Wed. Jun 12th, 2024

The NIMBY’s in north Santa Ana have been gnashing their teeth of late about the homeless shenanigans at the vacant office building at 2525 N. Main St. but what is happening there is just the tip of the iceberg.

The developer at that property ended up shuttering it entirely. He is paying for roving mobile security daily and all night. But what about all the other vacant properties in Santa Ana?

One reader sent me a comment today that he found a homeless vagrant in his secure apartment complex, sleeping. This is surely not an isolated incident.

As we all shelter in place and avoid social contact the businesses the homeless relied on for dumpster diving no longer have much food in their trash cans.

A trio of vagrants recently killed one of their own at Santiago Park. They were all known for panhandling. I suspect that this murder was just a sign of the unrest and desperation in that community.

Vagrants also recently broke into and vandalized the Lawn Bowling Center at Santiago Park. There is roving mobile security now in our parks but these miscreants must have timed their attack.

Even worse the SAPD is hand-tied right now as they know the Courts don’t want to be bogged down with misdemeanors and the O.C. Sheriff is already releasing criminals from jail early as officials try to keep COVID-19 from infecting everyone there including jail employees.

This is all happening while certain Santa Ana City Council members keep attacking the concept of sheltering the homeless in our city. Yes there are a few shelters but most of the homeless in our streets cannot gain access to shelter in many cases because they cannot prove a connection to Santa Ana.

Leaving these people in the street is a recipe for disaster! It is a certainty that COVID-19 will eventually infect them. They will in turn carry that infection into our public parks and streets.

Right now, for example, the homeless have few options when it comes to using the restroom. Most businesses have closed. There are few public options. At night, when the park restrooms are closed, there are no options at all. Where do you suppose they are defecating? Doctors say that the COVID-19 virus can be spread through fecal matter. Imagine tracking that into your home if you step on it?

Many of our readers on Facebook have been sending me pictures of the homeless breaking into vacant properties. This will only get worse as the pandemic continues.

At some point I suspect we are going to start seeing outright rioting, looting and home invasions.

I have no answers for this disaster and I am dismayed that our city leaders are just ignoring this. In most cases their only answer is to say that other cities should be sheltering the homeless. Well maybe so but this is a crisis here and now! We can’t just kick the ball down the road any more.

What will we do when reports come in about an elderly couple that was home invaded and killed? I assure you this is going to happen and soon if we don’t do something.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

24 thoughts on “The pandemic is driving Santa Ana’s homeless to more desperate acts”
  1. I have an answer but nobody will like it. Lock them up at the abandon military buildings by the blimp hangers. Take them food every day. There will be restrooms and showers there. It will break their drug habits. It will keep them away from others. When this is all over, teach them to work and be productive citizens again. Anything else as an excuse. Tuff love

    1. Very well said, this people can take care for themselves so they have to live by the rules people give them. If they dont like the rules they should get there head out of there asses get a job and stop being a parasite. Also we should tax more on the cities that this people are coming from and any people or personal that drops them in santa ana should also be prosecuted for collateral damages to the city of santa ana.

  2. Firstly, this should be labeled Opinion; it’s not “news” in a strict sense but maybe I’m asking too much of a blog and the writer. “Miscreants” as a descriptive term is not only unhelpful but also demonizing and unworthy of a “news” byline. This article doesn’t have that, so fair enough.

    But a long term solution isn’t what we care about- if we did, we’d compassionately devise a solution that helps whomever in the spectrum of homelessness. This includes the ‘institutionalized’ who many say won’t stay in shelters.

    Gene S. has a good idea but poor execution. A better idea is to take land, build shelters, transitional housing; staff it with folks who can help the transition for those who can do it. For the rest, food/water, drugs, medical care, and land to live in. Fenced, with geofencing and tracking, will assist in keeping them localized, hence easing the pressures on cities- it becomes a regional issue, with all cities within a region assisting each other. A limit on density/capita means you’d need a few but it would be better than the institutions of old, which Reagan closed back in the day- and a lot of the mentally handicapped who would have gone to institutions end up on the street.

    I know- expensive, how will we pay for it??!? who blah blah blah, etc. – but any progress on this HAS to better than the way we’re dealing with it now, which is half-assed at best and criminal at worst. For a so-called country founded on Judeo-Christian principles, we sure don’t seem to follow that much when money is involved, do we? And in the long run, it would likely be a LOT less expensive than the method now- but change is hard, thinking out of the box is hard, especially when someone is *living* in the box.

    Remember: there, but for the grace of God, go I. How we treat the least of us reflects on *all* of us.

