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Noting Public Pressure, OC Supervisors Approve Homeless Services and Housing

Orange County supervisors, acknowledging pressure from activists and others, are moving in a new direction to address the county’s growing homelessness, including encampments along the Santa Ana River near Angel Stadium and the Honda Center.

“Since the beginning of this year…we have received hundreds of public comments here in our meetings, specifically on homelessness, and in particular the Santa Ana riverbed,” Supervisor Andrew Do said as he opened the discussion at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

“This does not include the other hundreds of phone calls, letters, and emails directed to our individual offices.”

“Homelessness in this county…has reached a crisis point,” said Do. “If we do not take action, this crisis, especially the encampments, will pose dangerous risks to public safety, public health and the environment.”

At the request of Do and Supervisor Todd Spitzer, the four supervisors who attended the meeting authorized $5 million in new housing for homeless people with serious mentally illnesses.

They also voted unanimously to spend $750,000 between July 1 and the end of the year on support services for people living in homeless encampments. The funding will go to a yet-to-be-named organization, which would likely partner with other organizations to provide “intensive case management” and help “link” people to permanent supportive and transitional housing.

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