Fullerton Police to Evict Homeless Encampment Outside Shuttered Hunt Library

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hunt_library.jpg
Hunt Library
A sizable homeless encampment near the closed down Hunt Branch Library in Fullerton will be cleared out by 3 p.m. today, the latest episode in a developing saga documented by the Fullerton Rag blog. The library, a gem of a design that came courtesy of renowned architect William L. Pereira, has definitely seen better days.

First, its operating hours were reduced until it was only open on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the week. Then came its closure in late March after an emergency meeting of the Library Board of Trustees cited increasingly dangerous conditions.

Just last week, the Fullerton city council voted to begin the process of leasing the property to Grace Ministries International, a massive Korean-American church compound adjacent to the Hunt. In between all of this, more and more homeless people began camping out near the train tracks around the bend of the library. Now, on short notice, Fullerton police plan to have the area fully cleared out today.

When still open, the Hunt Library always had homeless people either spending their day inside the facility or outside in its grassy park setting. After its shuttering, the pop-up tents near the train tracks that run parallel to Commonwealth Avenue in the Southwest side of the city soon swelled the encampment to upwards of eighty people, according to an estimate of a person who is interviewed in the above video and lives there.

Fullerton police served the notice Wednesday as they were accompanied on-site by county mental health professionals. The department will also reportedly store possessions for a thirty-day period. Part of the rationale given by police for clearing out the encampment was an increase in the number of incident responses and calls to the encampment. Fullerton Rag blogger Matt Leslie questions the timing of the eviction and raid that preceded it seeing that it comes so soon after the leasing process began.

As to where the homeless will go next? That's a question they themselves are asking given all of 48 hours lead time to contemplate the answer.

Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @dpalabraz

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89 comments
jrands
jrands

...and they're at it again. 

Tonight I received a desperate call from Dale to come get his stuff because he was being arrested by Fullerton PD for refusing to sign a camping ticket for sleeping downtown.  Officer Tong was the instigator.  Homeless Liaison Solorio was on the scene to inform Dale of his option to sign the ticket to avoid going to jail.  But Dale chose not to sign, to get hauled off, and to see the judge in the morning. 

Julia was also cited.  But she signed her ticket, packed her bed roll, and walked off into the dark night, alone. 

Dale and Julia had been sleeping at the back entrance of a bank in downtown Fullerton since Julia was threatened with a camping ticket for sleeping at the back door of a church and Dale was booted from his enclave between two buildings when ownership changed hands. 

Every night they wait until long after bank hours are over to unroll their sleeping bags. Then they clear out the next morning, pre-dawn.  They wash and make their way to the public library by mid-morning where they can exist legally.  But come closing time, and the businesses shut down, they are at the mercy of any heartless cop who wants to enforce draconian anti-camping laws that essentially make homelessness a crime.

Shame on Fullerton.  Bad law. Bad policy.

Keith Sanders
Keith Sanders

this is the flaw of the system and not to be deemed as the flaw of the homeless .....the system is a failure

moez
moez

Good riddance to that vile infestation of human cockroaches.

Keith Sanders
Keith Sanders

was there all weekend really fucked up all the "charities" who claim to help the homeless and the so called leaders of homeless advocates did nothing yo hrlp outside of boxing things up and handing out food ..... there was a NBC news report by Vikki Vargas who said Ron Thomas whos son kelly was murdered by FPD said he agreed with the city and those who remain are refusing help ..... the help that was offered did not include married couples , or for that matterany couple or there pets to remain together as they were not wanting to part ways from each other and the only option was to leave as a single man or woman inorder to recieve assistance .....now is that a refusal of help .....NO !!!!! i so today the bulldozers and tractors came in and ended iit all sending these dedicated married couples into the streets .....

Carlashworth
Carlashworth

Political ploy to push through purchase of Shawn Nelson oc supervisor crony purchase of warehouse on st college

Thomas Bridges
Thomas Bridges

What a fine Christian you sound like you are. Hypocritical douchebag, sounds like you need to be humbled as well. Go thump that shit with someone else cause I'm not having your holier than thou bullshit.

Edmund Samph
Edmund Samph

I can not wait until God puts you into the same circumstances and causes you to learn from personal experience what these people have to go through. Romans 12:19 I wait expectantly to see God straighten out your perverse opinion. Take Your vengence Lord! Because Jesus Christ is Lord and Thomas Bridges is not and needs to be humbled!...

