Shawn Nelson Had Homeless Camp Removed From Riverbed Near Honda Center, Emails Show

County of Orange

Before and after photos of a project Nelson requested near the Santa Ana riverbed, as depicted in "before" and "after" photos by a county public works official.

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Newly-released emails show that, at the request of Supervisor Shawn Nelson, county officials replaced a homeless encampment with a pile of rocks last summer along the Santa Ana River near the Honda Center.

“One update that may be of interest to Supervisor Nelson is the first location he visited on our tour along the Santa Ana River just north of Katella,” county public works manager AJ Jaime wrote in a Sept. 7 email.

“All maintenance work that the Supervisor requested during our tour will be completed by next week, please see attached before and after photos.”

The “Before Photos” sent by Jaime show the homeless camp and the “After Photos” show an extended section that had been replaced with boulders.

“Before” and “after” photos Jaime attached in his message to Nelson’s office.

Jaime was responding to a request from a Nelson aide for “any updates I can provide our constituents” about the riverbed.

(Click here to read the emails and here for the attachment with before and after photos.)

The emails and photos were obtained through a California Public Records Act request by Mohammed Aly, a lawyer and advocate for the homeless, who provided copies to Voice of OC.

Nelson didn’t return phone calls to discuss the issue, and county staff have declined to comment on what he asked them to do.

Supervisor Shawn Nelson

The emails raise questions about whether Nelson also directed a similar removal last month of a large homeless encampment along the river south of Angel Stadium, which sparked protests, an arrest, and at least two federal lawsuits against the county. County officials have maintained that camp, which was adjacent to the 57 Freeway, was replaced with piles of rocks and gravel as part of a flood control project.

In a statement Tuesday, county spokeswoman Carrie Braun said all maintenance work along the riverbed is done “to maintain the channel and protect the community in the event of a flood.”

She declined to answer any questions about what Nelson requested or when he requested it, either for the project by the Honda Center or the one south of Angel Stadium.

“Questions related to requests made by a Supervisor should be directed to their office,” Braun wrote. The five county supervisors, including Nelson, are the ultimate bosses of county workers.

Neither Nelson nor his staff responded to a follow-up request for answers to the questions Braun deferred to them.

(Click here to read the county’s full statement.)

Nelson’s action last summer prompted a law enforcement sweep that apparently led dozens of homeless to leave the Honda Center area in August and join other camps further south along the river, near Angel Stadium. Some apparently lost their belongings after they were seized by officials.

How to deal with the county’s large homeless population living along the Santa Ana River is an ongoing controversy involving homeless advocates, county supervisors, local businesses, residents, and cyclists who use the river bike trail. There is a shortage of shelter beds and housing for homeless, with just over 1,600 housing beds and about 600 walk-in shelter beds for over 3,000 single homeless men and women.

The encampment discussed in the email was located north of Katella Avenue, along the east side of the Santa Ana river and across from the Honda Center arena. It was home to several dozen homeless people who lived on county government property in a line of tents between a raised grass berm and a parking lot fence, according to the Orange County Register, photos of the camp and interviews with homeless people.

Officials say the riverbank camps have drawn numerous complaints from neighboring residents and businesses about drug use, trash, noise and small fires. At the same time, homeless advocates said the county’s shortage of shelter beds and housing, along with cities’ enforcement of anti-camping laws, has left no real alternative for many of the homeless people there.

Braun declined to give the date of Nelson’s tour of the area near the Honda Center and said it was up to Nelson’s office to release it.

On Aug. 15, officials apparently followed through on Nelson’s directive, forcing dozens of homeless people to leave the area before maintenance crews started their work, according to the OC Register and videos posted by activists at the time. Sheriff’s deputies stood watch as people removed their belongings.

In another video, a homeless man says people returned to the camp that day only to discover their belongings had been taken by county officials.

Around the same time, county officials began locking gates and closing public access along the same east side of the river, from Katella Ave. south along the 57 Freeway to the 22 Freeway, where there were other homeless encampments. Most of that area was evicted by the county last month, with rocks and boulders replacing the tents and tarps that sheltered the homeless. The evictions sparked lawsuits, protests, and an arrest.

It’s unclear whether Nelson initiated the later riverbank evictions south of Angel Stadium.

It’s also unclear which constituents he was responding to when he asked officials to replace the homeless camp north of Katella near the Honda Center.

In a statement, Aly said the emails show county officials have been misleading the public when they say homeless people are evicted from the riverbanks because the area is needed to store rocks for flood control. 

