Anaheim considers…local emergency as homeless population continues to grow along … River Trail L A Times ^

Anaheim considers…local emergency as homeless population continues to grow along … River Trail
L A Times ^

Posted on 9/11/2017, 11:38:55 AM by BenLurkin

Hikers and enthusiasts who use the trail for biking, jogging and horseback riding say it is full of drug users and violent transients.

Tensions have boiled over as more than 11,000 people have signed a petition aimed at reclaiming the trail. They are urging officials to enforce anti-camping ordinances in the area and to crack down on crime.

The City Council plans to meet Tuesday to consider declaring a local emergency at the trail site. Officials said they want to link forces with county, state and federal agencies, as well as with faith groups and nonprofits to help relocate the homeless and to discourage others from settling in the riverbed area.

“We can no longer tolerate the way things are,” said Anaheim resident George Gonzales, 45, who lives near the Honda Center and whose family uses the recreational path on weekends to stay fit.

Tammy Schuler, 41, who shares her cluttered tarp-covered plot on the trail with her boyfriend and younger brother, said she and her homeless neighbors make do “with this way of life. We trade and try to help each other. We have no choice. If we did, we would be safer.”

The former eyeglass technician, who grew up in California, staked a spot next to her mother and her dog, named after the character Smeagol in “Lord of the Rings,” one of five chihuahuas that the family owns.

“This area is not intended for human habitation. We are trying to assess what needs are out there,” Braun said, adding that county staff is in regularly in touch with officials from Anaheim, Fountain Valley, Orange and Santa Ana — the cities most affected by the trail — “because it’s imperative that we work together to solve the problem.”

(Excerpt)


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