County Partners With City Net To Entice Homeless Out Of Santa Ana River Camps

homeless Big A AB feat

From the County of Orange:

County Partners with City Net for Santa Ana River Flood Control Channel Homeless Engagement Initiative

Starting July 1, 2017, the County of Orange began a partnership with the nonprofit City Net for directed supplemental engagement services for individuals experiencing homelessness encamped along the Santa Ana River flood control channel.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved $750,000 on June 6, 2017, for the County to provide enhanced services to the encamped homeless population between Chapman Avenue and Katella Avenue. The Board identified the greatest areas of need to include services like triage operations, intensive case management, and links to both transitional and permanent supportive housing. The County entered into a sole source contract with City Net as the service provider and began a six-month pilot project initiative focusing on the encampment area along the west side of the Santa Ana River flood control channel from Chapman Avenue in the city of Orange to Katella Avenue in the city of Anaheim. The cost of the contract is $720,000, and $30,000 is allocated for County expenses related to the initiative.

“The County is redoubling its efforts to help homeless individuals with this initiative,” said Vice Chair Andrew Do, First District Supervisor. “By expanding our existing resource teams with the nonprofit agency City Net, we will be linking these individuals to available residential programs.”

The initiative will provide a geographically focused and daily coordinated campaign of outreach efforts that will result in verifiable connections to housing resources. By utilizing new and existing resources throughout the County, the project will assist individuals experiencing homelessness and set them on a path that leads toward housing stability. City Net will begin by conducting a homeless neighbor census along with a service needs and resource assessment to determine the scope of the project and improve responses to meet the diverse needs of those inhabiting these areas.

“Our duty is to promote safety, improve access to available resources, mitigate impacts related to this area encampment and end the use of the flood control channel as a place to reside,” said Supervisor Todd Spitzer, Third District. “A flood control channel is not a safe place to live, and the County intends to close the riverbed to this unauthorized use.”

Once the census and needs assessment are completed, the initiative will align with the Orange County Continuum of Care and will provide documentation as individuals leave the flood control channel and accept available resources. The goal of the initiative is to engage all individuals encamped in the area with case management activities and coordinate 10-15 connections to housing resources per month through collaborative case management. The City Net contract includes three full-time Collaborative Case Manager/Housing Navigators and two full-time Community Resource Mobilizers.

“Homelessness in Orange County and across the nation has reached crisis levels,” said Chairwoman Michelle Steel, Second District Supervisor. “We as a County must address this issue in an effective and collaborative way as we implement this initiative. To continue to see change in homelessness in Orange County, engagement with the cities will be essential.”

As part of the initiative, City Net will employ Illumination Foundation as a sub-contractor to provide five full-time staff dedicated to outreach case management, housing navigation, substance abuse counseling, behavioral health therapy and peer specialization. Illumination Foundation will leverage existing Permanent Supportive Housing grants through Continuum of Care funding to provide access to permanent housing options for the individuals encamped along the flood control channel.

“The County is doing its due diligence to provide services to those who truly want help,” said Supervisor Shawn Nelson, Fourth District. “We realize not everyone will accept the resources available, but are committed to reaching out, building relationships and making as many connections to those resources as possible.”

The Board also directed the County’s Health Care Agency (HCA) to include $5 million in funding from the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) to be directed to permanent supportive housing solutions. The Board will approve those funds as part of the MHSA funding plan in August 2017.

“We need to continue to build our base of permanent supportive housing in Orange County,” said Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District. “Without affordable housing options at the end of the day, we will fall into a vicious cycle of homelessness recidivism. Housing is a critical component to solving homelessness.”

In addition to the initiative, basic necessities including hydration stations and mobile showers will be available in proximity to the flood control channel. Placement of portable restrooms proximate to the flood control channel continues to be evaluated as part of the initiative. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to relocate individuals to more appropriate housing.

