Homeless Tent City At Maxwell Park Keeps Growing

WELCOME TO MAXWELL PARK!

I visited Maxwell Park yesterday. The scene was reminiscent of the early days of the Santa Ana River Trail encampment. Since visiting the park a month ago, the transient population has grown considerably. I counted nearly 30 tents, along with piles of stuff and a number of barking dogs  of various sizes.

Maxwell Park is in District 1, represented by Councilwoman Denise Barnes.

There were no residents enjoying Maxwell Park, which has become the exclusive domain for the homeless campers. There were four Anaheim police officers on hand to provide support for the CityNet caseworkers who made their way through the encampment in an effort to connect the transients with services in hopes of their rejoining the ranks of productive society. The police are also on hand to apprehend transients with outstanding warrants. The obvious reality was Maxwell Park belong to to the transients who occupy it – not the neighborhood residents whose taxes pay for it.

Here’s the view from the homes across Broadway:

More scenes from yesterday:

I had the opportunity to speak with some of those residents of the neighborhood, who provided me with vivid descriptions of life in their neighborhood has been affected by this mushrooming encampment.

One told me how his neighbor and been chased by an unleashed pit bull belonging to a transient camped in the park.

He related how some homeless individuals living in their SUV had parked on his street, shuttling back and forth to Maxwell Park and partying on the street by their vehicle. In the morning, they leave behind the detritus of their revelry, along with plastic bag full of human feces.

Residents said the transients moved their tents the sidewalk after official park hours, clogging the sidewalk all along the park and the branch library. In the morning, they move their tents back into the park.

They’re supposed to leave enough room so the sidewalk is wheel-chair accessible, but as with everything else when it comes to how modern liberal society deals with transients, the law and common sense must give way.

The encampment has grown so large that the night-time tent migration has spilled to the other side of Broadway, filling the sidewalk in front of a nursery and even some homes. Imagine waking up to that sight in front of your home every morning – let alone parents and their kids picking their way along the tent-filled sidewalk on their way to school.

It’s a cat-and-mouse game: the city has drawn a line in the sand to enforce park hours. Otherwise, the encampment will become even more entrenched. As it is, the Maxwell Park homeless encampment is acquiring one of the hallmarks of permanency that characterized the SART encampment: residents told me new arrivals loiter on the sidewalk across Broadway from the park, until one of the park transient comes over to extend an invitation to camp.

While deeply appreciative of their neighbors who have spoken out at city council meetings, the residents with whom I spoke did not want their names used, citing fear of retaliation from transients in the park. They’re also reluctant to speak at council meetings or public meetings themselves due, saying they don’t want to be “demonized” by homeless advocates (i.e. the Robbins and their band).

I reached out to the city regarding the situation at Maxwell Park, and received this comment from Chief Communications Officer Michael Lyster:

“We have heard heartbreaking stories from residents and seen firsthand the impacts on Maxwell Park. This is why we are pursuing additional shelter space in Anaheim. While we are out at Maxwell Park daily, we cannot fully address the issue without having more beds to offer those living in homelessness. Our parks were never meant to serve as living space, and having additional beds will help us restore Maxwell and other public spaces to their intended purposes while also helping get people out of homelessness.”

The residents I spoke with also seemed to understand the city will not be able to meaningfully enforce the anti-camping ordinance until it has supplied the 325 shelter beds (in addition to those available at The Bridges at Kraemer shelter) called for under the settlement agreement overseen by federal Judge David O. Carter.  Hence the nightly game of tent shuttling from park to sidewalk and back. Tonight, as a first step, the council will vote on an agreement to purchase a building at 3431 E. La Palma – not for from the Bridges shelter – for a 125-bed, low-threshold shelter.  The council will also hold a closed session discussion about potentially purchasing the Piano Store across the street from Bridges, for additional shelter beds.

At the same time, these West Anaheim residents are out of patience and angry at the weird double standard under which those who flout society laws and norms are catered to, while those who live normal, law-abiding, productive lives are penalized.