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

I can't help but wonder how many of the precious snowflakes at the local elmentary are getting 'free' school breakfasts and lunches. How many families in houses in the area are getting SNAP, Section 8, etc.

By comparison, these homeless folks are cheap. 

Honest1
Honest1

I totally agree with HB2Fullerton. These people are not so innocent. I live very close to this encampment and they are doing things nobody would want to be near. This is not a KOA. They have no facilities and the stench alone is horrible. The person videoing this was lying throughout. They have been asked to leave and nobody "told" them to camp in the first place. Drugs and drinking are their motivation to stay. They have been offered resources many times. The lease of the property was just 1 more reason for the eviction. We have been living with this for months and I am so happy to see this law finally enforced.

jesselatour
jesselatour

Mitchell_Young's compassion is really inspiring.

Jim Kennedy
Jim Kennedy

There are many similarities to the 1930's depression here . Banks rolling in money while ordinary people are evicted from their homes . Regulatory agencies winking at illegal practices by corporations like Enron while street cops arrest poor people who used to have jobs and homes . Read Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath . Its not just a novel . Its a story of how Americans were treated , while other Americans sneered and called them names .

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

I've watched several of JustUs videos. Props to Ms. Carrillo, she's a true 'progressive'. 

Flor23
Flor23

THANK YOU FULLERTON!!  I am glad to see the homeless moving from their encampment.  That is not a camp site.  The homeless problem was beginning to get completely out of hand.  If I went to the gas station or to Little Caesars there were homeless asking for money. They would stand in the middle of the road to ask for money creating a hazard for drivers.  My young child was scared to go to the local Rite Aid because there were homeless outside of the store using the electricity from the water machine. Walking to the park with my children was not safe anymore.  The children who attend Pacific Drive Elementary lost Hunt Branch Library when they closed due to the homeless problem which was a valuable resource for their students.  I cant wait to see the area completely cleaned up.

josu3riv4s
josu3riv4s

People are still moving out of the location.

Cali2013
Cali2013

I am so glad that they are moving. I live near the encampment. It is awful to see the homeless drunk and drugged up all the time. They hang out near my kids school. It is NOT SAFE for children to be around so many people with mental illnesses. The homeless made so many people stop going to the library. I stopped going because the entire place smelled like urine. I hated taking my kids to the restroom there because there were always homeless ladies in the bathrooms washing their hair. I also stopped taking my kids to Pacific Drive Park, next to the encampment, because the homeless are always hanging out there. you see men and women going into the public restrooms together.

Minerva Magdalena
Minerva Magdalena

Sadden that an inanimate object Like the library is Valued More than a Human Being.

NanasDone
NanasDone

Are they cleared out yet. This was not good for anyone.

Thomas Bridges
Thomas Bridges

Joe, your facebook page conveys you are a man of God. Who the fuck are you to call someone a rotten, lousy, stinking human being? Go fuck yourself. It's people like you that give religious people a bad name with your, "holier than thou" bullshit.

HB2Fullerton
HB2Fullerton

I created an account just to comment on this story and the video. This community of homeless people is not as innocent as the people filming this video want everyone to believe. I live in downtown Fullerton and take my dog to the pooch park that is right next this encampment a few times a week. I have seen the number of people living here grow significantly over the past month or so. Also I would hear fights at least once a week while at the park. There was drug raid there last week with 21 arrests for drugs. This is right by a school with children walking by everyday.  Why must Fullerton have to tolerate this encampment? It has been reported in another newspaper that all of these people were offered emergency shelter and all but on, Vietnam Vet, refused to accept. These people shooting the video scuff at the pamphlet detailing resources that can help these people, it looked like there must have been 100 phone numbers in there where people can get help. I am tired of feeling unsafe in my own neighborhood because of drunk or drug abusing homeless people.

Thomas Bridges
Thomas Bridges

Tina, I think I understood that before I commented.

Thomas Bridges
Thomas Bridges

"Tommy"? Stay classy, OC Weekly! Now, get back to your "news".

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

This is the Hunt grang in old, boring, 90% white Orange County, only 50 years ago.

http://pinterest.com/pin/374643262721377681/

Beautiful, no? 

