Anaheim clears homeless encampment at Maxwell Park, offers 200 beds

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- Officials cleared out a homeless encampment at a popular park in Anaheim on Friday, and dozens of people in need were moved to an emergency shelter.

This particular encampment sprung up at Maxwell Park about two months ago, according to the city of Anaheim.

In recent days, the homeless were warned this day was coming, but a new law is in effect that requires a city to provide beds for the homeless who are moved out.

An emergency shelter with 200 beds is located not too far from Angel Stadium. Thirty-five people living at Maxwell Park were brought there on Thursday, and so far, 20 have agreed to take up the city of Anaheim's' offer for a bed at the shelter.

Anaheim City Spokesperson Mike Lyster explained why the transition is happening.

"We got a library right here, we got homes 100 yards from us, we got schools right behind us. The equally sad part of this is that there's a tremendous impact on the neighborhood from an encampment like this. We need to address both of those things, and now we have a humane option for folks who've been living on this sidewalk..." Lyster said.

A number of homeless advocates have been helping out with the transition. Some say it isn't the perfect solution but it's a start.

"There's still a lot we have to do," said homeless advocate Heidi Zimmerman. "We have to monitor the shelters, make sure that people are treated with dignity and that there's a solution. Once they go to the shelter, where do they go after that?"
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