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Old 02-21-17, 11:11 AM   #1
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Can anything be done about the homeless situation on the SART?

The homeless population has grown out of control on the SART, and (IMO) it is becoming a serious safety (not to mention health) issue. We have had several occasions where these "residents" wander into the trail in front of oncoming bikes. The drug use is rampant. The mental health aspect is concerning to say the least. They also seem to be getting the MOB mentality where they just don't care and are getting to be pretty brazen.


And I can't imagine what it has done to the local petty theft rates. These guys have piles of bikes and bike parts in their encampments that are truly astonishing! (Not to mention all of the home goods, generators, etc.)


I'm wondering if there is anything that "regular" users of the trail can do (or who to start raising cain with) to motivate the city to get to work fixing this problem.


IMO, this situation should have NEVER grown to this level. Regular users of the trail are being pushed away, because it's just too uncomfortable to be there anymore. I know I really have no desire to ride there anymore.


Truly a shame.
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Old 02-21-17, 02:01 PM   #2
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I emailed to these folks today.


The Mayor of Anaheim Tom Tait: ttait@anaheim.net


Santa Ana City Council: citycouncil@santa-ana.org
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Old 02-21-17, 03:20 PM   #3
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I think Santa Ana River is control by county, not cities.
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Old 02-21-17, 08:16 PM   #4
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Yep, the SART (and other rivers-turned-flood-control-channels) is managed by the counties where it passes through their jurisdiction - San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange County. You'd be better off contacting the supervisors in the county where you live/have a concern, and it wouldn't hurt to send a letter of concern to the Southern California Association of Governments ('SCAG'), as they try and coordinate regional issues (especially applying for federal and state grant monies for projects like SART maintenance and/or rehab).

http://www.scag.ca.gov/Pages/default.aspx
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Old 02-23-17, 09:24 AM   #5
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And don't forget the Sixth Street Los Angeles Viaduct project that is part of the L.A. River. Can you imagine millions of dollars to make the adjacent acreage a beautiful park?

Who do you think is going to reside in that area?

http://www.sixthstreetviaduct.org/faq
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Old 02-23-17, 10:28 AM   #6
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To make you feel even more comfortable on your SART excursions, be aware that a good-sized portion of the "river population" is composed of registered sex offenders-- unable to obtain housing (because no one wants to rent to sex offenders, on top of the local restrictions placed on them by the courts) they end up in the riverbed. Source: my local cops.

I've noticed there's a real difference in the types of river dwellings employed in the OC compared to up here at the north end-- you guys have pretty much tent cities, we've got the shantytown vibe, where the little villages are made out of everything from corrugated steel and pallets to places that look like actual sheds and outbuildings. This is most likely because up here it's still a "river", with dirt and trees, and you guys have a concrete channel. That's what makes it look so much worse down past Angel Stadium-- at every overpass, there's like 10 tents clustered there.

Ride on the northern SART around sunrise-- it's just columns of smoke wisping up out of the trees from the fires for cooking and heating. It ain't gonna get any better. Law enforcement has little desire to clear them out-- push the homeless out of the river, they just move into the parks and alleys.
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Old 02-23-17, 10:46 AM   #7
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10? More like 30 tents per overpass.

I saw some guys building a fire right up against what looked like an electrical switch box Tuesday evening (SGRT). SMH.
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Old 02-23-17, 11:39 AM   #8
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Research has shown the best solution to homelessness is homes.
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Old 02-23-17, 12:06 PM   #9
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Research has shown the best solution to homelessness is homes.
For many that is very true. But for a large number of the homeless, who have mental issues or other related problems, more housing, without more, won't solve the problem.
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Old 02-23-17, 12:09 PM   #10
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I worked with homeless men and women for 4 years.

Most of them have had serious head injuries.

They have many side effects from medications.

They Stop taking the meds after a while
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Old 02-24-17, 08:30 AM   #11
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I worked with homeless men and women for 4 years.

Most of them have had serious head injuries.

