Q: Where Did Fullerton's Homeless Flee to After Encampment Raid By Police Last Week? A: Sewers

Underground Homes
Josue Rivas
Going underground
The Hunt Branch Library in Fullerton seemed more peaceful than ever, with birds chirping and a cool breeze whispering to everyone around that now, more than ever, was the time to lay on the grass and take a nap. A couple sat on a wooden bench while watching their two beautiful dogs run free across the green grass. It was a marked departure from last Wednesday, when the city's police department gave a 48-hour eviction notice to around 60 members of a homeless camp near the train tracks behind the building. Fullerton officials swore that they'd help the homeless find shelter--but, unsurprisingly, those promises haven't been kept.


wild
Josue Rivas
A new encampment in the Fullerton wild
Sources at the camp say only a few actually went to homes provided by Christian evangelical organizations such as Coast to Coast and Victory Outreach. "They preach to us and I find that disrespectful." said Matt (no last name given) a former resident of the camp. " We'd rather stay out here and make it on our own."

Matt said some of the homeless went to relative's houses, while others moved on to Riverside and San Bernardino counties. But most of the people stayed within Fullerton, given the short notice. Some even had to move to dangerous places like underground sewers and wild areas within the city. They really have little choice: a 24-hour year-round homeless shelter, the first of it's kind in la naranja is in the bureaucratic thicket as we speak, with former Fullerton councilmember and current supervisor Shawn Nelson swearing they're trying to find the "perfect" location for the shelter, and residents complaining every step of the way.

As I leave the Hunt Library a man on a bike comes towards me and tells me he is glad they are all gone. I listened for a few minutes before riding my back back home. As I stare at the empty space I realized there is still a lot of work to be done.

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40 comments
Keith Sanders
Keith Sanders

They did not turn down any help the help requested was for married couples , boyfriend, girlfriend situation and there pets such as dogs and various other pets to remain together .... This was not accommodated or offered by anyone from a charity , county ss worker , church or ron thomas ... They were deemed as druggies , alcoholic and not disabled .... Bullshit

Thomas Bridges
Thomas Bridges

Havivah, Luke's answers are based on logic. Yours aren't . Seems to me his ethics shouldn't be in question and we should actually look for solutions rather than taking an emotional route and criticizing other people's perfectly good opinions.

Luke Vafiades
Luke Vafiades

So Havivah, your retort is simply "Hurr durr, do some research" but you STILL haven't proposed a solution- yet you have claimed to have extensive knowledge on the topic! Are you just trolling us?

Brian Henry
Brian Henry

You seem to be confusing treating their illnesses - something that not in question in the article - and the refusal of services because the recipient is uncomfortable with the providers philosophy. Which is their prerogative, of course, sober, sane or otherwise. It does not, however, equate with some kind of callous disregard for the well-being of the person who is refusing the service. Could other groups offer such services? Of course. Are they? Apparently not in that area and, again, this is not a failing of the providers in the area that are attempting to help the homeless.

Havivah Schermer
Havivah Schermer

You're not looking at things from my perspective. You're also confusing philosophy with reality. So, to answer my question, I take it you've never been homeless; have a severe mental illness or drug addiction? If you would like to study the reasons why homeless, poverty, mental illness, and drug addictions exist in America and are poorly mismanaged, googlescholar can come in handy. Your local library can also provide you to further access to print and online journal articles. As for your last claim, the religious institution did play a large role in the story - I hope you actually read through the article here.

Luke Vafiades
Luke Vafiades

Mental illness, chronic drug/alcohol issues, and burning every bridge in one's private life sounds about right. So what do you propose? You can't -force- crazy people who don't play well with others to take their pills or quit taking drugs. Well, I suppose you could put them all in an institution but that cure is worse than the disease.

Luke Vafiades
Luke Vafiades

Okay, I will look at it from your perspective. Let's say I am down and out, living underneath a bridge or something. If an organization with a philosophy I strongly disagreed with offered me free room and board until I got on my feet, I would gratefully and politely accept the opportunity while continuing to believe whatever I wanted. Accepting help often involves swallowing a little pride or putting up with some unpleasantness. Also, I am certain none of those people were refused help because they were disinterested in religion- can you cite your sources? I am still waiting to hear you pitch a viable alternative.

Brian Henry
Brian Henry

The proof is in the quotes in the article, isn't it? The only quote in the piece?

Brian Henry
Brian Henry

But that's not whats happening, is it? The churches aren't refusing to provide the services, but rather their services are being rejected by those who are offered them.

Havivah Schermer
Havivah Schermer

Where's the evidence to back that up? I'd like to know specifically in the US or California how many people are homeless, for how long, and for what reason (?) Let's bust out some peer-reviewed research. My research shows most are homeless due to mental illness. What about yours?

Havivah Schermer
Havivah Schermer

Let me ask both of you how many times you've been homeless and subjected to religious rhetoric. Really, interesting, I thought religions were supposed to care for people, not refuse service due to disinterest in conversion or accepting their diety. Homeless and poverty and not solved by any religion, nor are they caused by the impoverished themselves. /facepalm to your logic.

Luke Vafiades
Luke Vafiades

These people clearly had a place to go but they didn't choose that route. Do you have a solution that they would even want?

Brian Henry
Brian Henry

Let me make sure I understand you properly - people are refusing assistance because they don't want to hear why someone is willing to give them free room and board, and it's the one's doing the giving that have deficient ethics? /facepalm

Luke Vafiades
Luke Vafiades

What kind of help do they want Anthony? A blanket statement like "we as a society are ill-equipped for dealing with homelessness" is pretty bold, do you have a solution that doesn't involve taking money from other people? Interestingly enough, a common element among many of the recovering drug/alcholics I've spoken to is, at the height of their addiction, all they wanted was to be left alone.

