Homeless living along Santa Ana riverbed evicted

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- The homeless living along the Santa Ana riverbed behind the Honda Center were moved out on Monday. County officials say the move is part of a bigger plan to help the homeless, but not everyone agrees.

Daniel Stocki is one of dozens of homeless people living behind the Honda Center who were evicted. He's called the area home for five years.

"Well, very frustrating because it's been several times now that we've had to move in just the last year," Stocki said.

The county posted notice last week, requiring those in the homeless encampment to relocate, because the area is part of a private flood channel property that is needed for maintenance.

"We do have to maintain the flood control property for larger community safety as well as the safety of the individuals here. So we're asking folks for voluntary compliance," said Shannon Widor with Orange County Public Works.

The county also said debris and trash from the camp could cause a water quality issue.

Gregory Moter, who also calls the riverbed home, said the homeless population is growing out of control.

"We just got too many people. There's too many people out here now. It's like tripled in the last year, Moter said.

The eviction comes as the county begins to implement a $750,000, six-month program to provide services and clear the river bed altogether.

Some advocates said it's a positive move, while others believe the county continues to fail the homeless community.

"I'm very happy and excited for what the county is starting to implement, and we are moving forward," said Donald Dermit with The Rock Church's homeless outreach program.

Jeanine Robbins with the People's Homeless Task Force says the county should seek other ways to help instead of giving people the boot.

"Everybody's dropped the ball. These people have found a place that works for them. Let's service them here. To evict them like this is inhumane," Robbins said.

According to county officials, that six-month program includes installing bathrooms, toilets and showers for the homeless to use. However, activists are frustrated that none of that has happened yet.
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