Local Homeless News
Read about homeless issues in Southern California including Orange County!
JUNE 13, 2017
LA County Supervisors Endorse a Spending Plan for Measure H Homeless Tax
"On a unanimous vote, the supervisors accepted virtually all of the recommendations of a 50-member planning committee on how to divide nearly $259 million projected in the first year of Measure H, a quarter-cent sales tax increase approved by county voters in March..." by Doug Smith
JUNE 13, 2017
Homeless Advocates Pressure Orange County Supervisors to Spend More Money on Housing
"For two hours straight, the Orange County Board of Supervisors listened to one Orange County resident after another at their public budget hearing on Tuesday, June 13, criticize them for not dedicating enough money to alleviate homelessness.
And the speakers repeatedly called for a county fund to provide much-needed housing..." by Theresa Walker
JUNE 6, 2017
Santa Ana Riverbed Homeless to Get Toilets, Showers While Supervisors Work on Plan to Move Them Out
"People living in Orange County’s largest homeless encampment soon will get access to basic sanitation – such as toilets and showers – as part of the first step in a long-term plan to dismantle the entrenched riverbed community and find its inhabitants housing..." by Jordan Graham
MAY 31, 2017
Homelessness in LA County Jumps 23% as Need Far Outpaces Available Housing, New Count Shows
"The sharp rise, to nearly 58,000, suggested that the pathway into homelessness continues to outpace intensifying efforts that — through rent subsidies, new construction, outreach, and support services — got more than 14,000 people permanently off the streets last year..." by Gale Holland and Doug Smith
MAY 16, 2017
Everyone Agrees: The Santa Ana River Trail is no Place to Raise Homeless Children
"Discarded syringes are only one of the potential hazards found along the riverbed. While there is uncertainty over how many, if any, children are among the homeless at the river, everyone agrees: It’s no place to raise a child...
Parents experiencing homelessness are encouraged to seek services by either calling 2-1-1 or interacting with outreach workers..." by Theresa Walker
MAY 12, 2017
Homeless Census Shows Numbers Rising in Orange County
"Homelessness in Orange County rose at a faster pace since 2015, ticking up nearly 8 percent since the last one-night census, according to the first figures released Friday, May 12, from the Point in Time Count & Survey conducted in January..." by Theresa Walker
MAY 9, 2017
Orange County Supervisor Proposes Temporary Homeless Shelters in Irvine, Huntington Beach, and Santa Ana
"Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson has proposed putting temporary homeless shelters on county-owned land in Irvine, Huntington Beach and Santa Ana – and he wants the first one to open within 30 days..." by Jordan Graham
MAY 3, 2017
L.A. County Considers Another Path on Homelessness: Prevention
"A new and largely unproven approach is emerging as a major element of Los Angeles County’s homeless initiative. Those drafting plans for the Measure H sales tax funds approved by voters in March have proposed spending more than $40 million over the next three years to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place..." by Doug Smith
MAY 1, 2017
"Housing Crisis" Tops State's Legislative Agenda This Year
"Rents are too high. Home prices are out of reach. Decent listings and rentals are hard to find. Homeless encampments are growing. And many residents are cutting back on food, clothing and medical care to keep a roof over their heads..." by Jeff Collins
APRIL 25, 2017
Scarce Affordable Housing in Orange County Contributes to Homelessness
"Most units available are for seniors and families, leaving many single people out of luck—and there are a lot of them in Orange County..." by Ashlyn Ramirez & Bryant Freese
APRIL 14, 2017
Nearly 1,500 Affordable Housing Units on the Horizon in Santa Ana
"Nearly 1,500 affordable housing units are in development in Orange County’s second-largest city and one of its densest – a number equivalent to a half-century’s worth of production at its normal rate, according to a Santa Ana City Council member..." by Jessica Kwang
APRIL 5, 2017
Homelessness in the OC
"Orange County, wrestling with a homeless population of thousands of men, women and children, is moving toward increased cooperation among leaders in government and other organizations as well as new approaches to deal with those who live on the streets..." by Nick Gerda
MARCH 29, 2017
Shawn Nelson Issues Call-to-Action to Find Beds for Homeless
"Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson said Tuesday the homeless situation should be treated as an emergency and issued a call to action to find sites to house all of the county’s thousands of homeless people..." by Nick Gerda
MARCH 29, 2017
Prop. 47 got thousands out of prison. Now, $103 million in savings will go towards keeping them out
"This spring, the state will begin the process of awarding $103 million in grants, all funded by the ballot initiative’s cost savings from keeping fewer nonviolent offenders in prison..." by Jasmine Ulloa
MARCH 20, 2017
Measure H, Quarter-Cent Sales Tax to Fight LA County Homelessness, Passes
"Measure H, a quarter-cent Los Angeles County sales tax to fund anti-homelessness programs, maintained the two-thirds majority needed for approval in a final ballot tally released Monday..." by City News Service
MARCH 16, 2017
Anahiem Year-Round Homeless Shelter on Target to Open in April
"County officials promise, part of the Kraemer Place site will be outfitted with dormitory-style beds, dining tables, and portable restrooms to serve 100 homeless people who will sleep, eat, and shower there as they transition to life off the streets..." by Theresa Walker
FEBRUARY 2, 2017
OC Public Works Dumps Boulders Along Santa Ana Riverbed to Disperse Homeless [VIDEO]
"The Santa Ana Riverbed, a known refuge for many homeless, is being covered by giant boulders in an effort to have transients leave the area. OC Public Works put notices..." by Jeanette Duran
For more information on the flood control project, visit OCWorks on Facebook or visit their webpage that has the latest news about the project.
The project affecting the County's maintenance road / stockpile area along the east side of the Santa Ana River, between Orangewoood Ave. and the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) is scheduled to begin early Februay 2017 and continuing through June 2017.
Full story in the OC Register Feb. 5th, 2017: Hundreds of homeless living along Santa Ana River are warned to relocate
[Opinion] via the OC Voice Feb. 13th, 2017: Aly: Arrested for #RiverbedRescue
[Opinion] via the OC Voice Feb. 13th, 2017: Santana: Is Throwing Rocks the New Homeless Response in OC?
Related story in the LA Times about the Santa Ana Riverbed Jan. 25, 2017: Dredging will close unofficial dog beach for months, starting Monday
JANUARY 29, 2017
New Use for Old Shipping Containers: Housing for Homeless Veterans
"Builders in Orange County are using an innovative approach to solve the long-running problem of homelessness among veterans. They’re transforming old shipping containers into new permanent homes.The 16-unit apartment complex uses..." by Dorian Merina
[Update] via the OC Register Feb. 8, 2017: Homeless veterans ready to move into new homes made from shipping containers
JANUARY 28, 2017
Orange County homeless survey: The small degree of separation between the counters and the counted
"As Saturday’s cold and windy dawn breaks, an army of volunteers sweeps through Orange County’s invisible places -- the shadows where thousands of homeless people endure cold, rain, wind and hail without..." by David Whiting
JANUARY 28, 2017
Why 1,000 volunteers spent their Saturday counting Orange County's homeless
"Michele Townsend sensed the presence of people sleeping in vans and motor homes parked near a Starbucks where she gets her morning coffee. She wondered about their lives...." by Theresa Walker
JANUARY 27, 2017
Volunteers to survey O.C. in Point-in-Time homeless count
"Before dawn breaks on Saturday, hundreds of volunteers will fan out across Orange County to document and survey the county's homeless. In doing so, organizers hope to...." by Luke Money
JANUARY 20, 2017
Armories Open All Weekend During Storm
"Santa Ana, CA. (Jan. 20, 2017) – With coordination and support from the California Military Department and in conjunction with the County Office of Emergency Services and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the Orange County Cold Weather Armory Emergency Shelters (armories) located at both Santa Ana and Fullerton will operate with extended hours to provide shelter and protection to the homeless community during the upcoming storm...." contact: Carrie Braun, Public Information Manager
JANUARY 6, 2017
1,000 MORE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO COUNT ORANGE COUNTY'S HOMELESS
"With tens of millions of dollars on the line, Orange County has begun gearing up for a federally mandated point-in-time count and survey of its homeless population this month. The snapshot is crucial because..." click here to read the whole story. by Theresa Walker
Visit the PointInTimeOC.org website to register to volunteer.
