Santana: Homeless Camp Now Keeping People From Jury Duty

Orange County’s head of superior courts has put county supervisors on notice in stark terms that the situation with the homeless encampment at the county Civic Center in downtown Santa Ana is deteriorating so badly that it may soon be a challenge to get people to show up for jury duty.

“I am becoming increasingly concerned about the negative effect that the nearby homeless encampments are having on the cooperation of citizens summoned for jury service,” wrote OC Superior Courts CEO Alan Carlson last week in a letter to county supervisors. “As the homeless population continues to grow, we are now receiving an increasing number of complaints from potential jurors who have been hesitant and, in some cases, unwilling to serve on a jury at the Central Justice Center,” Carlson wrote.

Carlson notes rising complaints from court workers and members of the public – more than a million people walk through that courthouse each year – pointing out that the south side of the courthouse has a urine smell that is “overwhelming” while court windows witness homeless people urinating and dumping “potty buckets.”

Even blood trails have been spotted, Carlson wrote.

“One Saturday several weeks ago a crew of plumbers was working on repairs for the court outside the courthouse when they were attacked by several rock-throwing homeless individuals,” Carlson wrote. “The plumbers were forced to abandon the job, and they subsequently refused to return to the court to finish their work.”

(Read Carlson’s May 17 letter on Civic Center-Central Justice Center Homeless Issues.)

Carlson’s letter is a strong rebuke to the collective victory dance by county supervisors over their very recent awakening to the homeless problem – buying a few properties, hiring a homelessness care coordinator and seeking more flexibility with state mental health funding.

It is true that after decades of inaction, county supervisors – led by their colleague Supervisor Andrew Do (who just happens to be up for re-election this year) have indeed taken some concrete steps over this year.

Do has broadly publicized his efforts (even quoting my column) in mailers to effectively help his reelection (he needs to gain a majority in the upcoming June primary to avoid a runoff).

Yet despite my repeated public warnings at how ugly the tent city is becoming at the civic center over the past year, county supervisors really haven’t done that much to change that situation on the ground.

Recently, one woman who came by the Civic Center to pay her taxes couldn’t help but stop by to publicly lambast supervisors at how they have mismanaged the area.

She’s right.

And supervisors are lucky more taxpayers don’t show up regularly to inspect the premises.

The truth is that supervisors haven’t moved anywhere near quickly enough on this issue – at least not for me.

In the year since I first challenged supervisors to start addressing the county homeless problem at their own civic center, the situation on the ground has gotten visibly worse with more people, more tents…less hope.

Keep in mind that countless numbers of non-profits have tried to engage county supervisors on addressing the problem in recent years…with little to no luck.

The governing sentiment was simple: don’t offer poor people services or you will attract more.

Using conservative ideology as a shield, Orange County supervisors just haven’t engaged in what is their main job: running a massive, regional health and social service agency.

The look of the Civic Center grounds is the clearest benchmark that county supervisors don’t want to work.

Keep in mind that supervisors’ much-publicized effort to set up a shelter on the Anaheim/Orange border won’t even be up and running for a year.

And no one knows what it will really do.

Supervisors bought the abandoned bus terminal adjacent to the Civic Center – at my public urging – but they don’t seem to be interested in using it to provide immediate services to homeless people at the Civic Center in an orderly fashion.

They barely used it to shelter the homeless during the winter storms (again, at my public pressing).

Earlier this month, Supervisor Shawn Nelson made sure to point out that the new homeless shelter means that the Fullerton National Guard Armory won’t be open this next fall.

That means county supervisors recent actions may have actually reduced the amount of available beds next fall.

I’m even a bit suspicious that the much publicized effort by supervisors Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett and Do to press the state for more flexibility on mental health funding is simply a move to get more money for local hospitals, which are known for giving to supervisors’ campaigns.

One thing is clear with politicians.

Few follow through.

Consider Supervisor Todd Spitzer’s impassioned speech at this 2012 swearing in ceremony where he called the county’s homeless situation at he civic center “shameful.”

As Spitzer enters his unopposed re-election campaign this year, that homeless situation is still very much shameful.