“According to [county statements], it’s by accident that the encampments happen to be in the so-called ‘project area.’ Not the case,” Aly said.

“The county’s ‘project’ was to target the encampments,” he said. “Homeless people make the mistake of existing in a place that was inconvenient for the county’s other, more influential constituents.”

County news releases have repeatedly called their efforts south of Angel Stadium a public works “flood control channel maintenance and security project.”

One such release, announcing a settlement last month with the ACLU, says the county project “focuses” on ensuring that the county “is prepared for flood-fighting activities.” Toward the end of the release, it says “the County is aware that there are homeless encampments in the project area.”

The county’s statements lack credibility, said Aly. “[Their] narrative is debunked by these emails.”

In response, Braun said: “The County has continuously reiterated the fact that the OC Public Works project begun earlier this year from Orangewood to Hesperian is for flood control maintenance and security.

“This exact area has been previously utilized for stockpiling of flood control materials, is private County maintenance road that is restricted from public access, and is one of the County’s largest and most central points for the flood control material storage.”

Asked if she can say Nelson did not request the project south of Angel Stadium, she again deferred comment to Nelson’s office.

A homeless man who said he witnessed the eviction north of Katella near the Honda Center said it happened quickly.

Sylvester Gomez said multiple law enforcement agencies participated in evicting the homeless people in a matter of hours. He compared it to a fast-paced military operation, saying it was like a “shock and awe” or “blitzkrieg” campaign to get homeless people out of the area.

As for the “maintenance” project Nelson requested, Gomez said: “They’re just using that as an excuse to get us out.”

When their camp was broken up, he said many homeless people moved further south, closer to Angel Stadium, as well as to the west side of the river.

County officials say their maintenance work that Nelson requested at the camp north of Katella was performed between late August and mid-September.

“The individuals encamped in the area were provided approximately two weeks’ notice before being asked to voluntarily relocate from the area,” the county statement says.

“The individuals were told to take their personal property, and any personal property they wished to have stored by OC Public Works was collected and made available for 90 days at the Portola Yard. Additional items that were left behind were treated as debris that was disposed of by OC Public Works crews.”

At the time of the August clear-out that Nelson requested, the county had no shelter option for most of the single adults living on the streets. Its Courtyard shelter didn’t open in Santa Ana until October, and has since become heavily occupied. And the county’s winter armory shelters – which generally don’t allow the pets that many homeless people have – didn’t open until December.

The camp north of Katella ran adjacent to a bike path frequented by cyclists from across the county, as well as parking lots for an Extended Stay America hotel, an office building, and the Cinemark Century Stadium 25 movie theater.

It was also across the street from the Sheriff’s Department’s public pistol range and regional training facility for law enforcement. And it would have been visible from the Honda Center’s parking lot.

The clear-out also came about two weeks before the Disneyland Half-Marathon, in which participants ran along the west side of the river on Sept. 3 and would have been able to see the encampment.

Marathon spokeswoman Jessica Baker didn’t return a phone message asking if Disney had a role in getting the camp cleared out.

There was another sweep of homeless camps on the west side of the river north of Katella on Sept. 2, the day before the half marathon, according to a video by homeless activist Lou Noble.

Police were on hand as inmate workers from the county jail cleared out homeless people’s belongings on the western side of the river north of Katella, according to Noble’s video.

Noble claimed the homeless people were being cleared out because the Disneyland event’s route would be going along that section of the riverbed and officials didn’t want participants to see the homeless encampment.

County officials disclosed the emails to Aly on March 3, but not the photos that showed the before and after images of the encampment. Aly requested that attachment on March 10 and received it March 15.

After repeated public criticism and legal battles from advocates, Aly said Nelson called him and other activists last week to express a desire to work with them.

The outreach is welcome, Aly said, adding he and others would continue to press Nelson and the rest of the supervisors to take stronger action to help homeless people. He said he and other activists are ready to work with them.

Nick Gerda covers county government and Santa Ana for Voice of OC. You can contact him at ngerda@voiceofoc.org.

