Anaheim to Push Its Homeless to Fullerton Armory While Declaring War on Those Who Remain

lapalmapark_tent.jpg
Josue Rivas
Round Two...
After a delay prompted by public outcry, the Anaheim City Council will once again consider an ordinance tonight that will effectively criminalize its homeless population. Originally introduced in September, the all-hours ban on camping in public parks and spaces returns with only minor revisions, to ensure consistency with Anaheim's municipal code--the parts that will impound personal property deemed by authorities to be held by the homeless "unlawfully" as well as a $100-500 scale fines for violations remain.

But the Anaheim City Council isn't completely heartless: they're also to vote on a proposal that would give $40,000 to the Fullerton Armory Emergency Shelter so they can open earlier this year, thereby pushing Anaheim's homeless northward. Now THAT'S compassionate conservatism!

"We are pleased that the winter shelter program will be able to be open for 2 to 3 weeks longer than the normal funding allows," says Jennifer Lee-Anderson, co-chair of the Anaheim Poverty Task Force. The group conducted a count of the city's homeless last January, finding 447 'unsheltered' persons out during the daytime, with 80 of those being at La Palma Park.

But the Armory's early opening isn't enough, she points out, because it's only for the winter, and will close in April. "What will happen when the winter shelter program closes is what has happened every year when the program closes--400 chronically homeless individuals, and some families, will be back out on the streets, in the parks, or living in vehicles with no real shelter or housing options."

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Josue Rivas / OC Weekly
Homeless at La Palma Park in Anaheim

When the homeless return, they may be at the mercy of the harsh ordinance expected to pass. But city officials aren't sympathetic. "Parks are designed to provide outdoor recreational space, whether that be through organized sports, or leisurely enjoying a park bench with family and friends," Terry D. Lowe, Anaheim's director of community services, tells the Weekly. "We have seen an increase in tents, or camping, in city parks. Four-walled tents can invite illegal activity. That is not the intended use for parks, and that is what we are addressing here."

Back in September, Lowe addressed the council while presenting the anti-camping ban, stressing the role of resident complaints. "The significant accumulation of personal property and continued camping on the park...has caused a great deal of consternation in our city," Lowe said. "Not a day goes by that I don't receive numerous complaints from the public...demanding that we do something." Councilwoman Lucille Kring later held a folder she said was full of similar sentiments on the issue.

When an anti-camping ordinance came before the council in September, members of the Poverty Task Force were blindsided by it. This time around, they plan to take to the podium once more to speak against its passage while also addressing the need for real solutions.

"We will continue to support efforts to open the county's first year-round shelter, which we hope will be somewhere in North County, so it can begin to serve the resident homeless populations in Anaheim and Fullerton," Lee-Anderson adds. "And, of course, our ultimate goal is to see more permanent supportive housing for these homeless individuals and families."

After meetings with Mayor Tom Tait and city staff, the Task Force, which has a 15-point plan to address homelessness, recommended that the passed ordinance at least be delayed to thirty days after the Fullerton Armory opens its doors; the council, so far, has been noncommittal .

Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @dpalabraz

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19 comments
jdemaegt1
jdemaegt1

WE (the People) need to OCCUPY Anaheim - until they STOP Discriminating Against - and Oppressing - the Homeless!
And what Anaheim is doing is ILLEGAL - and Anaheim (and its City Council members) needs to be Sued for their ILLEGAL Actions!!!


Jack O'Loughlin
Jack O'Loughlin

Anyone want to bet that Disney is behind this ? don't want people panhandling the people who visit the park. Ruin their image

Chris J Caroselli
Chris J Caroselli

"'Thanks for nothing buddy, you don't know what it's like to be broke!' 'Yeah I do, that's why I work..I know exactly what it's like: You sleep on the pavement, you dig through the garbage for food, and you bum money from strangers. Am I right?' '..that is what I do.'" - Bill Hicks

Oldschool Rocker
Oldschool Rocker

AND NOW IT BEGINS HERE ON THE WEST COAST! WAKE UP AMERICA! THIS IS SOME SERIOUS SHIT GOING DOWN! FEMA Camp Round Up Has Begun: The Homeless First! http://goo.gl/fb/wjGFM

Ward Anderson
Ward Anderson

Pushing the homeless to Fullerton? P.d. is probably licking their chops

David A Rivera
David A Rivera

Closer to Fullerton where it's illegal to be homeless... Fuckin Hell

Fred Stoces
Fred Stoces

Compassionate? are you kidding me? are they providing transportation for these people?? NO they make them walk with no food and no clothing. fuck the anaheim city council, tell them to walk 10-15 miles with no shoes or food and see what they say

Mickey McCloud
Mickey McCloud

"let's give money to other cities homeless shelters" what a brilliant, evil, plan.

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

A park is not a homeless shelter.  While we should not criminalize homelessness, they need to move to appropriate facilities like the armory.  Where's the problem here?

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@Fred Stoces They can go whereever they want? Anaheim city council provide transportation for them why not everyone? Some people don't want to walk from their hotel to CA Adventure. Should the city provide them with free transportation too? Just how retarded are you Fred.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

@20ftjesus I think the problem is that ordinances like this are not so much about moving the homeless to "appropriate" facilities as much as they are a strategy to make these human beings less visible...out of sight, out of mind.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@FishWithoutBicycle @20ftjesus Noone wants to see a bunch of vagrants begging for money to buy drugs with when they're trying to take their kids to the happiest place on earth. You know how much Disneyland tickets cost? Heck why not just let them panhandle in the park? You'd like that. Let the stinky, drunk, high, talking to themselves vagrants ride the rides for free too since we're being compassionate and all. 

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