The shortage of affordable housing in Orange County sent eight homeless people back to the streets last week, because homes weren’t available before they hit the 180-day limit for them to stay at the county’s “Bridges at Kraemer Place” shelter that prepares people to move into housing.
County officials were upbeat at a public forum Saturday morning, painting the picture of an energized and proactive government eager to tackle the increasingly dire straits of the county’s homeless population.
A plan by county officials to turn an abandoned bus depot into a service center for homeless people at the Civic Center is drawing cautious praise from some homeless advocates. But others are wary, including one advocate who says it will make the problem worse.
While Mercy House has been the go-to homeless services provider for local governments, the organization and its executive director, Larry Haynes, face harsh criticism at the street level. Haynes says he’s working on strengthening his relationships with people in the trenches.