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City of Santa Ana Press Release
Santa Ana to Evaluate Legal Options to Address Countywide Homeless Inaction
City Council Strikes Back for Shared Responsibility
MARCH 30, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Jorge Garcia, Assistant to the City Manager
SANTA ANA, CA – The Santa Ana City Council voted unanimously (6-0-1) to seek legal options for the City to motivate the entire Orange County community to take action on homelessness. The City Attorney is to return back to the Council on Tuesday, April 3rd with legal options to sue the County of Orange to force additional action to spread the responsibility of homeless solutions across the county. The action comes in response to the County Board of Supervisors’ March 27 vote to rescind a prior decision to create three temporary homeless shelters throughout Orange County.
“Santa Ana has been the epicenter of Orange County’s homelessness problem for decades. Shielded from passersby on our busy freeways, the homeless population in the City’s Plaza of the Flags has been a concern for several years, yet no action has been taken. Within several hundred yards of City Hall and the County Hall of Administration, there are now over 600 sheltered and unsheltered homeless,” stated Mayor Pro Tem Michelle Martinez. “What more must Santa Ana do? Legal action seems to be one of the few remaining options.”
The homelessness situation in Orange County has escalated into a crisis in recent weeks. The clearing of encampments in the flood control channel has forced significant questions in the County about how to address homelessness for the long-term. Judge Carter’s efforts to push for solutions have also driven the County to consider additional locations for temporary homeless shelters throughout Orange County. At first, the County Board of Supervisors voted to create three additional temporary homeless encampments in Huntington Beach, Laguna Niguel and Irvine. Eight days later, they voted to reverse themselves. The expiration of County-issued motel vouchers is set to exacerbate the problem with potentially hundreds of former flood control homeless not having a place to stay or go.
In a separate motion, the City Council voted to execute an updated Point-in-Time Count on the homeless population, to release the City’s draft Homeless Plan for public comment, and to develop a cost-estimate for tripling the size of the Quality of Life Team.
“The City of Santa Ana is standing up for our city and calling on every community in Orange County to do their part as well. Everyone has a lot of work to do and no one knows this better than Santa Ana,” commented Councilmember Vicente Sarmiento. “Let’s go solve this crisis.”
Learn more about Santa Ana’s Homelessness efforts at http://www.santa-ana.org/homelessness/
City Homeless County Population – February 2017: (http://www.santa-ana.org/cda/documents/SantaAna-PointinTimeCountCityReport_000.pdf
Santa Ana is downtown for the world famous Orange County, California. As the County Seat, home to a vibrant evening scene and one of the most diverse communities in California, Santa Ana is gaining national attention for its efforts to innovate and address a changing County. Over 1,200 City employees work hard every day to deliver efficient public services in partnership with our community to ensure public safety, a prosperous economic environment, opportunities for our youth, and a high quality of life for residents. Learn more at http://www.santa-ana.org/
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