In fact, one recent county action may even make it worse.

In Trump-worthy fashion, county officials in recent weeks put up a large green construction fence around a large portion of the county homeless encampment near the county Treasurer-Tax Collector’s building – effectively cutting off access to what I’ve recently started calling America’s angriest KOA campground.

The new green wall has essentially pushed many of the homeless people onto the west side of the Civic Center, which is near Santa Ana City Hall and the court’s building.

So Orange County supervisors put up a wall.

And Santa Ana gets to pay for it.

It’s exactly the kind of political payback that Nelson hinted at last month expressing his own frustration with Santa Ana city officials’ lack of engagement on the homeless problem at the Civic Center as well as opposition to another homeless shelter site Nelson and county officials proposed.

While county officials told me the construction work at the civic center has been long planned, they also admit privately there was zero effort on outreach as they effectively closed off what has become a large, open-lawn campground.

Now while it may feel good to mess with the Santa Ana City Council, there are other impacts, such as the courts.

“A significant number of court staff are also expressing concerns about the health and safety conditions outside the courthouse,” Carlson wrote. “There is quite a bit of concern relating to conditions adjacent to the back entrance of the Central Justice Center and the employee parking structure near the Stadium. Staff members have witnessed the homeless emptying their “potty buckets” in the bushes near the back entrance of the courthouse, and observed feces in the bushes adjacent to the courthouse as well as in the stairwell in the library-parking garage. There is a constant puddle of urine by the east side of the building at the base of the emergency stairwell, and individuals often urinate very near the courthouse, occasionally in front of courthouse windows.”

County supervisors need to show leadership here and seriously develop the county’s own capacity to quickly and effectively take action on homelessness – especially at the Civic Center.

They do control a $6 billion bureaucracy, with nearly half of it already supposedly focused on health and social services.

There shouldn’t be a sea of homeless people at the county Civic Center.

After all, that’s why you have a public sector; because it can move quickly, effectively and economically to immediately address health and social service emergencies.

Supervisors need to embrace that challenge.

They need to stop pointing to building purchases and requests for contractors…

They should instead start living up to their campaign mail.

  • LFOldTimer

    Oh stop it.

    The Civic Center is not your front yard or your private property.

    It’s public property

    There’s nobody masturbating in front of you. hah. Quit making stuff up.

    Stop hyperventilating. You look silly doing it.

    You communicate like a snowflake.

    • Fire Power

      You obviously have never been around homeless people. What a sheltered life you live. If you actually lived where homeless dwell, you would know it is common for them to take a dump, pee and masturbate right wherever they happen to be when the urge hits. Talk about a snowflake. Get out from mommy’s basement and actually experience the world.

      • LFOldTimer

        I have some advice for you if you live where the homeless live.

        Don’t live where the homeless live.

        Duh?

        The homeless have just as much right to walk the streets of Civic Center Drive as you do. If it bothers you that much go find a job someplace else.

        • Fire Power

          Why shouldn’t live in any urban area in the US because of others peoples circumstances, mostly being mental illness or substance abuse? The homeless people have the right to walk the streets. They don’t have the right to camp in public places. They don’t have the right to carry out bodily functions in public places. What we need to go back to is forced incarceration of people that cannot take care of themselves. This is the humane solution. It keeps the public areas we all pay for clear of addicts and the mentally ill that cannot function in society and puts them somewhere they can be taken care of and monitored.

          • LFOldTimer

            Then go protest to the government. Not me. In the meantime the homeless have just as much right to public places as you do. I’m just giving you a dose of reality that you don’t like. Don’t blame me. Go speak at a government meeting and complain to the ones who are really to blame. I don’t know what to tell you. If you see somebody peeing in public – I guess call the police or something. But don’t blame other board commenters. We don’t make or enforce the dam* laws.