They have many side effects from medications.

They Stop taking the meds after a while
That reminds me, wear your helmets, at least to lessen the chance of a head injury. Don't want to see you there in the tents.
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Old 02-24-17, 09:13 PM   #12
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I haven't been on SART for a while, but was very surprised by all the homeless right on the trail when I went from Imperial to HB and back today. I saw a lot of police cars-- five or six that I can clearly recall-- so obviously they have greatly stepped up patrols around the encampments. I hope that when the weather dries out the campers will return to the other side of the berm. If they don't, I think I'll avoid riding SART to the extent it is possible.

Someone I know who has experience dealing with the homeless around here said, in effect, that it's not a social malaise to be cured by offering homes, money, food or camping equipment. The large majority are mentally ill and/or dealing with addiction issues. In his experience these people are there because they have pretty much ruined their relationships with connections they once tapped for support: family, local non-profits, local government resources, whatever. They don't want to live in a shelter, because in a shelter there are rules, like you're unwelcome if you're obviously wasted.

I think this is an intractable problem which will not be solved anytime soon. Local government is strapped for cash in pretty much every city, and as the pension problem worsens here in CA, more and more of today's dollars will be going to pay for yesterday's employees. I would be surprised if the shelter opening in Anaheim even makes a dent in the SART homeless population, but I hope they prove me wrong. Unfortunately, only a small segment of taxpayers use SART for cycling or running.
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Old 02-24-17, 09:25 PM   #13
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Zippy & other SART users:

Orange County started clearing the camp across from Angel Stadium yesterday (Thursday) so they can use the area to stockpile construction materials for repairs along that section of the river channel. They have until the end of next week to leave or the stuff left there will be confiscated by the County. A lot might just move across the River to the Stadium side where the bike trail is, so take care if you ride through there. I might go up there Sunday if the weather is OK (rain expected), and if anyone else also goes through that area this weekend try and give us all a brief report on conditions.

FWIW: That area is used/has been used in the past to store construction materials (rocks for 'rip-rap', sand, gravel) and stage equipment for construction projects. It hasn't been used in the last few years due to the drought conditions, so that's probably why the homeless camp got as big as it did (along with the availability of government services across State College Blvd from 'The Block' shopping center).
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Old 02-24-17, 09:34 PM   #14
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Zippy & other SART users:
Orange County started clearing the camp across from Angel Stadium yesterday (Thursday) so they can use the area to stockpile construction materials for repairs along that section of the river channel. They have until the end of next week to leave or the stuff left there will be confiscated by the County. A lot might just move across the River to the Stadium side where the bike trail is, so take care if you ride through there.
It's already quite full on the stadium side. Going slow through there or avoiding it entirely seems like the only options right now.
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Old 02-24-17, 09:39 PM   #15
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It's already quite full on the stadium side. Going slow through there or avoiding it entirely seems like the only options right now.
Thanks for the update. I expect it'll only get worse in the next few weeks.
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Old 02-24-17, 10:04 PM   #16
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Thanks for the update. I expect it'll only get worse in the next few weeks.
Like the song says, "when the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around."
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Old 02-25-17, 11:56 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post
I haven't been on SART for a while, but was very surprised by all the homeless right on the trail when I went from Imperial to HB and back today. I saw a lot of police cars-- five or six that I can clearly recall-- so obviously they have greatly stepped up patrols around the encampments. I hope that when the weather dries out the campers will return to the other side of the berm. If they don't, I think I'll avoid riding SART to the extent it is possible.

Someone I know who has experience dealing with the homeless around here said, in effect, that it's not a social malaise to be cured by offering homes, money, food or camping equipment. The large majority are mentally ill and/or dealing with addiction issues. In his experience these people are there because they have pretty much ruined their relationships with connections they once tapped for support: family, local non-profits, local government resources, whatever. They don't want to live in a shelter, because in a shelter there are rules, like you're unwelcome if you're obviously wasted.

