IRVINE (CBSLA) — The battle is intensifying over where to relocate hundreds of homeless people in Orange County.

A federal judge recently ordered the county to come up with a plan and it did. But now residents are rising up.

As CBSLA’s Laurie Perez reports, hundreds of Irvine residents showed up at a protest Sunday to voice their opposition to placing Orange County’s homeless population in the city.

Related: Orange County Considers Relocating Homeless To Irvine

The county is considering putting the homeless across from Great Park as it works to handle a persistent homeless problem.

The Great Park area is one of three sites proposed as a temporary shelter in Orange County. It’s just over 100 acres of county-owned land.

Thousands of homeless were evicted from the shores of the Santa Ana riverbed last month. The county wants to move hundreds more out of an encampment outside the Santa Ana Civic Center.

But what started out this week as an idea to create three temporary shelters in Huntington Beach, Laguna Niguel and Irvine, turned into a counter proposal to put all 400 homeless people in a mass tent city on the land across the street from Great Park.

Related: South Orange County Homeless Plan Sparks Outrage

“I have nine grandchildren. I have three grown kids and I would never allow this kind of thing next to my home,” said Irvine Vice Mayor Christina Shea.

A crowd of locals spent Sunday morning not at the park, as they say they often do, but across the street saying this is no place for the county’s swelling homeless population — especially since those who want help have already been placed.

“I hate to say this but the homeless that are planning to come here really represent the worst of them because they’re the ones that aren’t following the rules, that don’t want to give up the drugs, that don’t want to accept services or housing,” said Irvine Commissioner Anthony Kuo. “And to put those across the street from sports fields and a senior community in my mind is just an incompatible use.”

Homeowners say it’s not only a bad plan for them but for the homeless. Some saying the land remains contaminated from use as a Marine Corps Air Station and it won’t give the homeless what they need.

“They are just trying to dump those people in a place in a tent like where they were,” said Chris Yuan.

There has been tremendous pushback, not only in Irvine but in Huntington Beach and Laguna Niguel.

The Board of Supervisors is set to meet Tuesday to continue its work figuring out where to relocate hundreds of homeless people.

Comments (24)
  1. Simon Jones says:

    Put them in Beverly Hills, the Governors Mansion, Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland or leave them where they are. Liberals should stew in what they perpetuate.

  2. What ye sow, so shall ye reap, you morons!

  3. John Wienke says:

    How about treating them like human beings?! You can’t relocate someone just because you don’t like them! How would you like it if your community decided to relocate you? If you can’t be nice to someone just leave them alone! Capitalism killed America!!!

  4. Not surprisingly, people don’t want alcoholics, drug users and the mentally ill wandering around their neighborhoods.

  5. Clifford Dobson says:

    Instead of sending 5,000 troops to Texas border to build tent cities and spend 50 – 100 million over next 3 – 6 months, send them to California and convert the vacant big box stores into Ikea-sample-sized apartments with mental health counselors, drug rehab, and job counselors. Repeal the 2017 Republican $1 trillion dollar tax scam for the top 1% fat cats and hire the jobless to tackle the $11 billion maintenance backlog in the national parks and national forests. Assign some teams to do fire prevention. If you haven’t been to Ikea, they have sample tiny homes to show how you can live in a small space and still be comfortable. Instead of increasing the federal budget by a hundred billion dollars for weapons the Pentagon doesn’t need, Congress should spend it on infrastructure.

Leave a Reply