          • Fire Power

            Well, perhaps if people like you didn’t leave asinine comments on threads people wouldn’t rip your stupid opinions apart. Homeless people do have the SAME rights to public places I do. I don’t have the right to crap on a public side walk. I don’t have the right to masturbate in front of an elementary school or park. I don’t have the right to piss in front of a church. I don’t have the right to sleep or camp in any public space. Let us follow your own words…everyone is held to the same laws and NO ONE is above the law. Perhaps if snow flake, liberal bleeding hearts weren’t screaming from your safe spaces to let the homeless do whatever they wanted, something could be done about the real issues. Get them the F off the streets is what we need to focus on, not making accommodations.

          • LFOldTimer

            ” I don’t have the right to crap on a public side walk.”

            True. And If I saw you take a cr*p on a public sidewalk I’d probably call the cops on you. So? Do all homeless people cr*p on the sidewalk? Of course not. You’re trying to assign extreme abnormal behavior of a minute segment of a population to the entire population. Sorry, we don’t buy the hyperbole. Go to a kid’s comment board. They might believe you.

            I’m far from liberal and not even close to being a snowflake. But I do believe that the US Constitution applies to everyone, regardless of where he or she sits on the income scale. In America whether you’re a king or a pauper the US Constitution is supposed to apply equally to all. Until you understand that – you’ll feel very uncomfortable in this country.

            If you want the homeless off the streets go yell at your elected representatives. Until they listen to you, you’d better accept reality. Just because you happen to have a home it doesn’t make you better than someone who doesn’t. I know a lot of a-holes who own homes.

          • Fire Power

            The issue seems to be more of ignorance than anything else on your part. I live in the second largest city in the United States. I attended a university in this city not too far from downtown and about 11 miles from what we call “Skid Row”. This area has the largest homeless population in the United States. I volunteered in this area when I attended that university and became very familiar with the homeless. Almost all are either mentally ill or have substance abuse issues or a combination of both. This vision that homeless people are hardworking individuals down on their luck is pure nonsense. I learned during these days of volunteering that handing them food and clothing was doing nothing but attracting more of them to congregate in one area. They definitely need help, as they are ill. However, letting someone who is mentally ill do whatever they want is not helping that person.

            Let me ask you a few questions. You seem to think that homeless people do not defecate or urinate on public nor private property. Where do you suppose they take care of these bodily functions? A homeless man wakes up at 3 a.m. and has to urinate. Where does he go? A homeless person in a park across the street from an elementary school has to defecate as school is letting out and this person is a paranoid schizophrenic, what do you think they are going to do? What do you think they do when the urge to masturbate hits them? Why do you think it is that on Skid Row in Los Angeles the city health inspectors every few years declare an bio-hazard emergency and close down city blocks for days as they have to power wash, steam clean and have street sweepers running 24 hours a day? There are huge numbers of substance abuse homeless people…..Where do you suppose they shoot up? Do you suppose they care if they do it in front of children in a park or on the street? By the way, this article is about the homeless encampment in front of the civic center in Orange County. It isn’t the first one. The original one was closed due to the large number of IV drug users openly injecting themselves on the sidewalks and openly selling.

            You are talking out of both sides of your mouth. On one side you say you stand for applying the Constitution equally for all…from pauper to king. Very noble and agreeable. However, coming out the other side of your mouth you are defending the law looking the other way when a class of people break the law by camping on public grounds (illegal), loitering, and making bodily functions on public and private lands. The law is the law. No one is above it and it should be applied EQUALLY.

          • LFOldTimer

            Would anyone else vouch for your expertise on the homeless population? Doubtful.

            Oh, and did you ever graduate from the “university” that you attended? And universities come in all different shapes, sizes and qualities. Personally, I’m not impressed by anyone who tells me that they’re a college grad. Degree mills today are a dime a dozen. After a 10 minute conversation I can generally tell where they fall on the bell curve, college degree or not.

            As I previously told you – there should be outdoor toilets for the homeless to use. That would eliminate the need to relieve oneself on public or private property. If the government cannot provide shelters – the least it could do it provide toilets. That’s not even a debatable argument.

            You come up with these extreme examples – like a paranoid schizophrenic defecating across the street from a elementary school. lol. In the RARE instance that this may happen – most people have cells phones. All you need to to is call 911. Use your common sense.

            Same with public masturbation. Incredibly rare. 911 is your friend!!!!

