A new plan by Orange County mayors on how and where to house the homeless population in the county has come under fire by Silverado residents.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors have worked over the last few months to try and find a solution to house dozens of homeless individuals who were evicted from the Santa Ana Riverbed trail. Officials have tried to come up with spots where the homeless could be sheltered, but every time, residents in Orange County cities have revolted.
The latest controversial spot? A former elementary school on county land in Silverado Canyon.
Residents say it's an incredibly inappropriate spot for a homeless camp. A child care center is located there, along with a community garden and new library. Residents say the county didn't do its research when it proposed the new location.
“The fact that none of the mayors did their research. They didn’t even know that there was a daycare here. They thought it might be across the street,” Silverado Canyon resident Joanne Hubble told CBS2. “We’re not equipped to deal with this. We just had a fire up in the canyon. They’re still fighting it. What if we had to evacuate? What is they had to evacuate 400 people with no vehicles?”
Critics of the location say the rural location is inconvienent for the homeless who would be sheltered there - it's nearly 7 miles to the nearly grocery store, and even farther for other services for the homeless, like medical and job sites.
A shelter would also force a new library in the area to close, something that has residents up in arms. Three votes from the Board of Supervisors would be required for them to approve the new use.