City of Santa Ana
Today, the Orange County Health Care Agency, City of Santa Ana, CityNet began a joint, enhanced effort to connect the homeless population within the Orange County Civic Center’s “Plaza of the Flags” to emergency shelters and services. The planned joint effort will enforce a U.S. District Court ordinance to prohibit overnight camping within the Civic Center campus, starting on April 2.
The Civic Center campus is jointly operated by the County of Orange, the City of Santa Ana and the Orange County Superior Court. A recent count confirmed that approximately 200 individuals regularly camp overnight within the Plaza of the Flags. The County and City are working together to comply with the District Court ordinance, with a goal to support relocations by the end of the day on Friday, April 6. Enforcement would only take place after social services workers have met with each person in the Plaza of the Flags encampment to provide them with information on their options for shelter and/or social services.
The City’s first goal is compliance and will rely on the County to provide the services to help every individual receive the resources and support they need. The County’s social services are the experts on evaluation of the homeless and have control to place people into mental health services, substance abuse services or other housing. Orange County Health Care Agency Outreach and Engagement workers are taking the lead in conducting assessments of individuals, while the City is providing public safety support and property storage for those who may not be able to take all their personal property with them to shelters. The City will store this personal property for 90 days at no cost.
This news was covered in a wide range of English and Spanish media outlets today.