            I’m surprise that you didn’t use the example of a homeless person levitating above public school property and sprinkling star dust on the students!!! LOL!

            Has anyone ever accused you of catastrophizing before??? 🙂

            You don’t even make any sense. You extrapolate extreme abnormal behavior of a minuscule number of homeless people to their homeless entire population. You would have made a great resource during the witch hunts of the 17th Century. lol.

            A growing population of teachers take indecent liberties with their students. So should be suspect all teachers of engaging in this practice and target them? LOL!

            Come on. Use whatever common sense God gave you.

          • Fire Power

            I understand you probably come from a small town in the south or midwest and have ZERO experiance with homeless people but YOU are going to tell me about what homeless people do or don’t do. Have you ever even seen a homeless person, except what you have seen on television?

            You first claimed that it was ridiculous to think that homeless people defecate on the sidewalks. Then you change your story to you think that they should be provided toilets. Why? If they aren’t defecating in the parks and public and private properties, why would they need toilets? You said it was an extreme or ridiculous example I gave that homeless people defecate on sidewalks but Los Angeles routinely shuts down entire city blocks because of bio-hazards caused by the homeless. What do you suppose these bio-hazards are? Extrapolate extreme abnormal behavior of a minuscule number of homeless people to their homeless entire population? What are you talking about? The vast majority of homeless people are mentally ill. And a HUGE percentage of these are schizophrenics. This is not abnormal behavior amongst this group. Defecating in public, masturbating, urination will hardly get an eyebrow raise in downtown Los Angeles. By the way, if you do call the police in Los Angeles or Orange County or even most of California to report such behavior, it will be a consultation by the police. There will be no arrest. They will be told to keep moving or find a bathroom to do that business in. That is only if the police show up. One would most likely be told on the phone when reporting such behavior that it is not a crime to be homeless. Once again, that whole applying the law equally. You or I would be arrested immediately.
            Some advice: Stick to things you know about to comment on. You never being around homeless people but wanting to tell everyone all about them is making you sound ridiculous.

          • LFOldTimer

            You sound like you have a homeless phobia. Maybe you should find a hobby to divert your attention elsewhere. Try gardening or bicycling or painting. It may do wonders for you and your peace of mind.

            Your claim that all the homeless are using the sidewalk as their bathroom

            is pure hysteria. On occasion I walk through Civic Center where hundreds of homeless live. I’ve never seen a turd on the sidewalk or a homeless person peeing or masturbating in public. I’ve never seen a street shut down due to “bio-hazards” caused by the homeless. That’s laughable. In fact, I’ve lived in big cities all my life and have never seen one homeless person ever engage in those activities you describe. Again, in the rare event that it happens if it bothers you call the authorities.

            If the police aren’t doing their job that’s not the fault of the homeless. Go complain to your city council or the Board of Supervisors. Blaming the homeless for the cops not doing their job is pretty stupid if you ask me.

            Again, I suggest you find a diversionary hobby. You appear obsessed over the homeless. Maybe you should stop hanging around them so much and socialize with regular people. That may help too.

            Good luck in your search for serenity.

          • Fire Power

            You sound like a leftist cuck who goes out of their way to defend the actions of others in order to lick the boots of the idol of political correctness.
            You didn’t answer the question: WHERE DO HOMELESS PEOPLE DEFECATE OR URINATE IF THEY DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO TOILETS?

            You walk through the Santa Ana civic center and have never seen any of the above? How do you manage to walk with your eyes closed? Never seen a drug sale? Never seen a man with a needle in his arm? Tap dancing Jesus Christ they closed the first encampment because of this. Are you going to take children to this?

            I’m not blaming the homeless for anything. They are junkies and mentally ill. It is 100% the fault of the city, state and feds for the plight of the homeless now. The problem is none of them will do anything except point the finger at each other as to who’s responsibility it is to take care of them. The city (police) won’t do anything as they don’t want to fill the jails and the jails would be 100% filled and over flowing if they did deal with the crimes of the homeless. The state won’t do anything because they can’t get money to hospitalize them anymore from the feds. Which, of course, is why the mental hospitals, which were equipped to deal with these mentally ill people, opened their doors and threw everyone out the door. Where do you think these people went? Where do you think the next generations of mentally ill went….yep, to the streets and parks. The feds of course throw it back to the states saying it is their citizens and they need to pay. Talking to the city council or board of supervisors is a solution of one with a childish brain.