  • Ed Romero

    Why didn’t the Board of Supervisor’s REMOVE those Drug Dealing, Marijuana Smoking, Cocaine Snorting Racist Lesbians that ran the County of Orange and the Orange County Probation Department for years. There was the Chief Probation Officer that Smoked so much Marijuana at her residence in the City of Anaheim that her neighbors would call our Probation Department Records Unit complaining about all the Marijuana fumes floating over to their house’s. Then there was that Asst. Chief Probation Officer who use to Smoke so much Marijuana while on duty at the Probation Department that my co-workers gave her the AKA/.Marijuana Nancy, she had her very own Gang of Drug Dealers, most of them Deputy Probation Officer’s making Drug Deliveries right into the Office while on duty in Brown Paper Lunch Bags. Then there was the Los Pinos Detention Center, there was so much Drug Abuse up their by all those Drug Addicted Lesbians that worked there that my co-workers gave that Detention Center the aka: The Lesbian Drug Den. Everyone knew what was going on, including that Deputy Sheriff/Security Guard that use to say “Someone is Smoking Marijuana on the 5th Floor and I don’t know what to do” apparently his Boss the O C Sheriff didn’t know either. The Drug Addicted Lesbians were led by that Racist former Chairperson of the O C GOP, who sent ARMED GUARDS to the Voting Polls in the Hispanic Communities back in the 70’s to suppress the Hispanic Voters. If ARMED GUARDS were needed anywhere it was at the Lesbian Bar in Garden Grove where the Chief Probation Officer and all her Drug Addicted friends hung out, she would write out a check to the Bar Owner and the Doors would be Locked, the Lights turned off, the Music Turned up and a MATTRESS thrown on the Pool Table. Everyone knew about this but NO ONE DARED say a word or take any action against them because no one wanted a phone call from the Nixon or Reagan White House.

    • Dan Madrid

      are you sure it wasn’t just medicinal?….ajajaja

  • Darrick Vincent

    Sure looks much better now doesn’t it?

  • Paul Ramage

    Get off your butts. Get a job. Take a shower .become a productive member of society !!!!!!

    • verifiedsane

      Were you referencing the BoS, the Homeless, or the State Legislature with that comment? 🙂

  • astar2b

    Finally some action! Thank you BoS…!

    • ..yeah, thanks a lot..they’ve relocated them further South down in Santa Ana/Fountain Valley.

  • Greg Lamon

    The diagnosis of what led to the county bankruptcy in 1994 included a finding that a problem existed in managing county affairs because no one person was truly in charge – responsibility and authority was fragmented. So, the Supervisors adopted the CEO organizational model to fix responsibility for running the county on a day to day basis with the CEO. Since then the Supervisors have eroded the CEO authority by meddling directly in the operation of county departments or agencies, usually under the pretext of “district prerogative” (a system in which we have 5 county governments – each district a fiefdom of a County Supervisor) and “constituent services”. The fact that the Public Works Department would deploy significant resources on a project like this at the behest of but one Supervisor is proof that no one is in charge and county departments are often scampering around trying to please a Supervisor or his/her unelected aides. The current CEO should insist that a vote of 3 Supervisors, in a public session, should occur before a project like this one, or any other for that matter, can be implemented. The Board should embrace such a policy.

    • LFOldTimer

      You make an excellent point.

      But we already knew there was no real leadership on the Board.

      Only a collusion of corruption.

    • OCservant_Leader

      Great comment and insight into the OC floating shipwreck.

    • OCservant_Leader

      Yea-the CEO model doesn’t work because he knows who writes his (& his many family members) checks on direct deposit. If Frank Kim keeps his mouth shut he may be able to retire at 55. He and his family have become filthy rich in doing so.

      So who is going to take on this BOS ?

      Here lies the problem.

    • David Zenger

      The problem is a completely politicized board and a feckless and politicized CEO position in which professionalism is trumped by politics every time.

      Tom Mauk was the poster boy for this dysfunction.

  • Punk Rock Patriot

    These are nothing more than drug camps for criminals and the people that live near the area all suffer from crime and scary drug addicts roaming around everywhere. Good for you Mr. Nelson. I have no idea why this was ever tolerated in the first place

    • LFOldTimer

      What you say has some truth to it.

      But we must give them a chance as a civilized society.

      Offer them work (even if it’s menial). And in return give them shelter, food and medical care. And require them to drug test too. No druggies allowed.

      If they refuse to participate in the program to improve their lives – toss them overboard.

  • Dwight Smith

    it is important to count and classify OC’s “walk-in” shelter beds. On April 15, when both armories close and exit almost 400 people, the County will have only 400 such beds at the Courtyard. The number of available beds for those people will, as usual, be zero.

    • LFOldTimer

      Isn’t the County homeless shelter at Kraemer Pl. in Anaheim opening soon. I understand that shelter will house about 200.

      Still I agree. There are not enough shelters to house the homeless. That’s the reason I have advocated for every city in OC to have it’s own homeless shelter – contingent upon the homeless population in their respective cities.