White people have to ask ourselves -- why did we let this happen to us. How did we come to be in this situation. How has the area around Hunt becoming 'diverse' (about 1/3 'Asian', 1/3 'Latino', 1/3 white (no doubt older whites who can't leave), been a good thing?

Luke Vafiades
Luke Vafiades

Instead of trolling, let's hear you put up a solution. Preferably one that doesn't involve taking money from other people.

Ron Escobedo
Ron Escobedo

Must be spring cleaning, that just happened over by the SanaTana library on Wednesday... Weird watching uniformed officers tossing backpacks, shopping carts and tents into the back of a bobtail truck, while the homeless watched from the free food line a few feet away.... Sadly there where kids in those lines too...

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney

Thanks for reminding me why I left OC and why it's still a lousy place to return to. Too many assholes.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney

You're a bum, Luke. I don't care if you make 6 figures, financially. You're a rotten, lousy, stinking human being.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney

Yeah, Luke - WHERE? Addresses, please.

NanasDone
NanasDone

@Mitchell_Young 

What a fool you are....You should not make statements like that, if you have never been in the neighborhood.  WHAT A JERK STATEMENT...TOP COMMENTER MY ASS!!!!

Ro1234
Ro1234

@Jim Kennedy , this is not the case with most of the homeless at the Hunts Branch.   Many of the homeless are drunk and drugged.   They just hang out and ask for handouts.   I do not think they are motivated to find a job!  It is also makes it unsafe for the school  that is located so close to the library.

Cali2013
Cali2013

The homeless are also at the McDonalds all the time. Everyone that lives in West Fullerton knows the problems that homeless were causing. I can't believe they where allowed to be there for as long as they were.

Ro1234
Ro1234

@Minerva Magdalena  You should try living by the library!  It was awful!  Many of the homeless were drunk or drugged!  It was not safe to go there and to have the children go there.  If tents are not allowed at public parks, then why should they be allowed next to a public library and so close to a school?

Honest1
Honest1

I value human life and respect all people. Just wait until they live in your neighborhood and you witness firsthand how little they value their own lives...

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Interesting thing to say. A library is full of the collected wisdom of the greatest human beings to ever live. Homeless people are lice ridden drug addict miscreants who need a swift kick in the butt and a good tolchock.

gabrielsanroman
gabrielsanroman topcommenter

@gramscg No, the police kept pushing the time back as people helped pack, trash out and and transport their belongings...

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@Thomas Bridges I'm sure he's going to invite all the fullerton vagrants to camp out on his and his church's lawn. Probably gonna turn water into Red Lady 21 for them as well. 

Honest1
Honest1

You are so on the mark! I live literally next door to this camp and the police incidents have been higher now than my 19 years in this city. These are not law abiding and contributing citizens!

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@Mitchell_Young Your sample is 4 people. I'm sure there were mexicans around at that time. Why the hell is all this crap around here called "San Juan Capistrano" instead of "Captain Saint John", or "Saint Ann" instead of "Santa Ana" At least then stuff would make sense and I wouldn't have PC idiots correcting my pronunciation of Mission Veejoe. 

Flor23
Flor23

@Cali2013

Yes its easy for everyone else to comment on how the homeless are being mistreated by making them move, but if they lived in the area they would feel differently.  I have seen homeless men and women going to the bathroom in alleys around the neighborhood.  My children have also seen that.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

@vegandawg23 @Mitchell_Young Uh, look at the census figures -- in 1970, only 12% of people in all of California were 'Hispanic surnamed' (as the group was called then). That had ticked up from 10% in 1950. In OC those figures would have been much smaller. What Fullerton did have was a large Japanese population.

Sure the place names are Spanish, but when the US took over the state there were all of about 3000 Spanish speakers here. 

Ro1234
Ro1234

@Flor23 @Cali2013 My son wanted to use the restroom at the park once & there was a man in the women's restroom.  He was locked in a stall & came out stumbling .  He was high or drunk.  

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

@CrazyJim That would be 0%, crazy, seeing as how the first permanent spanish settlement here was 1769.

CrazyJim
CrazyJim

Look up the census around 1700 - about 80% of the the people were "Hispanic surnamed." They were here way before you were even a glimmer in your mother's eye. BTW: Had she know what a racist moron you would grow to be she probably would have aborted you.

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