The nightmarish daily reality afflicting these neighborhoods is the direct result of left-wing social justice warriors employing a distorted understanding of the Constitution and the nature of human rights to bend the legal system in favor of a small segment of society who – due to past and ongoing bad choices – choose to live outside of the law and society.

Under the settlement agreement, the city is supposed to have the additional 325 shelter beds online by January 2019 – and at that point the city can truly enforce the anti-camping ordinance. For residents who live near Maxwell Park, and those who’d like to use is as a park, that day can’t come soon enough.

POSTSCRIPT:  Not far away, at the intersection of La Palma and Magnolia, these folks have taken up residence on the sidewalk, by a gas station:

55 comments

  1. This is quite disgusting. Why are they allowed to stay there ?

    • CONSTITUTIONAL rights Melissa, the cops can only arrest criminal acts, not homelessness, because being homeless is not a crime.

      • You are not dealing with the facts.
        Anaheim joined with the county and Fullerton to build a shelter in ANAHEIM!
        We used some of our tax dollars to build that.
        We should not be responsible for all the homeless in the county.
        Yet we are even looking to build two more emergency shelters in ANAHEIM.

        This city in not acting as a NIMBY on this issue.

        But as tax dollars and government approvals bring about shelters, the tax payers deserve protection.
        There is an anti camping law in Anaheim. As these homeless violate the law, the police and the mayor and the current council majority choose not to enforce that law.

        There is county money to help the mentally ill and the drug dependent, but they need to want to be helped. That’s the problem.

        But in a civilized society, all people must live within the rules. These people flaunt the rules.

      • What used to be Anaheim

        Go back where you came from Lou. We have rights too.

      • Lou: living in a public park is against the law. So is living on a sidewalk.

      • Anaheim Law; 010 Any person who loiters, stands or sits in or upon any public highway, alley, sidewalk or crosswalk so as to in any manner hinder or obstruct the free passage therein or thereon of persons or vehicles passing along the same, or so as in any manner to annoy or molest persons passing along the same, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

        .020 Any person who loiters, stands or sits in or at the entrance of any church, hall, theater or place of public assemblage so as in any manner to obstruct such entrance is guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 1144 (part); May 28, 1957.)

      • By the way, you should are twisting the Constitution.

      • Clearing the riverbed with 30 day hotel voucher, followed by nowhere to go after the hotel created what you are seeing at Maxwell Park. Lou is right, it’s not a crime to be homeless. Low cost supportive housing is needed!

  2. A disrespect for Anaheim residents. Selective enforcement of the laws. Catering to some – to the detriment of others. Allowing filth to cover our city. Demanding taxpayers pay for parks and park maintenance, and then turning them over to others.

    THAT IS ANAHEIM TODAY!

    This stuff will continue and grow, until the residents rise up.
    All those living within a mile of Maxwell Park – need to go to EVERY city council meeting and demand action. You need to contact your council woman Denise Barnes – every day.
    And the same goes for those around La Palma Park and Twyla Reed park – all in west or central Anaheim and remember this out of control takeover of city parks doesn’t happen in Anaheim Hills. (selective enforcement)

    Applying political heat will get their attention and results. (And if they don’t listen – RECALL BARNES!)

    Don’t throw our city away – even though the current leadership of Anaheim doesn’t care about you!!
    You can make your voice heard!

    • If you only start advocating for structured campgrounds where these citizens could go instead of bitching and complaining you all should start listening to us the advocates who actually want the same things that you do, but in a humane and common sense solution. Our officials have their hands tigth do to constitutional rights, homelessness is not a crime.

      • There are legal campgrounds already. They just need to pay for using them, like everyone else.

        But if their money is going to drugs and alcohol, that would not be a priority. But they could always get a pitbull and tent refuse to leave and beg.

        Oh that’s right, they do that already.

  3. Those responsible for midigating the homelessness plight haven’t found leadership that digs deep enough to ever find hard hitting solutions for the scourge that’s wrecking property values and threatening public safety!