Jay Seven Sins
Jay Seven Sins

Most of the homeless have mental illnesses and need medication, you can't cure them by preaching to them.....

Luke Vafiades
Luke Vafiades

Yeah, because churches make tons of money off of bums. How in the world is feeding and housing homeless people a "market solution" for a church, or are you just parroting business terms you heard on television?

Anthony Thomas
Anthony Thomas

They actually want help, but we as a society and ill-equipped for dealing with homelessness....

Anthony Thomas
Anthony Thomas

Yeah I like Luke's attitude, NOT. He says having a nice room and some food, getting preached at is the price to pay, sounds like a market solution for the church.

Burns
Burns

They should head to:

2975 Red Hill Avenue # 150, Costa Mesa, I'm sure the kind souls there would provide facilities for them.

danmadrids
danmadrids

I heard that Aliso Viejo or Mission Viejo has offered to allow a shelter for the Homeless. Has anyone heard this?........and I wager we never will.....!

Cece Zenitram
Cece Zenitram

I think they just want to be left alone. Not looking for help nor a shelter...and def not a "perfect shelter". They just want to be left alone.

Havivah Schermer
Havivah Schermer

This is so sad...The comments people have left are even worse. I'm glad I no longer live in the O.C. but very sad to see that people's general sense of ethics has only further declined.

Brian Henry
Brian Henry

But what about the Humanist shelter down the... oh, wait, that doesn't exist, does it?

Luke Vafiades
Luke Vafiades

Wow, they turned down free roam and board because they didn't want to get preached at. I am sure the "no drink and drugs" shelter policies played a role as well.There are certain rewards to being transient that they obviously don't want to give up. If they are looking for the perfect shelter that lets them do whatever the hell they want to do with no supervision or structure here's a protip- it doesn't exist.

Navaglo
Navaglo

Note to Media: The camp was a haven for drugs, poop, fights, and unnecessarily long train horns at 4 in the morning.  Stop trying to paint a "poor homeless" picture.  100's of families within 200 yards of this camp were affected daily by this.  How come the media doesn't report about all that?  I'd watch this thing daily, it was visible from my front yard.  I saw cell phones being used all the time, food being delivered, and of course, the drug and drug deals on a daily basis.  Nobody talks about how at one point Fullerton officials went in (when the population was only 32), and offered to move them to a more stable and cleaner facility, offered to store their belongings for one month for free until they could find a place to live, and all 32 refused.  It was clear they were choosing a transient life style with no intentions of entering back into the mainstream of society.  That's cool, go live at Burning Man then.  Just glad they're not living in my neighborhood any more!

josu3riv4s
josu3riv4s

@Burns Thank you for trying to find solutions brother, try harder next time.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

@danmadrids Well, Dana Point has a pretty sizable homeless population. You'll see them in the mornings, hauling large sacks of cans/bottles to the deposit redemption place. 

NotBuyingIt
NotBuyingIt

@danmadrids The majority of the Fullerton homeless will not go. They like the proximity to the train station. Heard this from a homeless guy - On the homeless circuit Fullerton is known far and wide as a great place to hang out. One reason is because they have the college crowd that will give them money and food. Huge crowds in downtown Fullerton every week at the bars and restaurants and they give freely. And the homeless do buy alcohol and drugs for underage kids.  These homeless are not the truly needy people that some will think they are. There is a big criminal element among them and they do not want a place to live where they have to follow rules. These people are homeless by choice in a way. But no one wants to hear about that, they want their own little fairytale story of the downtrodden rising above the bad hand they were dealt. Most times this is not the case in Fullerton, they are bad people that are hiding behind the truly needy and homeless.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

@Havivah Schermer We're glad too! 

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

@Brian Henry Good point -- or even a Unitarian Universalist shelter. Somehow it is those evil fundies that also provide the most services to the needy. 

josu3riv4s
josu3riv4s

@Navaglo Hello there. Would you like to set up an interview and tell your side of the story? Also would you like to go and talk to some of the people who lived in the camp? I understand the community is affected by the amount of homeless individuals in Fullerton, I live here, I see it everyday. I also understand some of the people in the camp are drug users, but not all. Sometimes you just have to get to know them, take the time to talk to them, you never know who may end up in the streets this days. Not just because they moved from your neighborhood the problem is solved, the community must work together to build a shelter and continue to try and help those who will accept the help.

josu3riv4s
josu3riv4s

Where would you like them to go? Do you have any solutions? Honestly, is there a solution to this?

NotBuyingIt
NotBuyingIt

@josu3riv4s But you did talk to them and all you could find was that they didn't like to be preached to? They find that disrespectful? They are offered a place to live but they don't like the terms so they live in filth. Doesn't that speak volumes on it's own?  And before you tell me that I don't know anything, I have been down there and I have seen this with my own eyes. I frequented the library until it was shut down over this. And I dealt with them at the train station and downtown Fullerton as well. Dig deeper and you will find another story.

NotBuyingIt
NotBuyingIt

@josu3riv4s Honestly I'm not sure what the solution to this problem is. Until they are ready for some help and willing to pick up their belongings and go where they are offered a place to stay I am not sure. They don't want to be preached to but they were offered a place to stay?  I just know that this place cannot be next to a public library within spitting distance to a school, homes and church. I know this will never happen but I would start by identifying each one of them and checking if they have a criminal record. Also verify that they have no family that will take them in. Some do but they don't want to give up their freestyle life. Sounds odd, I know, but it's true.

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