      But I believe all able-bodied homeless people should have to work to obtain shelter, food and medical care. The basics. If you make it easy to obtain benefits the homeless population will grow exponentially and the problem will become unmanageable.

      That’s why I suggested a CCC-like program. GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO PULL THEMSELVES OUT OF THE HOLE!

      MAKE THEM WORK!!!

      Just like regular people you see on the freeways every morning driving to their workplace.

      If they choose not to work – let them rot.

      • JustMe

        The majority are drug addicted and do not want help. I have a Nephew who is in that mix who is drug addicted and now homeless because we can’t have him in our homes anymore because he steals. We have tried programs and after 4 years of continuous trying, failing on his part, and many many MANY things stolen (along with money), we, as a family, had to turn our backs from him and let him go. He’s among those living along the riverbed. You can’t change the people unless they want to change. You can have a bleeding heart all you want, but unless you have first hand experience with these people, you do not actually KNOW what is going on. You could give these people 20 acres to live on, each with a nice little apartment, and they would have them trashed in 2 months. You can’t cure a person who doesn’t want to be cured. Those people just need to die.

        • LFOldTimer

          I understand your point of view and it has some merit and truth that no one can deny with a straight face.

          But I’ve seen people turn their lives around with my own eyes. It’s a very individual thing. Humans make mistakes in their lives and deserve a second chance to turn the ship around. It’s difficult to judge unless you’ve walked in their shoes. You have no idea what they’ve gone though.

          I think the truly mentally ill with devastating illnesses like schizophrenia need quite a lot of hand-holding. They fall in a special category. If they have no family to help them I think it’s on us. I believe we should give them help whether they want it or not. If that includes forced institutionalization for a period of time until they’re stabilized and on the road to recovery, so be it. And they should be monitored on a regular basis.

          With that said I said a “second chance”. Not a third, fourth or fifth chance for those who do not suffer from severe mental illness. At some point they’re on their own. According to your story your nephew seems to fall in that group. Being an “addict” is no excuse. Addiction is a choice. It would be very hard to turn a family member away in need, however, there comes a point when you have to cut him loose. So I understand where you’re coming from. A very hard choice.

          If we are truly a civilized society we have to take care of our own – to a point. Everyone deserves a chance to reinvent him or herself. And most need help to get that done.

        • Lori Moore

          My kids had friends that chose to live down there as well because their parents wont allow drugs in their home. They talk like its a party down there. The homeless crusaders enforce some of the parents & families tough love, no enabling by delivering food, needles & blankets… Then pat themselves on the back for being so kind to the needy. Able bodied young men and women that choose not to work, not to follow laws….chose drugs. I agree schizophrenia and other devastating mental issues is something different all together… Do gooder’s please do something good…see who youre enabling, don’t assist them in allowing drugs to be there most important thing.

      • Paul Ramage

        Amen

  • Steve Morreale

    After watching Orange County law enforcement provide transportation and camping supplies to the homeless from all the other cities and relocate them on the Santa Ana river trail for the past two years, it seems that the county has finally made it’s move.
    Homeless people, regardless of why they are homeless, prefer to remain unnoticed by the public. The county is, now that they have put thousands of them in place, engaged in a preplanned concerted effort to drive them into direct confrontation with home and business owners in the area. LOOK FOR NEW SALES TAX MEASURES TO BE ADVOCATED TO DEAL WITH THIS MANUFACTURED PROBLEM.
    We’re placing our home up for sale and relocating our lives (and our disposable income) out of Orange County.

    • OCservant_Leader

      They do appear to be hearding them into one location don’t they. I hope the next step isn’t the showers or the ovens…good god!

      • Steve Morreale

        I’ve seen police vans unloading dozens of them with new tents tucked under their arms. I use the river trail frequently for road biking. It’s become too dangerous for that. I now ride the San Gabriel river trail instead. No such problem there.
        Beyond using these unfortunate people for political gain, don’t expect the county to do much of anything.

        • OCservant_Leader

          Yea – the BOS clearly has a plan –they just won’t tell the public what it is and I think that’s BS!

          • LFOldTimer

            I wonder how Norberto’s court case turned out today? It was today, wasn’t it?

            Sure hope he has good news.

            It’s a shame when the public has to force information from our elected leaders through the courts.

          • OCservant_Leader

            Agreed.

        • Rain Lane

          I sent you a message on Facebookhoping to get your input

      • verifiedsane

        what’s wrong with a good shower and nice oven baked pizza? 🙂

    • LFOldTimer

      “LOOK FOR NEW SALES TAX MEASURES TO BE ADVOCATED TO DEAL WITH THIS MANUFACTURED PROBLEM.”

