Anaheim Removes Benches from Around Disneyland to Deter Homeless

The city of Anaheim has removed several benches in high traffic areas near the Disneyland Resort to prevent the homeless from taking them over.

Since last October, the city has taken out bus benches at four different stops at Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue.

Anaheim city spokesman Mike Lyster says the benches at the stops were outliving their purpose.

“It pains us to have to remove bus benches. We know many people use them to get to and from work, or to visit the resort. But the reality is bus riders lost use of these benches a long time ago. Bus riders would end up standing in the sun waiting for buses as the benches were taken up.”

He says the city is working to assist people experiencing homelessness and giving them access to shelters and other options for long term housing.

There are about 800 people who are homeless that live in the city and many have set up tent cities along the Santa Ana river near Honda Center extending past Angel Stadium.

One woman, Linda Henriquez says she sleeps in a bus stop on Harbor and Katella on and off for the past two years.

“I think they got frustrated with the homeless people sleeping on the benches, but you know, they are doing it anyways. Now, we’re sleeping on the floor.”

Another man experiencing homelessness is 53-year old Jeff Raulino who says he has lived on the streets in those areas for four years.

He says the issues may come in with the younger homeless kids and alcohol.

“What happens is at night, the kids buy the alcohol and hang out at the bus stops and get rowdy. Some of the cops have said it’s OK to sleep around here – just do it late at night and wake up early.”

Tourists aren't too pleased with the changes either, Raveena Lal says it's an inconvenience for her mom and grandmother.

“They should figure out a way to bring benches here especially for the elderly guests.” 

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