    And I’m not even Christian or religious. I just give a damn and it kills me to see elderly people on the street, especially now. Would I pay higher taxes? Willingly. Even knowing that it wouldn’t change overnight- because good change, takes time- bad change doesn’t care, it just bursts in and upends everything. Sound familiar?

    Anyway, you have a good blog- but I’ll stop reading if you keep bringing your own opionions into coverage. Good journalism doesn’t do that (or, it if does, it labels it OPINION).

    Thanks for caring enough to write about it I suppose.

    1. Sigh. We make it obvious that we are a blog. Our name is New Santa Ana not Santa Ana News. When I started this blog in 2009 I had hoped to see a lot of change in our city but change comes slow. One day we will finally have a New Santa Ana but I suspect we will need a new generation to get that done. The old guard has failed.

      As a blog we reserve the right to have an opinion. 99% if our posts, by the way, are press releases. So really you are taking umbrage with 1% of our posts.

      I like your suggestions actually. It blows my mind to hear born again Christians ripping the idea of having shelters. What would Jesus do???

    2. With what money? What would be the economic impact of creating such shelters and whawould be the economict if no such shelters are built?

      These are all good ideas, but i see thisnshelter money being put into better use enhancig career centers currently open. Most homeless suffer from drug addiction which requires money and lots of it, tbus they steal. Homeless are highky unlikely to steal for food. Santa Ana residents will give food to hungry ppl because they majority are catholic or are nicer than the average person, why elsecwould they be here.

      Theres no easy solution to this issue, i dont know if theres ever been a solution.

  3. Every city in Orange County need to take action is nist just Santa Ana problem but a county problem and has to be addressed that way… after years of other cities in Orange County [insert high end OC City] illegally drop homeless at Santa Ana now they want to wash their hands…… they need to take responsibility asap

    1. I agree. The county board allowed homeless in Santa Ana to get this bad. This is the effect of south county cities dumping their homeless in Santa Ana. South county cities can take responsibility but the OC board refuses to open a shelter in South County and continues to look for ways to dump in Santa Ana.

  4. I dig it- I know you’re a blog. But it’s still Citizen Journalism. And I still think you could reach more by being less opinionated and more focused on actual news reporting- even if most is press releases (which for the most part I avoid if they’re from typical newslines like Reuters- or at the least I’ll reinforce it by checking other sources).

    Anyway, just my two cents sir- for doing it over a decade FYI, Google News brought me to you since I also check out Voice of OC, but only recently.

    With OC Weekly gone, and other local news orgs not what they used to be, Citizen Journalism is the best we have- today and tomorrow, for that ‘future’ Santa Ana you believe in.

    Don’t be so hard on the Boomers and Greatest Gen. Being Gen X, sure, they disappointed in some ways but in others, their heart was in the right place.

    Now, we need to have all gens understand that the best in all of us calls for actual best behavior. We’re not going to get it from so-called political leaders as everything is seen thru that crack’d glass as it were- nor will we get it from news or corporations – and we shouldn’t expect it if the overriding principle is Profit for Shareholders, which, is the central tenet of such organizations- to expect anything more is naivete at best and wishful thinking at worst.

    So many good things are happening, in so many ways- but much of it is done thru individual action and not thru organizations. They exist LITERALLY to pursue the ideas and ideals of individuals who spur others to action.

    Once more, thanks again for your efforts. I’ll keep my opinions to myself in the future, and hope that New Santa Ana becomes more News Santa Ana (which, honestly, I *did* kind of see it as that LOl what an idiot I can be). And thanks for your kind words on my dumb ideas- but they can’t be any dumber than what we’re doing now.


  5. I happen to be involved with those “miscreants” struggling to survive down in Santiago Park…and also knew the murderers well. Your article has several obvious flaws stated throughout, including how it left out the important fact that the man murdered was not local to the area and he was a serial rapist and child molester. This man was warned to stay away from 2525 and the park by the murderer himself, and when the man returned the locals organized their own kind of law enforcement.

    Oh, and by the way, not one of the three vigilantes was ever seen begging for your cash on a freeway offramp anywhere. Don’t label your assumptions as facts.

    Another thing: The possibility of homeless people suddenly morphing from disabled veterans and drug-addicted teenagers into violent criminals is basically nonexisistent. These people are just trying to survive against the odds and are probably the least of our concerns at this dangerous time. Far more disconcerting is the United States’ slow response to this very deadly and highly contagious pandemic. And personally I find Orange County’s general public to be responding with ignorant disinterest to such a serious threat to the safety, health, and even lives of our people. If we expect to get out of this alive, everyone must be on board with isolation orders whenever humanly possible.

    As far as the homeless at Santiago Park, I believe they are facing enough hardship trying to stave off potential decimation. Don’t make life even harder for people that have normalized more than enough mistreatment already. Like the saying goes, “don’t judge a man until you’ve walked in his shoes a mile or two.”

