a pseudonym and doing that.

  • LFOldTimer

    First of all, stop it with the “El Nino” fear mongering. We’ve barely had a drop of rain this fall. During other “El Nino” seasons in years gone by we had torrents of rain by Dec 07. I looked at the extended forecast through December. Very little rain expected. If “El Nino” was a real threat it would have already raised it’s ugly head by this time. So stop doing free advertising for roofers and gutter installers. The fear mongering is just a ploy to stimulate business. Stop it!
    Next, I almost fell off my chair with this report that the BoS may actually buy the bus depot to shelter the homeless. Miracles never cease to happen. What’s next? Will the supervisors demand for the Feds to investigate jailgate in Orange County and hold the perpetrators accountable?
    And why does the County need a homeless shelter on Kraemer in Anaheim if they are considering to purchase the bus depot? Why dump the homeless on those residents and businesses when you can house them next to County government where they rightly belong so the people in government can be eyewitnesses to the problem (which will only grow exponentially in future years).

    • Paul Lucas

      There are homeless people all over the County. The high concentration of homeless persons in the Anaheim Santa Ana River area makes the Kraemer site proper due to its location. AND the Karcher site is also a good location due to its proximity to homeless populations. The Kraemer site was chosen due to Jordan Brandmans advocacy of using that site for a spots complex of some kind. If I recall correctly the Anaheim site(s) are just the beginning in that all municipalities will be establishing some sort of homeless center(s) to deal with their own allotment of homeless in their towns. One would be remiss to think that either the karcher Site or the Kraemer site(s) would be sufficient enough to handle the counties homeless population(s).

      • LFOldTimer

        We just have different opinions re: Kraemer, Paul. I think it’s just as big an injustice to put a 200 plus bed homeless shelter anywhere in Orange County as it is to ignore the homeless problem. Would you want a 200 plus bed homeless shelter in your neighborhood? Oh, and I don’t live anywhere near Kraemer, btw. But I have empathy for those good taxpaying citizens and residents who are bound to suffer the fallout from a 200 plus homeless shelter in their neighborhood. It’s wrong. They could have purchased the bus depot and turned it into a temporary makeshift shelter while working with all the cities to build their own shelters to provide roofs for their own homeless populations. That’s the equitable and just way this should have been handled. The problem should be distributed throughout the County. Not in one city. Instead, for convenience sake, they went for the quick politically expedient solution that will hurt alot of good taxpayers and residents. We need to not only protect our own selfish interests. We need to protect the interests of our fellow neighbors even if the injustice does not impact our own lives. For that is the rock that ‘civilization’ was built upon. And you should know that when the County says that it’s going work on developing more homeless shelters in various cities and towns that it’s just a load of hooey, particularly after all the fraud and deception in years gone by.

        • Paul Lucas

          Actually that IS my neighborhood. I live very close to this area. I have to run out but ill come back and read the rest of your comment and respond appropriately.

          • LFOldTimer

            Well, in that case you are the only person I have ever communicated with who favors having a 200 plus bed homeless shelter in his or her neighborhood. Congratulations!

          • Paul Lucas

            Ok Im back. The thing is that homeless people ARE my neighbors. As they are to many others. You just cant see them alot of the time as they live under bridges, in riparian areas, etc. I myself, have experienced homelessness in my early 20s after a serious injury and the death of my pregnant girlfriend in an auto accident. You view your neighbors interests. I use my own empathy. Trust me I understand your views and in many ways I can agree with them. However, in a manner only through experience can I see both the tragedy of the homeless individuals as well as the tragedy of discarding those persons for a great majority of them, it is not their fault. When I was a child, my family sponsored through our church, La Purisima Catholic Church a Vietnamese family to be relocated from the DP Camp at camp Pendalton to housing in our neighborhood of El Modena in east Orange. My parents were both children of the Great Depression era and that experience guided them along with our faith to help those in need of no fault of their own; as well as the concept of a second chance.