    “More beds, more beds, they say”. I say phooey! These people are not fragile by any means. Generally speaking, they don’t have any problem finding dope, assimilating into the dangerous lifestyle of HIV, Hep-C, robbery, assault even child abuse and murder, in a few cases, they are tougher than they are givin credit for.

    Triauge to segregate those in jepproty from those that suck upon thier necks is the standard and of course a necessary step in approaching the subject. Why not think about the possibility of internment facilities for recidivist law breakers that compels the minority of homeless victims towards supervised self determination and low stress, low dollar employment, whereby real assistance could be offered to those demonstrating the will to succeed at a level where they can be housed in low cost semipermanent facilities, subsidized by state and federal resources.

    All others ie, criminals, drug dealers, vagabonds et al, should remain “enrolled” in the process until law enforcement and social scientists determine its jail or a buss ticket back to the state line of their home of record. It’s not a friendly endeavor for those on the recieving end of the process and the dynamics necessary to bring any element of this “friendly suggestion” to fruition would take a high level of cooperation among action agencies. It’s likely my idea is dumb. But it’s an example of leaning into the face of these misfits with a message of accountability and consequences and a No Tollerance promise of do or die somewhere else.

  4. I’ve noticed the small Lincoln Park which is next to Lincoln Elementary School, the homeless are starting to encamp there. I called the police and they said there is nothing they can do. Even the safety of children are not a concern for the city. This is getting ridiculous.

  5. Shut the park down. At some point you have to fight back. Judge Carter doesn’t live with this. WE DO.
    We’ve had enough!!

  6. Funny we call them mentally ill drug addled criminals. Vern Nelson calls them friends.

    • This commenter is using the name, Danny Zavala, of an old friend of Donna’s who passed away a couple days earlier. Danny was not drug-addled, a criminal, or mentally ill, and I never met him though I hear he was a wonderful guy and his death at 57 was a tragedy.

      This is probably the same commenter who called himself “Perry Van Dead” on the Liberal OC recently, making fun of my best friend Perry Van Dran who died a couple years ago from a diabetic heart attack – also not a criminal or drug-addled.

      This shows the character of (many of) our anonymous political opponents. What’s creepier, how they obsessively troll our personal social media, or that they think it’s funny to impersonate our deceased loved ones?

  7. Well you NIMBYs wanted them out of the riverbed, you could go back last year when I told the Border of Supervisors that if they kept pushing the riverbed community off the riverbed without opening enough shelters for all, that this was going to happen, we had solutions but they listen to the NIMBYs who have no common sense.

    • YOU REAP WHAT YOU SAW

    • It is so easy for you to do and say you are an advocate of homeless people. You haven’t experienced buying a home for 500k and up and later on, neighborhood is filled with homeless people. You did not experience being harassed by homeless people, thrown shit in front of your lawn, or thrown firecrackers in front of the home thinking that someone is drive-by shooting your home! You are helping the wrong people here my dear helpful-honda-dealer-lounoble! I urge you to buy a house near Maxwell Park and lets see if your views will still be the same!

  8. NOW ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE UP SOME OF YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO GET RID OF A CLASS OF CITIZENS?

    • Sorry Lou – these people are vagrants who have NO INTEREST in shelter life with it’s rules etc. My husband and I “know” a couple of them who have stated they are “home FREE” and will NEVER go into shelters. These are not homeless families needing a hand up – they are transients CHOOSING to live this way. They are NOT a “class of citizens” . .formerly the actuality of jail time etc was the incentive for many to seek help. Now they don’t because they know they have more rights than tax paying citizens. And NO ONE has the right to pee and poop on someone else’s lawn or a park when they ARE given choices.

    • What the heck are you talking about?

  9. Lou what’s wrong with you? Those drug addicts are taking advantage of every situation they can. You should be protecting the residents who actually paid and work hard to have their home by a park. The idea that you even support these people says so much. They do not follow the law. You need to step back and say “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”.
    They will never go into shelters, they do not want it.
    And as long as people like you help them, it perpetuates the problem.