NOVEMBER 21, 2016
NEWS PODCAST: OC opens first year-round homeless shelter
"The Courtyard is already housing 300 homeless a night." Producers: Benjamin Gottlieb
NOVEMBER 21, 2016
From Joy to Disappointment at Santa Ana Homeless Shelter
"The good feelings I had for the Courtyard Transitional Center when it opened in early October have faded, and now I’m increasingly disturbed with what is going on. When the center opened, it was a joy to see consistent food service as well as...." by Igmar Rodas
NOVEMBER 21, 2016
Salvation Army homeless shelter unveils $6.5 million expansion
"SANTA ANA – Allan Quinquileria beamed with happiness Monday as he led tours for guests at a dedication ceremony marking completion of the Salvation Army’s newly rebuilt Hospitality House shelter for homeless men. His enthusiasm had double meaning...." by Theresa Walker
OCTOBER 11, 2016
Supervisor Spends a Night at Bus Terminal Homeless Shelter
"Supervisor Andrew Do spent the night last Thursday at the abandoned bus terminal in downtown Santa Ana that the county has converted into a homeless shelter and service center.....He arrived around 9:50, ten minutes before the shelter closes its gates for the evening. Do said the process was..." by Thy Vo
OCTOBER 4, 2016
What Will it Take for Orange County to End Homelessness?
"Orange County has long been a national symbol of affluence. Its median income ranks among the top 3 percent of all counties nationwide. It boasts a county budget topping $3 billion. Its economy is larger than more than half of all U.S. states. It is also plagued by a grinding and deadly homelessness crisis that gets worse by the day...." by Eve Garros
OCTOBER 3, 2016
New Homeless Service Center Draws Both Kudos and Concerns From Advocates
"The abandoned bus terminal in Santa Ana that is now slated to be used for a homeless services center...." by Nick Gerda
September 26, 2016
Welcome to Orange County’s ‘Courtyard Transitional Center’
"After nearly two years of public prodding, and most probably because of all the wrong reasons, Orange County supervisors this week may actually start doing the right thing on homelessness.This Tuesday, supervisors are scheduled...." by Norberto Santano Jr
SEPTEMBER 20, 2016
Santa Ana OKs plan to address Civic Center 'homeless crisis'
"SANTA ANA – Two weeks after City Council members declared a “public health and safety homeless crisis” at the Civic Center, they’ve approved a program with the county to enhance safety and security in the area.
The Civic Center Safety and Security Program – approved unanimously by the council Tuesday without discussion – includes nine initiatives around the homeless population affecting...." by Jessica Kwong
SEPTEMBER 17, 2016
Homeless join effort to clean up Santa Ana Civic Center plaza
"The trash and human waste that led to a public health crisis being declared at the Santa Ana Civic Center plaza vanished on Saturday when a team of homeless people and neighbors joined forces to clean up the area.
Hosted by Operation Warm Wishes, a Tustin nonprofit, the clean-up ...." by Jonathan Winslow
SEPTEMBER 11, 2016
Biking While Homeless Ends in Fatal Police Shooting
"On the morning of Aug. 1, two Santa Ana police officers stopped a homeless man named Richard Gene Swihart for riding his bicycle in the Civic Center plaza. A few minutes later, Mr. Swihart was being rushed to a hospital — the officers had shot him multiple times.
