O.C. Officials Agree to Extend Motel Stays ‘on Case-by-Case Basis’ for Homeless People Removed From Santa Ana River

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U.S. District Judge David Carter, center, greets Shane Allen during a February visit to a homeless encampment along the Santa Ana River. (Credit: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

After a rare federal court hearing Saturday, Orange County officials agreed to extend motel stays “on a case-by-case basis” to homeless people removed from camps along the Santa Ana River while working to prevent the mass evictions from worsening the homeless crisis at the Santa Ana Civic Center.

The daylong hearing and negotiations marked the latest chapter of an extraordinary effort by officials, homeless advocates and a federal judge to improve the lot of the growing homeless population in one of America’s most affluent counties.

Andrew Do, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, announced what he called the “big concession” at about 5 p.m., after more than five hours of meetings between attorneys for the homeless and county staff. “This is not a blanket extension,” he warned, adding that starting next week, officials will help transition up to 100 people a day from motels to their next stop.

Do scheduled a special supervisors meeting on Monday to discuss using county land and sites available for shelter.

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