    • I was in a business and a homeless man came in and sat down at the table behind me. He fell asleep inside the business on the table. I got up so that I did not have my back to him as before he was asleep he was acting erratically. I got up because I was afraid to have my back to the person. After a short while he left, only to come back to sit at my table. After a few moments I got up, he then left. After I sat down he came back and sat behind me. Again after a few moments I got up. My point, I was afraid. I did not want to have my back to him in case something was going to happen and I would have no reaction time. I was afraid while minding my own business.

      Some will comment negatively but this is an honest example of what it has come to in Anaheim. Very sad to say.

  10. Anyone else aware that Denise Barnes was pushing to change the park by city hall to be renamed Tom Tait patk? Is that really deserved?
    Look at Maxwell.

    • Not in Anaheim Hills

      We need to get the gate code for access to the gated community where the Tait mansion is in Anaheim Hills.
      We can get a bus and move a hundred homeless there – out of Maxwell Park.
      Then when 100 homeless live on the Tait street – we can call that Tom Tait Park.
      And the value of my home near Maxwell Park might go back up.

      • I have been a resident of West Anaheim for 33 years. I agree with this 100%, (bus them to Anaheim Hills) Then they might get something done a lot quicker. 2 Times in the past month, we have had both of our cars attempted to be broken in and broken into, by people who are transients, going from Beach & Orange, making their way to Dale and Broadway. I have had my baseball bat at the ready, in case I catch them in the act. I have it all on film. While some may be mentally ill (put them in a hospital), the others choose this way of life and we should not be threatened in our own neighborhoods. Our City is becoming a disgusting place to be. Kids cant’ even walk to the Library???? I think Citizens are going to have to take a stand, one way or the other.

        • I agree. These people love their lifestyle. Sleep all day. Get high and wander the streets and break into cars at night. Also, follow delivery drivers and steal packages. We’ve had one car broke into. I’m willing to do whatever I can to get them out. I don’t feel safe going to the library. I can’t let my adult Autistic son go to the library anymore. He loves the library. Parks and libraries shouldn’t be placed we are afraid to go. I’m willing to protest, go to council meetings, I plan to call Denise Barnes everyday. I wish we had a great lawyer on our side. I need a strong male to accompany me up and down the sidewalk at night to make sure I can safely pass the tents and belongings in my wheelchair or my electric wheelchair. Who’s willing to help this old lady stay safe night and day by just walking or rolling along?

  11. Proud west Anaheim resident

    Lou Noblet sues the city for money.

    That’s the reasoning behind all his advocacy.

  12. Perfectly said anaheimblog

    The nightmarish daily reality afflicting these neighborhoods is the direct result of left-wing social justice warriors employing a distorted understanding of the Constitution and the nature of human rights to bend the legal system in favor of a small segment of society who – due to past and ongoing bad choices – choose to live outside of the law and society.

  13. Yea I play soccer every Sunday
    They use the public restrooms to shower

  14. Why should the city of Anaheim pay for ANY of this? Close the park for a month and they will have to relocate. Let me see, Walmart, Sams, Costco, Home Depot, Lowes are all hiring stockers as are many stores during the holidays. These people want everything handed to them and when they don’t, they bitch to Judge “WEAK” Carter. THEY NEED TO GET OFF THEIR LAZY ASS, AND GET A JOB! Even labor ready will put them to work and pay them daily! Why does the city and county put up with these lazy people?

  15. Hi
    Mike Robbins
    Peoples Homeless Task Force
    Housing is a Human Right OC
    Anaheim Homeless Policy Working Group
    For me this is a humanitarian crusade…

    If everyone would go to the council and ask for housing please?
    The Anaheim 5 year plan from 2008 said Housing First
    The Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2000 10 year plan said Housing First.
    Then the political geeks with a boat load of our money already stashed exactly for this purpose – Housing First -did not use it to prevent this overflow.