On Aug. 14, Mr. Swihart died of his wounds..." by Eve Garrow and Jennifer Rojas
September 7, 2016
Santa Ana declares homeless camp at Civic Center a public health crisis, wants more security
"SANTA ANA – Hours after the County of Orange approved turning a former Santa Ana bus terminal into a temporary homeless shelter, the Santa Ana City Council on Tuesday declared a “public health and safety homeless crisis” and called for several measures to boost security around the Civic Center...." by Jessica Kwong
SEPTEMBER 6, 2016
Santa Ana city council declares 'crisis' over homeless encampments in civic center
"Santa Ana’s City Council voted late Tuesday to declare a “public health and safety crisis” over a mushrooming homeless encampment in the Civic Center that has attracted more than 450 homeless people in recent months...."...by Anh Do
SEPTEMBER 6, 2016
Supervisors to Santa Ana: ‘Put Up or Shut Up’ on Civic Center Homeless Crisis
"The Orange County Board of Supervisors during a special meeting Tuesday challenged Santa Ana city leaders to decide before Election Day whether they will join with the county in an effort to address the homelessness crisis at the downtown Civic Center.
Supervisors also directed county staff to..." by Tracy Wood
SEPTEMBER 6, 2016
Richard Gene Swihart, Homeless Man Shot by Santa Ana Police, is Dead
"Here's one that almost slipped through the cracks: Remember Richard Gene Swihart, the 32-year-old homeless man who was shot during a struggle with two Santa Ana police officers outside the Orange County Superior Court building on Aug. 1?
The struggle about 9:30 a.m. near the Plaza of the Flags that was videotaped by a passerby who later told the Weekly it did not appear Swihart was armed?
Swihart has since passed away, the Santa Ana Police Department disclosed last week...." by Matt Coker
SEPTEMBER 3, 2016
As Santa Ana Civic Center homeless population grows, so do crime, fear, and disease
"A typical day in the Santa Ana Civic Center is filled with hazard. Open drug use. Assaults and rape. Urine and feces on public walkways. Untreated illnesses. Sex acts in public.
The exploding transient population..." by Jordan Graham
SEPTEMBER 2, 2016
County's first year-round homeless shelter to open late 2017 in Anaheim
"Orange County's first countywide, year-round homeless shelter is expected to open in Anaheim in late 2017, a year later than originally projected, the Register has learned...." by Jordan Graham
SEPTEMBER 1, 2016
Orange County to Turn Former Bus Depot into Homeless Shelter
"Orange County supervisors approved turning a former Santa Ana bus terminal into a temporary homeless center, and just hours later the Santa Ana City Council declared homelessness a public health and safety crisis...." by Associated Press
SEPTEMBER 1, 2016
Santa Ana may declare public health crisis over Civic Center homeless encampment
"The Santa Ana City Council on Tuesday will consider declaring “a public health and safety crisis” over concerns that hundreds of homeless people living in the Civic Center have created an unsafe environment for the public and government workers.
In a draft resolution released Thursday..." by Jordan Graham
AUGUST 31, 2016
Colleges can help homeless without a new law
"Teachers and administrators from our area’s community colleges and even California State University campuses have been telling the story for several years: For the first time in their experience, some of their students are homeless, and need to use school facilities to shower and change for class.
Students they know and counsel sleep through the night on public buses or elsewhere..." by OC Register Editorial
AUGUST 26, 2016
As homeless encampments swell, Orange County to close Two miles of road along Santa Ana River
"The county is padlocking access to roughly two miles of paved road along the east side of the Santa Ana River from Anaheim to Santa Ana, closing entrances to bicyclists, pedestrians and homeless people living in tent encampments.
The reason: An uptick in complaints and safety concerns..." by Theresa Walker
AUGUST 25, 2016
The homeless move aside as Santa Ana Civic Center gets a power wash
"SANTA ANA – Increasing complaints about fetid smells and unsanitary conditions at the Civic Center led the city to authorize a special daytime scouring of the mall and plaza areas that began Wednesday and will conclude Thursday.