            But what you also d not know, is that neighborhood is where Loretta Sanchez has a home, and so does Matt Cunningham. Now take that into consideration when you contemplate why Todd Spitzer pushed really hard to have that shelter placed where it is going instead of at the Karcher site, once owned by Carl Karcher the founder of Carls Jr, and while a kind and compassionate man, a stalwart hardcore conservative Republican.

            So yes, my experience an my faith and my empathy for my fellow man guides my thinking when it comes to hosting this site in my neighborhood.

          • LFOldTimer

            What about your empathy for the innocent taxpaying homeowners and business owners with property who have to deal with a 200 plus bed homeless shelter in their neighborhood that will undoubtedly take a huge bite out of their property values? Do you think the County of Orange will reimburse them? ha. Any empathy for them? Many homeless people are full-blown crazy (some by no fault of their own). How many people would want to buy property in the vicinity of a 200 plus bed homeless shelter? Again, do you rent or own? Please respond. Having a handful of transients in one’s neighborhood is one thing. Having a 200 plus bed homeless shelter is quite another that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I’m actually a big proponent of caring for our mentally ill and homeless. This is a community-wide problem and there should be a community-wide solution. Smaller homeless shelters distributed evenly across teh county. I just think dumping a huge population of that segment of our society on one neighborhood is a blatant and egregious injustice. It was just a quick and convenient politically expedient fix to shut everybody up – regardless of who they hurt in the process. That’s not civilized behavior. And when the government behaves in an uncivilized manner we’re all in trouble, not just the people who live near Kraemer. I want to remain civilized. Therefore, I feel a great deal of empathy for those who have this quick fix solution forced on them that will cause great financial and social havoc in their lives.

          • Paul Lucas

            I have no idea what just happened to the long reply i just wrote to this. God damnit it was great too.

          • Paul Lucas

            I also agree with the idea of rapid rehousing as one of your contemporaries in the Riverdale area promoted along with smaller shelters in each city. As of now we only have National Guard Armories.

          • Paul Lucas

            If you go down to La Purisima Church on Hewes in Orange, you will see the new sanctuary a few years ago. The dedication plaque on the front ofthat sanctuary is listed with the names of those Vietnamese refugees who were brought to Orange County from Camp Pendalton DP camp. So, in essence helping those in need can have some payback in spades. Thus, I am in favor of helping those in need as I have been taught from my church, my family, my experience and my neighbors.

          • LFOldTimer

            There’s a world of difference between your average Vietnamese refugee and a paranoid schizophrenic or a manic-depressive off his meds. I agree that we had (have) an obligation (as a society) to help both. You and I apparently disagree over the method used to accomplish that. I don’t believe that we have to hurt one group to help another. That’s all. We should be smarter than that. And then the government enters the stage. heh.

      • David Zenger

        If there is ever a sports complex on the Karcher site i will grease myself up and swim the Catalina Channel.

        That site will be high-density housing.

        • LFOldTimer

          Or whatever sort of housing that will bring the most profit to those who pay off the pols. 🙂

        • Paul Lucas

          Im afraid you may be right and it will be super high end too.

          • David Zenger

            You might be wrong. Pringle has lobbied on behalf of both AMCAL and Jamboree Housing in the past. These are so-called “affordable” housing developers.

    • Greg Diamond

      You know who the niño in “El Niño” is, right? If the rain were supposed to start falling by Thanksgiving it would be called something like “El Pavo.”

      • LFOldTimer

        Semantics have no correlation to the weather, Greg. They’re mutually exclusive. If you research previous El Nino’s you would know that we had substantial rain in SoCal by this time in the Fall season. I’m not the only one questioning these doomsday predictions that are conveniently stimulating the construction business (See Y2K, et. al.). Do your research. Have a good one.

      • LFOldTimer

        You know, Greg. Like ‘Globull Warming’ (what do they call it now? Climate Change?) was suppose to cause horrendous hurricanes that would obliviate Florida and the SE’ern states. Lately we’ve had the mildest hurricane season in memory. Fear entices people to spend their money.