    Google search Federal government Housing First –
    It is called evidence based – policy

    Google search
    Housing first Seattle Washington
    Housing first Hawaii
    Housing first Idaho
    Housing first Austin Texas
    Housing first Maine
    Housing first Milwaukee
    Housing first Orlando
    Housing first Pennsylvania
    Housing first New Orleans
    Housing first New York
    Housing first Alaska
    Housing first Minneapolis Minnesota
    Housing first Denver Colorado
    Housiong first Atlanta Georgia
    Housing first Chicago Illinois
    Housing first District of Columbia

    Housing first Japan
    Housing first Australia
    Housing first Norway
    Housing first Denmark
    Housing first Ireland
    Housing first Spain
    Housing first Belgium
    Housing first France
    Housing first Sweden
    Housing first Ireland
    Housing first Netherlands
    Housing first Finland

    Seems to be the choice for evidence based polity world wide.
    Don’t complain, lend a hand please.

    Thanks everyone
    M

  16. What used to be Anaheim

    Mike Robbins, Lou noble, Rj. collins, Mark Daniels = they are all the same.
    They will fight for the homeless but not having a clue the damage they are doing.

    • Cheerleader charged in homeless man’s murder in San Diego
      https://nypost.com/2016/06/22/cheerleader-charged-in-homeless-mans-murder/

      Statistically the homeless are more in danger from the housed.
      Just bigotry.

      That is why they need to be inside for safety from children.
      Odd to know the facts of the case – that the homeless are more likely to be attacked by kids or the housed than vice versa.

      Thanks so much
      Mike

    • As im getting older i was thinking about what I say to God some day soon.
      Oh, we helped get new books for the schools – but that did not seem like much.
      We worked day and night to get money for the after school programs but does that cut the cake?
      I tried to help my fellow entrepreneurs keep their businesses but I lost that one.
      I brought up 2 wonderful kids I guess that counts, not sure.

      But I thought I wanted a little more to say.
      So perhaps if I mentioned the homeless peoples lives we saved or changed that could be a good talking point?

      It seems like an important message in the bible.

      Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:3-4

      • “Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:9

      For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me“ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

      Thank you for reading this
      God bless

      • So because you feel guilty of what you have done in the past you are now in a crusade to help homeless people who most don’t want help?

        Spare us from the death of the homeless link. Children die everyday from abuse of their parents, why aren’t you helping them?

      • Mike,
        We don’t need preaching the homeless do. They don’t want help. They don’t want responsibility. They like this lifestyle. If they wanted out they would get clean and take offers of help for employment or training. I can barely make it. I have a small pension and social security to show for 27 years of work with the same company. I am also disabled but I don’t qualify for In Home Support Services. I lost my Medi-Cal and they gave me a $2,000 a month share of cost. In other words I have to pay the first $2,000 in services every month. Please tell me where I can go and live on the $600 a month that I have left after my share of cost. It is impossible to pay rent, food copays for my medication and etc with only $600.00. Therefore I can’t get the help I need with cleaning, some personal care, cooking and sorting of my daily medications. Some things just don’t get done. I don’t choose to become homeless. I prefer to hold my head high and do without things and keep a roof over my head. I don’t owe the homeless shelter, food or anything else. Let them earn it by being a productive member of society.
        I am a proud Christian and am involved with my church. I believe you and I interpret these verses differently. There is a difference between people in need and the chronic homeless person.

  17. I was in a business and a homeless man came in and sat down at the table behind me. He fell asleep inside the business on the table. I got up so that I did not have my back to him as before he was asleep he was acting erratically. I got up because I was afraid to have my back to the person. After a short while he left, only to come back to sit at my table. After a few moments I got up, he then left. After I sat down he came back and sat behind me. Again after a few moments I got up. My point, I was afraid. I did not want to have my back to him in case something was going to happen and I would have no reaction time. I was afraid while minding my own business.

    Some will comment negatively but this is an honest example of what it has come to in Anaheim. Very sad to say.

  18. Anaheim: What do we do with the homeless when they do not want help and do not want housing? What would Jesus do with a person who did not choose help but rather wanted drugs and to live off of the goodness of others?

