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Posted on: March 11, 2019

Regional Effort to Address Homelessness

Photo of person lying on street under blankets

In an effort to comply with a Federal Mandate as well as a recent case law, Martin v. Boise (2018), the North Orange County Service Planning Area (“North SPA”), comprised of the cities of Yorba Linda, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, La Habra, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Orange, Placentia, Stanton, and Villa Park, has been collaborating on a regional approach to address homelessness in the North SPA, which includes identifying suitable locations for multiple shelters to provide homeless neighbors in the region with needed services.

Based on the local mandate by U.S. District Federal Judge David Carter, cities in the North SPA are required to work on a homeless housing plan for the region, which shall include creating Navigation Centers designed to house and service North Orange County cities’ homeless population. The requirement for the North SPA is to create Navigation Centers that would provide comprehensive supportive services including vocational services, recreational services, mental health, transportation services, and 200 beds to the homeless residents of the North Orange County region. If cities do not comply with the mandate to add emergency housing, they will not legally be able to keep the homeless from creating an encampment in public areas, such as city halls, senior centers, parks, and neighborhood sidewalks, including sidewalks in front of residents’ homes.

This decision, along with the recent Orange County Federal Court case presiding under Judge Carter, significantly limits the City’s ability to manage and control homeless proliferation and public camping in our community. In order to comply with these Federal requirements and court decisions, and to ensure that the City maintains local control over enforcement of its own anti-camping ordinance in public areas, including public sidewalks, the North SPA cities have identified two potential locations for Navigation Centers– one in Placentia and one in Buena Park. 

The City anticipates more information on the proposed locations and management of the proposed Navigation Center will be available in the coming weeks. 

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