laguna and homelessness

Agreements between Laguna Beach and Santa Ana regarding Federal lawsuit that remains to outline the way Orange County handles the spiraling homelessness problem. Each city has joined forces with multiple other counties that have already agreed to build shelters. These shelters would include beds and kitchens, along with taking a “healthcare-first” approach to dealing with the homeless.

The city of Laguna Beach will continue to run its Alternative Sleeping Location, including a small shelter with 45 beds. The Laguna Center is the only low barrier emergency shelter located in South Orange County.

Santa Ana has also agreed to open another 200- bed homeless shelter. The Link, a county-ran 200-bed homeless shelter, is already located in the city along with the Courtyard, which holds 425-beds. Each of the cities’ settlements requires health experts to assess the homeless who seek to find shelter and will be placed based on their health and needs.

If the shelters refuse anyone a bed, anti-camping and loitering laws can be enforced. Cities must also have and move towards offering beds for 60% of the homeless population in their town. Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Orange, and the county have all settled in the agreement. Surrounding cities including, Orange County’s North Service Planning Area, which includes Villa Park, Yorba Linda, Placentia, Brea, La Habra, Buena Park, La Palma, Cypress, Los Alamitos, Stanton, Fullerton, Anaheim, and Orange. have also signed similar agreements.

“We are pleased with this settlement, and it is consistent with this [City] Council’s approach to matters of this kind,” Laguna Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow said in a statement. “We want to balance the rights of individuals with the rights of the public to public safety.”