            I suggest a hobby yourself. You seem obsessed with wanting to keep the homeless on the streets and breaking the laws and wanting to look the other way. Perhaps this cycle of BLM meetings and protesting nonsense is effecting your mindset.

          • LFOldTimer

            Now I’m a “leftist cuck”? ha. That only goes to show how out-of-touch you truly are. 🙂

            Where would you defecate if you had no toilet to do your dirty business in? Or is yours full of helium and float into the clouds??? lol.

            The obvious answer to your dilemma would be to provide toilets for the homeless. But I guess that elementary solution flies below your radar. lol.

            So what is your real unspoken opinion? To round up everyone without a home and throw them in a gulag??? lol.

            Why, pray tell, did you spend so much of your purported time around the homeless? To photograph them defecating, urinating or masturbating in public??? I just don’t sense your compassion. lol.

            If I am ever homeless do me a big favor – don’t ever come to help me!!!! Thank you. LOL!

    • Fire Power

      You are right. It is not my property and not the property of ANYONE else to camp on, take a crap on or rub one out in front of children.it is not the property of the mentally ill or lazy or the social justice warriors, like yourself, to whine about. It is public property.

  • Michael Sanches

    Homelessness has been around forever in this country and is not going away. It is only now seen as a stigma. In the past we have had gypsies, mountain men, wagon trains, even cowboys on horseback with their bedrolls. And, don’t forget the Native Americans who were essentially living the nomad lifestyle. Some live this way out of necessity and some live this way out of choice.

    The county has a right to dictate places the homeless cannot set up camp. I don’t blame people not wanting to smell walls of urine or taking their kids to parks where the homeless hang out. However, in return, the county is obligated to have open areas where camps can be set up. Like a park, they should provide some port-a-potties and trash cans. A water spigot would be nice, too. Dog parks have them. Such places would not only be for bed rolls and/or tents, but people living in their cars, too. We have a huge River channel running through our county that is good enough for golf courses for rich people. Why not a few homeless areas up and down the riverbed? It can be cleared during flood times and it can be patrolled by the local cops. I’m sure there are other vacant areas that can hold camps. Places get foreclosed on all the time. We also have the Santa Ana mountains on the east edge of the county that has a lot of open space. Some can be roped/fenced off for the homeless. Even Anaheim Hills has a lot of open space. Having various spaces around the county would allow people to stay connected to families, schools, work, churches, and other local activities that help them.

    Having the homeless concentrated in 12- 24 such areas around the county would also help volunteers have access to them to help them. With such areas in place, police, speaking for the people, could demand that the homeless not camp in inappropriate spots such as the Civic Center, parks, etc. Such areas would also be safe for the homeless since they could be patrolled by the host city. And, if someone is camped in an inappropriate spot or found sleeping in their car, they could be directed to the nearest such safe public homeless area.

    We seem to think the best thing to do is nothing until we can get apartments for all the homeless. Meanwhile, they rot away. Even the new center in Anaheim is not a solution. I volunteered in the Midwest and there are:

    1. Many who have mental problems and will be screwed by society until we give the notion that they have a right to suffer.
    2. Many who simply prefer the homeless lifestyle and will not partake of any “solutions.”
    3. Many who have drug/alcohol problems and will be evicted from homeless shelters and programs.

    With homeless areas set aside for them and a minimum of facilities (port-a-potties and trash cans) and safety, at least they won’t rot away and will have a chance to eventually turn their lives around, or at least be safe. We owe them at least that much. And, it is doable. And, it is doable, now.

