O.C.’s Homeless Plan Collapsing as Residents Balk at Having Shelters in Their Neighborhoods

Just a few days ago, Orange County appeared to have a grand plan to deal with its swelling homeless population.

A cyclist passes trash from the Santa Ana River homeless camp in Anaheim in February after it was cleared and more than 700 people relocated. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

A cyclist passes trash from the Santa Ana River homeless camp in Anaheim in February after it was cleared and more than 700 people relocated. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The idea was to move hundreds of people being evicted from camps along the Santa Ana River into motels and eventually into three temporary shelters in Huntington Beach, Irvine and Laguna Niguel, marking the county's most concrete effort yet to find housing for the unsheltered.

But the plan is now in serious jeopardy after those three communities vowed to do whatever it takes to keep the shelters out. Leaders in Irvine and Laguna Niguel voted to sue the county to block the shelter plan, and local officials want to drop the Huntington Beach location.

Now the county is scrambling to find a solution. Officials have pushed the homeless out of encampments because of complaints from nearby residents. But the county's existing homeless shelters are already at capacity, and a federal judge has demanded that local governments find places for the evicted people to live.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.