    1. Your comment fails to address the crimes these people are already committing. Those drug addicted young people are desperate and willing to do just about anything to keep feeding their drug habits.

      As for the panhandling many of our readers on our Facebook page clearly remember these suspects from panhandling at local 7-11 stores and gas stations.

      1. Not all homeless people r drug addicts. Or commit crimes. When this pandemic gets worse, many people r going to be killing , stealing and looting. These r people who r not homeless. Watch and see who does what. It’s going to Marshall law. Dont always blame the homeless. It may even b ur neighbor. Watch and see. I’m not kidding. I know what the hells going. Some people have no clue.

        1. My neighbors are nice people. That is not the point. My point is that while not all the homeless are criminals a lot of them are. And if we don’t do something about the desperate plight all of these people are in society is going to pay the price.

    2. I agree with u 100 percent. I have a good friend whose homeless. He’s an alcoholic , whose just trying to survive, not cause problems. God bless u and all the homeless. We need people to care and help. Not gripe and bitch about the homeless. God bless u. God bless America.

  6. What about when police pick up homeless from say newport beach but drop them off in santa ana .

    1. What most folks disregard is that many of these homeless have been here for years. You might recall that they used to camp at the Civic Center.

      True many more have come since. They are no doubt attracted by the weather and our local street gangs keep them supplied with drugs.

      1. I was there back in the day. I lived in my van I don’t do drugs, drink, not even smoke pot. I do god. So no I don’t do drugs. Im not homeless no more. U can’t put me in that class. Ok. My friend is homeless . He does not do drugs either. Or commit crimes. What would Jesus do? Everyday people r loosing their homes and r becoming a homeless. They r not doing drugs. Just because of this pandemic. They r not bad people. No. It’s happening. That’s very sad. God bless everyone. Helps us God.

        1. You are very correct. Unfortunately the actions of a few in the homeless community make them all look bad. In the past six months as I have walked by Santiago Creek at day and at night I have observed absolutely crazy behavior. It seems many of the homeless there are drugged out of their minds…

        2. Wow, I must say that many of these comments are ridiculous! A few are encouraging and much appreciated (Elisabeth minarek) so I don’t speak for all homeless here in Santa Ana, but I am homeless here in Santa Ana. For the people that say go get a job etc. What job? The industry I work in (tourism) has been completely shut down bc of this pandemic that has hit us. I came out here for a job from Las Vegas, (whoever said they are putting homeless in parking garages with full security sounds to be the one on drugs if he believes that) the job didn’t pan out and before I know it im stuck here in Orange county. No family, no friends, and no job. No we have this travel ban going on or I would very well be back home in Vegas. For now though im out here toughing it out with everyone else out here. Now mind you I have met several of the homeless people out here and alot of them are just trying to survive. Things everyone just takes for granted is something we fight to look for every day… Simple things like finding somewhere to charge our phone, going to the bathroom when we need to, or God forbid a shower! I’ve been fortunate enough to make myself a pretty cool little spot tucked away where im not bothering anyone and no one can see me. It it dosent change the fact that im not really supposed to be where im at. You know how difficult it is to walk around all day with all of your belongings? Us homeless people would love a solid spot to be be able to leave our things without the f ear of them going missing or thrown away when we head out for the day too try to make what money we can. Im not an alcoholic and im not a drug addict, I came out here on a whim for a job and it didn’t pan out. Now im doing the best with what I’ve been dealt. Whoever it was that said something along the lines of “don’t judge someone until you walk a mile in there shoes”, I couldn’t agree with more. Most of us out here have been just had a string of bad luck. Doesn’t mean we don’t want to change and better ourselves, it just means that we are doing the best of what we can with the cards that have been dealt to us… You can find me on and around 17th and Tustin. That’s the spot I’ve found to be the safest area for myself. If anyone would like to know more or has any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. (im available until my phone dies then I will have to wait to tomorrow before I can charge it again) thanks.

  7. I agree each city should have their own homeless people, do not dumpn them in our city. Please if was the us 0r3sident i will lock them

  8. Good Afternoon…I’m wondering how many responding to problem on this BLOG have a homeless friend or relative in S.A ! I can only SAY for the grace of GOD ..their go I.. I DO have a adult child who lives OUT there homeless. I cannot tell you how many times I have purchased a tent a for her,and then the City gets a wild hair up their backside and BULLDOZES these homeless individuals belongings! It is horrible! Give the homeless some dignity and respect! My GOD Other cities (placentia) for one, put up portable toilets off of Crowther at on point and had OUTREACH staff checking on their needs! You should be ashamed SANTA ANA!

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