Santa Ana votes to sue Orange County, its 33 cities over homeless issue

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do and the city of Santa Ana are standing up in the fight over where to place the county's homeless.

The City Council voted to sue the county and its 33 other cities to force others to help find a permanent solution.

"Our kids matter, too. This is something that we need to take responsibility for, the county needs to take responsibility for," Tim Johnson said.

The action comes on the heels of Costa Mesa rejecting a plan to place a shelter in the city, and the county squashing ideas of temporary shelters in Irvine, Huntington Beach and Laguna Niguel amid public outcry.

"Santa Ana has been the dumping ground for the county, by and large, and we have way more homeless than we have statistics," Mayor Miguel Pulido said.

More than 200 homeless people live in the city's Civic Center, an area federal judge David Carter ordered officials to begin clearing April 2. That comes just as the county looks for a place for more than 500 people displaced from the Santa Ana River Trail.

"That's a good first step - but we can do a lot better than that. We need to and I believe we will," Pulido said.

City leaders said they will continue to do their part, but they just want the other cities to start stepping up, too.

"Get away from the NIMBY - the 'Not In My Backyard' - and be a YIMBY. Say 'Yes In My Backyard' - in a controlled manner," Pulido said.

Carter invited mayors and city managers from every city in the county to his courtroom on Tuesday.
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