Lawsuit Seeks to Stop Clearing Out of Homeless Camp in Anaheim

A lawsuit has been filed by a religious organization that serves the poor in Southern California to prevent local governments from clearing out a local encampment along a riverbed. 

The suit, filed in federal court by Orange County Catholic Worker claims the cleanup by the governments of Orange County and the cities of Anaheim, Costa Mesa and Orange violate constitutional protections. The lawsuit claims officials are pushing the homeless out without any plans for shelter. 

"They have nowhere else to go. At the same time over the past month, the surrounding cities have increased police presence and other private security," lawyer Brooke Weitzman told KFI's Andrew Mollenbeck. 

"We don't want to see them [homeless] again be ping-ponged between the county and the city as they finger-point of who's responsibility it is." 

A lawyer for Orange County says they won't comment on the merits of the lawsuit, but County Counsel Leon Page said that he looks forward to positive solutions that will benefit all, including those people who live along the Santa Ana River. 

Weitzman claims hundreds of homeless people along the flood control channel don't have anywhere to go. County officials say the large encampment is dangerous and dirty. The suit comes just a week after sheriff's deputies went tent to tent alerting people the encampment is being closed. 

Photo: Andrew Mollenbeck

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