City of Anaheim holds homeless outreach day in bid to clear encampments

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- Tents, booths, tables and trailers were all set up in the parking lot of Angel stadium, just adjacent to rows and rows of tents on the Santa Ana river trail.

The city of Anaheim gathered dozens of service providers in hopes of getting members of this homeless community off the trail and into housing.

"There's criminal activity, there's disease, there's human waste, there's real suffering," said city councilwoman Kris Murray. "We have to make sure people get off these streets and into safe and secure housing."

Organizations provided food, showers, pet vaccinations and options to get people off the street. For Eddie, who's lived along the trail for three years, a haircut and beard trim made a big difference. "It makes me feel better. I feel better about myself, more presentable to people," he said.

The outreach comes as the county closes encampment along the trail, which members of this community say has pushed hundreds more into the area behind Angel stadium. Some say there's nowhere left to go.

"They're doing a lot of good things with this outreaches and stuff but still there's no affordable housing, there's no jobs," said Frank Block.

City leaders say their biggest goal was to show people there are opportunities for them and to give them a way out. "I know it helps me to know that there is hope," said Steven Elizondo. "If people are reaching out to me, most likely I want to reach out back."

The county has said it would like to close this stretch of the river trail to homeless encampments next year.
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