      Just like Los Angeles has done even though the city is running an annual spending deficit of $224 million dollars – while providing MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars to fund immigration attorneys for illegal aliens to fight their CIVIL deportation cases!!!! LOL!

      The government is incredibly corrupted. Try to get the government to provide you (a citizen) with a FREE attorney to represent you in a CIVIL matter!!! LOL!

      Yet the anti-American liberals promote it!!!!

      Go figure!!!

  • VP Mary

    Thank you Supervisor Shawn Nelson.

    • OCservant_Leader

      BOS Staffer- shut it!

      • VP Mary

        Wrong

      • VP Mary

        Wrong! I merely want these poor homeowners and those adversely affected by this out of control homeless situation to get some relief. If you’re such a servant leader why don’t you house the homeless and put your money where your mouth is…?

        • OCservant_Leader

          Madame- I was a Servant Leader in OC government for almost 2 decades. My job was to train EAs and Bldg #10 -family members appointees- only.

          You are adversely affected? Aw Call the County – Compliant line.

          Now -shut it.

          • VP Mary

            haha and now you troll the blogs playing self appointed mr big man. no one cares what you think hahaha

          • OCservant_Leader

            You would be surprised who actually watches EVERY word I say on here. Stay tuned staffer…there is more to come.

  • Yvonne Hatch

    The county should be spending money to build shelters for our homeless citizens instead of welcoming illegal aliens from Mexico & supporting them & educating their children…We need to be taking care of our own people, the legal citizens of the USA…!! SHAME ON OC & the state of CALIFORNIA. …

    • LFOldTimer

      Mayor Tait from Anaheim participated in the Action Day for Illegal Immigrants with that liberal swine Mayor Garcetti yesterday in Los Angeles – promoting everyone to PROTECT and HARBOR illegal criminals who reside in Los Angeles – which is probably about a third of the city residents. How UN-AMERICAN is that?

      Homeland Security released a recent report showing cities and counties in the USA that have released CHARGED and/or CONVICTED illegal aliens from the jails back into our community neighborhoods without contacting ICE first. Anaheim is on that list. It is a de-facto sanctuary city – just like Santa Ana.

      What really kills me is that the excuse they use for protecting illegal aliens is to make the community safer so that illegals will report crimes. Yet they release DANGEROUS illegal aliens who have been charged and/or convicted of crimes like murder, rape, assault, domestic violence, child molestation, sexual batteries, etc… back into our neighborhoods after they do their jail time or post bail!!! HOW IS CHRIST’S NAME DOES THAT MAKE THE COMMUNITY SAFER???? LOL!!!

      We have American-haters running local governments who promote this nonsense. All of them should be arrested and charged with HARBORING illegal criminals from justice – just like you or I would be if we knowingly allowed a criminal fugitive from the law safe harbor in our homes!!!

      This is outrageous. And anyone who doesn’t side with the Trump administration on deporting these illegal alien criminals who perpetrate VIOLENCE on our communities is ANTI-AMERICAN!

      Shame on all of them!

      And shame on Mayor Tait for grandstanding on this issue for votes and meanwhile defying the laws and releasing these illegal criminals back into our OC neighborhoods!!!!

      You are 100% correct, Yvonne. It is UNCONSCIONABLE that our so-called “leaders” are spending money to PROTECT AND HARBOR illegal foreigners instead of spending that money on our own underclass and homeless citizens!!!

      I hope they burn in hell.

    • verifiedsane

      Though, your shared premise has merit, I would differ with you on the following point: The problem of Illegal immigration encapsulates populations from all over the world (Central & South America, Asia, Northern Africa, and Eastern Europe to name just a few contributors) ….pointing the illegal alien finger solely at Mexico (a documented major geographical gateway) really diminishes the true scale and scope of the substantial negative social and economic ramifications/impact that illegal immigration brings to & upon America.

      The sole “Mexico” blame game also provides immigration enforcement dissenters/detractors with the inaccurate and false ammunition & arguments that those that support enforcement of immigration laws & our national sovereignty are only focused upon a narrow racial, geographical, and cultural profile. Often times targeted generalizations and poorly chosen words have unanticipated/unintended consequences.

      One of the problems we face with uncontrolled & unregulated immigration (as you have mentioned), is that illegal immigration creates a further/additional burden to our already limited and overtaxed public resources, while at the same time limiting opportunities for the truly needy citizens of our own nation.

      • LFOldTimer

        You are absolutely correct, Verified. As I have stated many times on the comment board illegal immigration is MULTI-CULTURAL. Illegal alien criminals arrive in America from all four corners of the earth. And it is a dispute among NATIONS, not RACES!