Feces, urine, rotting food, used hypodermic needles and other detritus along the walkways are the source of numerous requests ..." by Theresa Walker
AUGUST 20, 2016
Four who played in NBA and a barber feed homeless, provide haircuts
"SANTA ANA – Bellies were filled and faces transformed at the Southwest Community Center on Saturday as hundreds of the homeless enjoyed free barbecue and haircuts, courtesy of a local barber and four men who have played in the NBA...." by Jonathan Winslow
AUGUST 11, 2016
Bathrooms for homeless to be installed at Santa Ana Civic Center
"The hundreds of homless people living at the Santa Ana Civic Center finally will have a proper bathroom to use at night after officials announced Thursday that new portable toilets will be installed next week in the heart of the seat of county government.
The three bathrooms will be installed Monday..." by Jordan Graham
JUNE 24, 2016
Santa Ana Funds Permanent Homeless Housing in Hotel
"The Santa Ana City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to direct about $1.2 million to the city's "first permanent supportive housing project for chronically homeless individuals."..." by Matt Coker
MAY 16, 2016
Orange County hires Long Beach's homeless services coordinator as 'homeless czar'
"Orange County officials hope their latest hire for the so-called “homeless czar” position can do for Orange County what she has done for Long Beach and its homeless population.
Susan Price will become..." by Erika Aguilar
MAY 11, 2016
Supervisors Inch Closer to Making Year-Round Homeless Shelter a Reality
"Orange County supervisors took another step Tuesday towards establishing the county’s first year-round homeless shelter, but not before a tense exchange between two supervisors over whether a permanent shelter would mean the end of emergency shelters in two armories.
Supervisors voted unanimously to issue a request for proposals to operate the future shelter in an industrial area of Anaheim, just north of the 91 Freeway on N. Kraemer Place. The county bought the property in November to use as a homeless shelter. The winning bidder will..." by Nick Gerda
APRIL 19, 2016
HOMELESS CAMPS IN ORANGE COUNTY SPARKING NEW COMPLAINTS
"ORANGE, Calif. (KABC) -- Within sight of Angel Stadium's "Big A" dozens of tents are popping up along the Santa Ana River trail.
Michelle Melgar lived in the actual dry riverbed for two years - mostly hidden..." By Eileen Frere
MARCH 30, 2016
Helping the homeless, one person at a time
"The hum of traffic and the noises of her neighbors getting high on the darkened streets of Newport Beach formed the soundtrack that for years kept Toni Horn from a good night's sleep.
Now, when darkness falls on the 61-year-old's Lake Forest apartment..."...by Hannah Fry - Contact Reporter
Please note the following error:
"With help from a Newport Beach police officer and the nonprofit Orange County Continuum of Care"
"With help from a Newport Beach police officer and the nonprofit 2-1-1 Orange County."
MARCH 28, 2016
Supervisors Making Progress on Homelessness
"For the first time in a long while, the public dialogue with Orange County Supervisors on homelessness has a different tone. Progress. Whenever it rains now, any one of the 500 homeless people living at the county Civic Center can"...by Nick Gerda
MARCH 9, 2016
Amid Drastic Moves Elsewhere, Homeless Advocates See Hope in OC
"As Orange County officials continue to grapple with the ever-growing homeless population at the downtown Santa Ana Civic Center, they can at least take solace in the fact that they are not alone in dealing with such a seemingly intractable problem – far from it."...by Nick Gerda
MARCH 7, 2016
Homeless population skyrockets at Civic Center in Santa Ana
"Anna Gonzalez scans the crowd at what has become a tent city of homeless at the county’s Civic Center and says, “These are all my children.”"...by David Whiting
DECEMBER 31, 2015
Four myths that make L.A. County's homeless problem worse
"Some myths about homelessness get repeated so often that they become accepted as true. But with more then 31,000 people sleeping in our parks and on our sidewalks every night here in Los Angeles County, we cannot allow fallacies to drive our homeless policies."...by Adam Murray
APRIL 12, 2015
GIVE THEM SHELTER
"Orange County is an amazing place to live and work. It’s a place filled with opportunities and offers an abundance of resources – but not for everyone. There is a segment of our population that is struggling with basic life needs, like food and shelter, and..." by Karen Roeper and Todd Spitzer