The landmark settlement agreement announced last week by Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do, the county’s lead negotiator for homeless litigation, was signed by all parties today and filed in Judge David O. Carter’s courtroom. The agreement is effective immediately.
The Orange County Catholic Worker and Ramirez settlement agreement includes the following components:
• Deputies may enforce anti-loitering and anti-camping laws immediately in restricted areas such as county parks, county flood control property, and county libraries, among others.
• The settlement agreement is applicable to the North and Central service planning areas of the County.
• The Orange County Sheriff’s Department will develop policies and procedures relating to the enforcement of the anti-camping and anti-loitering ordinances that meet the requirements of Martin v. City of Boise.
• The settlement includes the development of the Standards of Care for county-contracted homeless shelters. The Standard of Care will ensure that program eligibility, rights and responsibilities, staff training, grievance process, ADA compliance and services are implemented.
• Screenings and assessments will be made available to all homeless persons within the County of Orange who may be eligible for County-funded treatment programs and resources. When appropriate, the County will provide linkage to appropriate services and programs.
Supervisor Andrew Do Addressed the Court, Stating:
“The framework for the System of Care that the County has built, in part as a response to these lawsuits, will serve as a blueprint that, hopefully, other jurisdictions can adopt.”
“I am proud of the fact that these proposed settlements, for the North and Central Service Planning Areas in the County, strike a good balance between compassionate treatment of homeless residents and the County’s ability to address public health and safety concerns.”
“But, what I’m most proud of is the fact that the County’s System of Care was already in the process of being constructed, even before these lawsuits. Supervisor Bartlett and I began working on mental health started with the Mental Health Ad Hoc Committee over 4 years ago. This was followed up by my proposal for the position of Director of Care Coordination over three years ago, and continued with the opening of the Courtyard, Orange County’s first homeless shelter ever, four months later. The clearing out of the homeless encampments around the County became the County’s next focus to address the exploding public health and safety risks that came with those encampments, which led to us being before you the past 18 months.”
“I would like to thank the named and intervening cities, that have stepped up; they are working day and night to build innovative projects and contributing to the solution to homelessness,” said Supervisor Do. “The momentum that has been sustained by all of these cities, especially in the north SPA, has been instrumental in making Orange County a shining example of prudent, compassionate care for the homeless and made our settlements here today possible.”
Read Supervisor Do’s full statement to the court here.