        With that said, I have read official stats that assert over 50% of illegal foreigners residing on US soil are from Mexico.

        So while Mexico is not by any stretch of the imagination the entire problem – Mexico is a BIG part of the problem.

        The stats back this up. We need to report the facts.

      • Yvonne Hatch

        California’s problem with illegal aliens is primarily from Mexico & Central America…!! Why do we have to press 1 for English on our phones ?? This is America, English is our language. ..The Mexicans have taken over our state simply because that’s what the politicians want , more Democrat voters !!! They don’t care if they are illegal criminals. ..!! …We need to get rid of Jerry Brown & work our way down getting rid of Democrat politicians & elect some Republicans to run this state…All the Democrats have done is bancrupt this once great state… !!

        • OCservant_Leader

          Madame- have you had the pleasure of calling OC Accounting?

        • Dan Madrid

          lady. Just stop your racist rant….I would rather help illegal anyone than the homeless not willing to change. You never see illegals working a sign or begging for change….they are busy working….and I have never seen homless illegal immigrants….have you?

  • OCservant_Leader

    OC BOS Nelson – Sir – it’s the underhanded, scheming, and lying – that you and your crew continue to do as a Public Policy in response to the Homeless Crisis is the PROBLEM.

    Funny how you didn’t mention your little plan when you gave your emotional plea that you BOS are our neighbors and you are looking for solutions to the homeless too. In light of this scheme – now we now that was a load of BS.

    The public shouldn’t have to file CPRA and lawsuits just to find out how YOU are managing the County’s resources during a crisis.

    And the huge rocks placed along the fence are very attractive by the way. I want to see this Public Work’s section in the OC’s Plan to End Homelessness by 3000 – which details creative uses of rocks and flood debris to thwart human occupancy.

    • Punk Rock Patriot

      Can we put a homeless drug addict camp right by your house? You are clueless to what is happening down there.

      • OCservant_Leader

        What is your solution?

        Shooing the homeless around — won’t solve anything.

        • Lori Moore

          No how about stop spoon feeding them, enabling them. How about telling those people they have to work for the county or the city cleaning graffiti, picking up human waste left by the homeless… then they get food or.. open up your home to a few. Live the way my kids are now forced to live, looking over your shoulder, things stolen out your cars, urinating on your cars, it’s a party… forward the invitation to your neck of the woods and see how much you appreciate people bringing the food and clothing in by the barrels. I’m with Steve Morreale- time to move, they win… the nearby homeowners & tax payers are terrible people for saying so… I thank whoever thought of this storm plan, thank you from the bottom of my working heart.

          • OCservant_Leader

            Madame, please share in your infinite wisdom – what is the solution to homeless crisis in OC?

          • Punk Rock Patriot

            Honestly to get rid of the insane amount of homeless we have seen in the last 10 years would require massive changes in the thought process of the liberal herd in California. Years and years of liberal policy has caused this problem. Open borders allow drugs to flow and cartel to set up in every city in the nation. We spend 25 billion dollars a year on illegal alien welfare, education and healthcare in California alone. That money could be going to our failing dams, roads and crumbling society. We could have programs to help clean these people up and get them jobs but we keep voting for lunatics who only care about illegal immigrants and their sick and twisted liberal ideology. Basically we would have to go red as a state and that is never going to happen. So we will follow Detroit of the liberal fiscal cliff or we will just hand over our entire check and let Moonbeam give us what he feels is our share while this state is mismanaged to death!

          • OCservant_Leader

            Illegal immigration is the economic engine that built this great state. It continues because those who HIRE illlegal immigrants benefit greatly.

            The Drug War is the economic engine that supports the Prison Complex.

            Don’t mix Economics with pseudo-politics.

            The majority of the Homeless -are white Americans. Criminals, mentally ill, addicts and disabled.

            Now that we have identified the problem- what is your solution?

          • Punk Rock Patriot

            That is a total load of horse cr*p and actually you are the one mixing the economics with pseudo-politics. Americans built California and migrant workers helped but that doesn’t mean an open border policy is necessary or helps us in any way. We can a have a guest worker program without the cartels bringing drugs and the 25 billion in welfare for illegal aliens(coming by the millions) that you so conveniently dismiss like it is nothing. If migrant workers “built California” Illegals are now busting it and you can’t deny that. Also the war on drugs has always been focused on the user and the dealer. Let’s secure the border, build a wall and get the cartels out of our country and see how that works for a change. Stop the free flow of meth and heroin coming in and get these people cleaned up or they have no chance.