I think this is an intractable problem which will not be solved anytime soon. Local government is strapped for cash in pretty much every city, and as the pension problem worsens here in CA, more and more of today's dollars will be going to pay for yesterday's employees. I would be surprised if the shelter opening in Anaheim even makes a dent in the SART homeless population, but I hope they prove me wrong. Unfortunately, only a small segment of taxpayers use SART for cycling or running.
I think you're right but I hope you're wrong. LA County is trying to pass measure H (yet another sales tax increase) to combat homelessness. I'm sure it will pass and I'm sure it will be just as ineffective as you predict.
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Old 02-25-17, 12:40 PM   #18
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LA County is trying to pass measure H (yet another sales tax increase) to combat homelessness. I'm sure it will pass and I'm sure it will be just as ineffective as you predict.
Yup.
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Old 02-25-17, 04:18 PM   #19
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An ICE sweep would be pretty effective.
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Old 02-25-17, 06:53 PM   #20
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I stopped taking the OCR some months back, so I had no idea until someone told me, but apparently the situation is kind of in limbo right now, as the ACLU filed suit over this, and the suit was settled.
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Old 02-25-17, 07:44 PM   #21
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Pics form today. Seems the homeless have abandoned the east side of the river (Orangewood) and moved to the west side causing plenty of congestion, debris, and all kinds of other dangerous obstructions to cyclists. This is pretty dangerous in my opinion and I wonder how they allow it? No rules, no laws, several dogs loose on the path with no leashes, scum buckets pizzing on the trail so that cyclists have to ride through it and get splattered with urine!

Not only the homeless but if you look at who is hanging out in the camps and underpasses (more near Warner) you will see they attract the local hoodlums and when you ride by, one can't help but get the odor of dope in you nostrils!

Some say they are down on their luck. Well yeah, you spent all your money on drugs and alcohol, what do you expect?

The volunteers have absolutely no sense either. They block the freeway on ramp at Orangewood with their cars so they can stop and drop off junk.

Yes, junk! Look at the pictures! The homeless just left everything there they don't need, piles of junk! The volunteers out to be responsible to clean that crap up!

Volunteers have been stopping their cars, and parking on the trail to drop off stuff. Sooner or later, cyclists are going to get hurt because of their stupidity!

Everybody says, people just looking for a better life. Sorry, but ride through there. They are bullies, druggies, alcoholics and low lives that don't have a better life because they do bad things!

Today, some idiot sat himself right in the middle of the trail. A few of us rolling through shouting heads up. He jumps up and starts shouting ignorant obnoxious comments. I've had a few shout obscene comments over the simple fact that we are cyclists.

Once I stopped at the restroom across from the Honda Center. I exited the restroom only to find a large guy hassling a small female cyclist. I gave him a piece of my mind and I bet he doesn't hassle anyone else!

Poor unlucky souls down on their luck? I don't think so! More like bullies, druggies and alcoholics who chose to live out there because they have no rules and do whatever they want!

First two pictures....This is the junk they just left on the east side. Now they are on the west side.
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Last edited by ClydeTim; 02-25-17 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 02-25-17, 07:46 PM   #22
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They don't even have enough consideration to stay off the path for any cyclists' safety in mind.
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Old 02-25-17, 07:47 PM   #23
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Junk everywhere!
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Old 02-25-17, 07:49 PM   #24
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More.
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Old 02-25-17, 08:56 PM   #25
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druggies, alcoholics and low lives that don't have a better life because they do bad things!

People addicted to alcohol and drugs are not "low lives." They are human beings. All human beings deserve to be treated with dignity.

An alcoholic or drug addict can't stop "doing bad things" even if they want to. It isn't a matter of choice or of willpower. They can't stop their behavior no matter how much they want to. That's the nature of addiction.

I understand that it is a bad situation out there but the ones who are alcoholics and drug addicts need our help, not our condemnation. Cycling means nothing in comparison and I wonder how many cyclists actually stop to talk to any of them, hear their story, how they got into the situation and asked if there was anything they could do to help.


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