  19. Anaheim area resident

    Mike,
    Good luck.

    I hope you doing this to help your conscience is worth it. Especially to the dismay of the people affected by the crime, drugs, fires, filth, destruction and unsanitary, unsafe, and horrible impacts this has had on and also affected the residents, and you not wanting to protect them at all. Just supporting the drug addicts and criminals isn’t helping.
    I cannot speak for God, but it’s not fair to me.

    • I know but if we had turned our back on my niece she would be dead.
      But she is alive unlike Sharon Silvas brother that died on the streets this year.

      The Resort industry is the hub of illegal activity in Anaheim that is where the real money is for the drugs, thief’s, car thefts, pimps, human trafficking and more.
      Same with the beach cities that have the most ER visits for drug overdoses.
      Orange County’s wealthiest cities have biggest opiod problem –
      https://www.scpr.org/news/2017/08/16/74763/orange-county-s-wealthiest-cities-have-biggest-opi/

      But we only subscribe to Housing First with the services provided according to the standards around the world. These are the most likely to get them off the streets and out of your hair. Push for that please.

      My niece has been clean for almost 30 years now and has a son.
      Thank God no one gave up on her.

      Add that it cost $100,000 per person to leave them on the streets but 1/2 that to put them in a structured apartment setting with daily round the clock services.
      http://www.currytbcenter.ucsf.edu/sites/default/files/product_tools/homelessnessandtbtoolkit/docs/background/Factsheet/Homelessness%20is%20Expensive.pdf
      more on the cost to all of us –
      https://www.socsci.uci.edu/newsevents/news/2017/2017-11-16-homelessness.php

      I gotta about 1,000 hours in the studies and working with them at this time – Jeez is seems a lot of them are ready to come in get a job and move on.

      On the food channel a few night ago they had a homeless man that now owns 3 restaurants and HE WON the Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge contest on the show and $25,000!
      Be positive and think most can be OK with the right help please.

      Thanks
      Happy Thanksgiving
      Mike

      • We have all lost loved ones. All of us.
        I would still NEVER help the transiet drug addicts that live at the park. It doesn’t help them, it’s called “ENABLING”.

        It’s like the people who drop off food at the park, but do not open their own front door to them….it eases their own conscience, but only enables the camps to grow, and become entitled, without lifting a finger.

        • We spend most of our time seeking a solution which is housing first.
          But
          In the mean time people need to eat…and not just at Thanksgiving

          Most of the food for decades is supplied by religious groups and we fill in one day a week in a nondenominational buffet.
          The problem is in afterthought, that the religious groups think that feeding the homeless is out of the bible. That is the extent of their obligation. I cannot seem to get them to come to the BOS or city councils to fight for housing and services that will get the people off the streets!
          If 200 committed Christians Muslims Buddhists and Jews would come to the meeting and demand that the homeless be given the services that they need to get off the streets then this would have been over long ago.

          Latest #s minimum 5000 people on the streets of OC at $100,000 cost per person is around $500 mil per year.
          Yeah – police + code + jail +++ numerous ER visits.
          ER visits for the homeless are 4 or more per hospital per day at $2,500 per visit average – So when I heard this 2 years ago i went to a few hospitals and checked it out. The BIG problem with the ER visits is that you cannot go to Urgent care without insurance. So the homeless people have to go to the ER for a cold or cut and of course worse. Screwed up system as usual.

          Happy day
          M

  20. Wait. Is this the same Mike Robbins who peddles cheap cigars at the OC Marketplace (swap meet)?

    So selling what most of the world consider an instrument of death is OK, but protecting families and innocent children from drug addicts thieves and degenerates is somehow NIMBYISM?

    Forgive me Mike, but my neighrs and I worked hard for our homes, why should we sacrifice our saftey and well being for a group that regularly defacates, inject drugs and steal in FRONT of us.

    What is your angle? A payday?

    Jesus would NOT put up with this, even if he was real.

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