          • OCservant_Leader

            Immigration from Mexico has been stagnet for decades. You need to Update your rants.

            Who benefits from migrant labor? Hmmm

            And Sir – do you pay your Gardner cash?

            Does your housekeeper get a 1099?

            I didn’t think so…

          • Punk Rock Patriot

            Lol! You are so up to date that you are full of it. Yes, because if Americans had to mow their own lawn again or clean their own house California would just be crippled to a stop. That 25 billion a year is well spent. Give me a break!

  • verifiedsane

    Flood control project? I would only ponder to guess that “flood control” covers the flood of homeless looking for a place to live and sleep….Not that I’m implying that the clean up efforts completed on the public dime didn’t improve the tranquil ambience of the area….Still, one must wonder how many tax dollars were used conducting this wasted effort in futility…

    Hopefully this and other camps can be relocated expeditiously right next to one of those exclusive hilltop panoramic view neighborhoods in Irvine, or Newport Beach…I bet then we would hear the mighty roar of public outcry, and see some real substantive action being undertaken by the BoS.

    • LFOldTimer

      The government needs to create a program like the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) program like it did during the depression in the 30’s that put the underclass to work.

      In return for the work we give them shelter, food and medical care. A very good deal.

      IMO all able-bodied men and women who refuse to work for their keep can rot.

      We need to clean up the streets of the homeless. It’s a national disgrace. But people MUST be given an opportunity to pull themselves out of the hole. We MUST give them a choice.

      Everyone has to sleep somewhere at night. It’s not right to uproot them without giving them a CHOICE to change their lives. But once given a choice and they refuse – uproot them all you want.

      • verifiedsane

        To be honest, I’m always weary of anything that includes “government” and “program” in the same sentence…how many well intended slippery slopes do we have to slide down before we realize that those two words seldom work out as conceived. 🙂

        • LFOldTimer

          Then there is no way out.

          Nobody is private business would hire these people – most of whom probably have had run-in’s with the law.

          Would you?

          And the homeless problem will only get worse down the road – as it has in the last decade.

          I don’t like government any more than you do. But this particular problem requires government intervention. Otherwise the problem goes exponential as time marches on – particularly during economic recessions – which are inevitable.

          • verifiedsane

            How about a forced relocation movement and some finger picking good agricultural employment, a reverse immigration policy that exports undesirables to places like Siberia , the Middle-east, or other exotic & enchanting destinations (this would allow those wonderful principles of cultural diversity and inclusion to be put to the real test), maybe even instate a mandatory homeless draft for our next big war, or best of all; provide tax credits for businesses to create and run large environmentally friendly soylent green factory’s (the new green slime chicken nugget).

            Just poking a little satirical fun & taking a cynical government program view approach to tackling a complex societal and cultural problem 🙂

            Homelessness and poverty should be an expected outcome and ongoing problem when the top wealthiest 1% possess 40% of the nation’s wealth; the bottom 80% own 7%…not leaving a whole lot of wiggle room for the 19% of the population caught somewhere in no man’s land in-between. It’s not quite as easy chasing after that much ballyhooed American dream brass ring as it once was…(**approximate % figures used**)

          • OCservant_Leader

            Your proposed Policy has been tried and many would agree to some success when England relocated their undirables to Australia.

            They created the fascinating culture of Cowboys and kangaroos. The beer is really good too-ah Mate.

            I like your idea of the 1-way ticket to the Middle East – the best. Let ISIS figure out what to do with them.

          • Dan Madrid

            yes your right. England did send those undesireable folks to Australia….they did it once before when they sent those devils…on the nina the pinta and santa..whatever

          • verifiedsane

            The Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria were ships used by Christopher Columbus. The ships were sponsored by, and flagged under those “devils” from Spain.

            Maybe you need to go back to grade school, and drop your racist finger pointing tirade. It’s unbecoming, and really just shows your ignorance. 🙂

          • Dan Madrid

            Thank you…But as I remember..The English were unable or unwilling to fund their expedition so Spain did in fact provide the ships. The devil’s in the details….My bad. But besides the religious zealots…England did in fact empty their debtors prisons and insane asylums of its undesired!…Europe as a whole was full of miscreants. Interesting that you associated my name to Spain….As far back as I can trace Madrid is of the ndee Nations. New mexico…Arizona…Sonora regions…..And interesting that you view my comments as racist…We are one race.

          • verifiedsane

            Columbus had attempted to procure expedition funding from Portugal, France, and England; before Spain agreed to fund the expeditions.