To learn how the County is working with cities and community-based organizations to build a system of care to continually improve the countywide response to homelessness, visit the County of Orange’s website at


  1. HLarry Herschler

    How many more studies need to be done. If these folks wanted assistance, they could get it. It is time to stop the studies, the counts and enabling, and clear the riverbed. Use Fairview as a starting point.

    • I am glad to hear that those homeless who desired assistance will eventually be contacted but what do you do With the vast majority who do not?

      • They don’t have that answer, and I don’t believe there is an answer, least that I am aware of. Worse, that segment of homeless is the largest part of homeless problem but the most problematic. Outreach programs will attempt to reach and convince them as best they can; but that segment doesn’t want anyone’s help.

  2. Anaheim area resident

    Anaheim looks like a third world country, but let’s look at this truthfully: you cannot use the word “evict” because that’s reserved for homes and apartments. This is a FLOOD CHANNEL. The notion of making it more comfortable is only an invitation. And its pathetic the city considers the flood channel equal to a house or apartment, by installing bathrooms. THEY DO NOT WANT HELP! THEY WANT YOU TO DRIVE BY FAST AND THROW MONEY AT THEM. THAT IS ALL.
    I am not an unloving person, I CARE ABOUT OUR CITY AND THE PEOPLE IN IT. You don’t want our help???? Bye bye!!! Use more tough love!

    • Well I’m homless and I want to work. Well now I have just been diagnosed with P.T.S.D I don’t get money from the state but food stamps for me and my wife. She has 4 jobs and still don’t make enough to pay rent. So you asshole who say we don’t want help. Ilk clean your house for you. Ilk do yard work. And I’m a good cook.

      • I understand your wish and can only imagine what’s lead you two to homeless life, but reactionary name calling isn’t going to help. There are various resources available to people such as yourself, including PTSD help, if from military service.

        • Well people just want to think we don’t want help. I want help I want me and my wife on the streets. My wife’s mom and Dad are both Christian. They go to church and all. They thro us out because I have not been a good boy but for good reasons guy hert a female so I took care of it. I was young and hard headed.

          • I understand. You’ll never convince certain people that homeless what help, on account the majority of homeless, for various reasons, don’t want help, if they have to live by society’s rules and laws. There are resources though, and slowly, more coming forth.

  3. Homeless: I am sincerely sorry to read your post. Please consider allowing those offering help to help to help you. It must be especially hard with the PTSD which can be very debilitating. Being able to work around/through the PTSD and its triggers will be so rewarding. It will be FREEDOM. Each and every person who wants help should get it. Any person who needs/wants help deserves to get all the help they need. Have you been contacted by anyone, City Net? What happened? Please Homeless how can you be contacted? Can you contact this site? Mike/Matt any suggestions? I would love to see this couple get help.

    • You can get hold of me on facebook. Name is Raymond Lattanzi. I wilk be willing to work for the help. Ill do any thing I can. I pick up poop.

      • Okay City Net and the Homeless Task force get a hold of this gentleman and get him the help he needs and wants. Mr Lattanzi keep posting with updates!

  4. I’m 54 years old and been homeless since 2014. Lived at riverbed briefly but was blessed with a Rv to sleep in. I’m alone with my 2 service cats I’m a survivor of violence attack and victim of serious domestic violence. I’m mentally disabled due to it diagnosed PTSD, bipolar, COD, Anxiety Disorder I’m on SSI. I appreciate the business owners in Fullerton who have allowed me to park on streets of Fullerton in front of their establishments. But I do not occupy land around my Rv I pick up trash left by others and I do not do anything to disrupt business. I provide neighborhood watch and write a note to other Rv owners living on the streets to please join me in being a positive addition instead of a threat or nuisance like the river bed turned into. We are not all theives, drug addicts or lazy, nor are we dumb . There are good people just trying to make it thru the day because of the hardship. So please try and understand I never wanted this life style. And I’m trying to get off the streets but for now, I LIVE.

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