  • SantaAnaIsBroke

    It is not just Supervisors with poor actions. The City of Santa Ana has done little as well. In fact, they just gave $10 million total, at the April 19th and May3rd CC meetings with city funds and vouchers, to the firm which employees a former Planning Commissioner and who is a Cal Berkeley buddy of Councilmember Sarmiento. This money was for only 69 affordable units which because they are income restricted, no homeless person would be eligible for. To get this housing money, Santa Ana agreed to let another developer put 1200 units of housing right under the John Wayne flight path. The affordable units BTW are being placed in an area that even Sarmiento said is “high crime area”. Yep, put all the poor people next to even more poor people. This goes against current research that shows placing affordable housing in bad areas hurts those residents in the subsidized housing more than helps the neighborhood. But Santa Ana City Council is not exactly bright enough to legislate through intelligent research based policy:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/05/opinion/where-should-a-poor-family-live.html

    So Santa Ana will end up with another bad development in a bad area while homelessness increases. How much could be done to alleviate the Civic Center issues with $10 million?

  • Jacki Livingston

    I resent the implication that homelessness equals lawlessness. A few bad apples, breaking the law, acting out. No different than any group, you will have the good, the bad and the downright ugly. The county could have installed portable bathrooms a long time ago. The county pays a huge amount for sheriffs to protect the public buildings. You know where I used to see them? Yeah, sitting on their cellphones or a computer, doing personal stuff. Law breakers should be arrested and punished. They should be slapped with a restraining order that says they cannot come back. This isn’t rocket science. The fact is, good people who are homeless are in need of law enforcement protection by the removal and arrest of law breakers. As to jurors? Put on your big girl/boy Underoos and do your civic duty. I have been down there many times for court, for Grand Jury and other business. It isn’t some horrible and unsafe place. There are some solutions, but you will never see them, because the BoS and agency heads like Ryan at SSA have not figured out how to get some goodies from the feds for this. It is such a joke. Oh, and a large number of those folks are classified as “disabled” and get County payout money that can be stopped if they break the law. Bust a few, ban them from 500 around the center and you will see some changes.

  • George Shaw

    Well, I think homelessness in Orange County and the homeless settlement at the Civic Center are two different, albeit related, issues. Perhaps they hope that by establishing a shelter some distance away, the encampment will relocate. If that is the case, I am very, very skeptical. Many factors enter into the equation that determines where homeless people spend time and, more to the point, the homeless population at the Civic Center is a fraction of the homeless population in the area.
    With that said, I think a shelter close to the Civic Center would make more sense to ameliorate that particular issue. At the very least it would provide a better base for operations and a place to go to the bathroom and wash-up. But what is really needed is case workers to go into the encampment, onto the riverbeds, and connect people with beefed up services… temporary housing, psychiatric care, addiction counseling, job placement… rehabilitation. To this end, counselors should also reach out to families and non-governmental organizations, such as churches and charities. Obviously, this will require a lot of money, money that will, to some extent, need to be redirected from other public safety institutions. And good luck with that! Moreover, law enforcement should NOT be the ones engaging with the homeless and mentally ill. They are not equipped, in any sense of the word, to deal with these communities in a manner that reflects society’s values. And they probably don’t like it because it is not what they signed up for…
    And speaking of values, I do not think that the lack of a speedy solution is attributable to conservative ideology. I think it is the result of a cultural milieu within the county establishment that, despite political pretenses, stubbornly rejects the influx of empathy into the electorate. The people running the show do not reflect the increasing empathetic people they represent. This may be because they find their support in special interests and grievance agitators or it could be that the older generation (significantly less empathetic than the people coming of age today) pass the baton and empowers like minded younger people who are like minded and/or have been groomed away from trends of empathy. (I do not mean to suggest that age is a determinate for one’s empathy) Either way, the result is a minority ruling class that is insulated from the values of a community.
    To put it simply. Despite changing attitudes among the public, lack of empathy is entrenched at the top. They just don’t get it. When I write empathetic, they read pathetic. Popular values will eventually find their way to the halls of power in Orange County, probably in something like 10 to 15 years when we start to see a serious demographic shift to Millennials.

    • Kathleen Tahilramani

      Very interesting read. Well stated. Thank you!