            Your referenced comment that singled out England as sending “Devils” denotes an implied bias.

            The Age of Exploration, which lasted roughly between 1450 and 1600.
            Driven by a desire for colonization, inexpensive spices, gold, and other sources of
            wealth, Europeans sailed around the world and sparked a global exchange
            of goods that changed the world forever. Portugal led the way, followed
            by other major powers such as Spain, England, France, and the Netherlands.

            “The Madrid surname was often used to denote someone who came from Madrid. During the Middle Ages when the surname came into being, Madrid was a modest-sized town; only becoming the capital of Spain in 1561. The origin of the name is uncertain, but possibly a derivative of Late Latin matrix, meaning “riverbed.”
            When Jews converted to Christianity in Spain in the 15th century, whether voluntarily or by force, they often took a last name based on their town or city or origin.”

          • OCservant_Leader

            So you love hard working immigrants, hate lazy homeless and claim to be a Native American? I’m just trying to keep up.

          • Dan Madrid

            I don’t hate the homeless…I hate that people think we have too help them. The homeless are actually spreading that thinking and are sitting there waiting. The sad reality is that we have overpopulation and technology is quickly eliminating the need for unskilled workers. Toss in their substance and mental problems, family abandonment and I go back to…. why are they my problem? And as to my lineage…I do not claim….I am…ka dish da!

          • OCservant_Leader

            Sooo should we shove them in the ovens and call it a day? For claiming to be an Indian – you don’t have much compassion.

          • Dan Madrid

            ohhh you want compassion…..how about the genocide loosed on my people by your Christian zealots and manifest Destiney settlers? My people learned to scalp from them and the sheer savagery of their tactics. Were was the compassion then and now? But to the problem of the homeless…stop feeding them…stop giving them money stop allowing them to camp on our streets, Our civic centers and flood control channels, parks and abandoned buildings. If their families don’t care…why should we?. …

          • verifiedsane

            Didn’t you write: quote “We are one race”

            It does appear that you have lots of deep seeded anger issues that does not wear well with your selective (lacking factual historical prospective) & bemusing entitlement/punishment philosophy.

          • Dan Madrid

            You think I have an anger problem?…Yes we are one race human….but not to the Us citizens that committed those atrocities on my people. There view of the first nations was that we were savages and must be eliminated for their people to live. To not have anger is to accept that those settlers and military were right and the genocide of so many was of no concern and without consequence. Who is without compassion? Good luck with your homeless problem.

          • verifiedsane

            There have been atrocities committed throughout history upon just about every race, creed, and religion known to man. To actively harbor ill will centuries and/or many centuries after the fact is ridiculous, if not completely insane. But then to take this folly a step over the cliff further by equating the treatment of Native Americans long ago by American, French, and Spanish colonization efforts to the problem of homeless populations and individuals (which encapsulate individuals from every creed, race, background, and national origin) in today’s society is beyond irrational.

          • OCservant_Leader

            Native Americans got screwed–royally- I will give you that.

            The reason we must care about the homeless is because whether we like it or not – we are all connected.

            I am just advocating for basic human needs. Diseases don’t stop at the gated communities the BOS’s live in.

            America can afford it and so can Orange County.

          • LFOldTimer

            Oh, I agree.

            The phony liberals were the driving forces in Occupy Wall Street (OWS) – yet said NOTHING when Obama and Hillary were deep in Wall Street’s pockets and protected the 1%. The phony liberals voted for Hillary who collected TENS OF MILLIONS from Wall Street while Trump received virtually nothing from those who supported the 1%. By and large, Trump funded his own campaign.

            Liberals give most of their energy to protecting and harboring illegal aliens. They want us to spend our tax money on the illegals when US citizens are sleeping under freeway bridges and on river banks in tents!

            The liberals claim they want to keep our communities safe while they promote releasing illegals aliens convicted of heinous crimes like murder, rape, child molestation, assault, armed robbery, gang violence, from the jails back into our neighborhoods after they finish their jail sentences!!! LOL!!!

            Liberals are hypocrites.

      • Dan Madrid

        those people who can rot are sitting there by the river now. Why is there plight our problem?

        • LFOldTimer

          Non-productive people who live off the system are always a problem to the rest of society.

          How would society fare if all of us lived in tents on the riverbed?

          I think society has an obligation to give the downtrodden ONE chance to pull themselves out of the rut and improve their lives, in the interest of the greater whole. If the attempt works society would benefit. If it doesn’t work – we haven’t lost much since most of them already receive free services and government money.