    • Jacki Livingston

      Clearly you do not understand SSA. You think that case workers who do approvals of benefits are “social workers”. They are not. Further, downtown Santa Ana is the worst place, since SSA packed up their little red wagons and moved to a very luxurious building in Anaheim, near the Angels Stadium. There is no welfare office in downtown Santa Ana. Period.

      Case workers make about 25 bucks an hour. You want them to go into a population that consists of sick, filthy, mentally ill and even criminal felons, and spend all day trying to get any information, ID, records, verifications…are you kidding? Social Workers, who are paid three times that, are not viable. It is like throwing gas on a fire. If I ruled the world, I would buy the bus station, and several store buildings across the street. Inside, I would have a laudremat, pet care, social workers, food pantry, clothing distribution from partnering with manufacturers, computer banks, phone set up and mail boxes. You have to begin at the beginning. Beauticians could do community service, people could work off their probation service….it would work. But the county doesn’t want common sense. They want magical unicorns fluffing fairy dust. From the ground up, you have to make sweeping change. Partnerships with companies like Tide, Levi, Hanes and more could help people get clean, feel better and working towards a brighter day.

  • Kathleen Tahilramani

    I worked for years at and around the Civic Center. This is not a new problem. Employees have complained for years and years. Yes, there have been incidents of employees being harassed and harmed. Bottom line: The Board of Supervisors past and present could care less about the difficulty that employees face day in and day out working at in and around the Civic Center. In my experience, I was never bothered by any of the homeless folks – never. I treated them with respect and they returned the same respect.I can’t say the same for the Board and numerous past and present highly placed county staff.

    • Jacki Livingston

      Well stated. *applause*

  • LFOldTimer

    My guess this is probably a prelude to attempt a ban on the unwashed population from congregating around the county seat of government. Has there been even one report of a homeless person causing harm to a juror? And asking for a quarter is not a harmful event. But those from the burbs rarely see the underbelly of our society and it probably makes them feel uncomfortable. So what?

    If the homeless population was a dangerous menace the county employees (who probably outnumber the jurors by more than 20 to 1) would have demanded security escorts upon arrival and departure from work.

    The growing homeless population just reminds people who have homes and jobs just how badly our society is deteriorating. It likely conjures up lots of emotions inside that most people would rather avoid.

    My belief is that the Kraemer Place shelter will be a catalyst for the Supervisors to eventually place restrictions on homeless people loitering in view of the elite and those entering the government buildings.

    Move the problem to Anaheim. Convenient.

    Out of sight, out of mind.

    Final solution? Ban the homeless from occupying County seat of government land. They did it to the Occupy Wall Street crowd. What makes you think they can’t do it to the politically impotent?

    Wait for it.

    • Fire Power

      Let’s hope they do and stop dragging their feet.

  • OCservant_Leader

    Orange County is the most wealthy County in the USA? Look at it! Walk around to all the County-leased buildings. It is ghetto. This is what a third world disease epidemic smells like.

    This is what corruption by government officials looks like. Look at them! All their staff are double-triple dipping too- taking the money but not doing any work that benefits the public!

    The Individuals in power have pocketed and diverted the tax dollars supposed to go to infrastructure and services for the public. This isn’t a case where there’s no tax base so Where is the money?

    Thank you to the taxpayer who addressed the BOS about the conditions and the run-around she got -OC style. It is outrageous.

    My experience working in OC definitely shook my faith in government.

    • UnitedWeStand

      The people in charge of “government” in Orange County are all Conservatives, 98%. Need I say more?

      • LFOldTimer

        Let’s not make a party specific issue out of this. The democrats talk a good game. But their actions are no better. Look at any city/county with democrats in charge. You would see the same problem – sometimes even worse. Not defending republicans. Just relating an observation. The entire political system is broken.

      • OCservant_Leader

        Agreed. Ideologically-Conservatives hate government and don’t believe government should be providing human services.

        Their only interest is themselves. The BOS’s parking garage and offices are a fortress. The Civic Center disaster does not impact them.

        They look out on the masses from their offices- With a gratifying grin. They are there to fill their pockets full of tax dollars and escape to their gated communities. Winning!

    • Jacki Livingston

      *standing ovation*