Kevin Liu

Occupy Santa Ana Plans Anti-OC Homeless Action Tomorrow

Occupy Santa Ana activists plan a Tuesday afternoon action in hopes of demonstrating the alarming lack of available shelter space for Orange County's homeless population.

The plan, which is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and is called Shelter Tel-a-Thon, involves activists calling emergency county shelters, determining how much space is available and then providing bus passes to sites with beds.

Or not.

Based on past frustrating experiences, the Occupy folks believe that most, if not all, of the shelters will reject new clients. They say county officials, who claim that the area's 500 beds are adequate, are misinformed at best and obfuscating a nightmare situation at worst.

For example, one activist, who asked not to be identified, said the group has previously tried to contact shelters only to find that telephone numbers given to the homeless community don't work. Other active shelters will only accept certain types of homeless individuals such as pregnant teens or abused women--and not adult males. Police often issue illegal camping citations to homeless people in Santa Ana by claiming the people rejected available shelter space.

"The lists that they gave us is extremely narrow," she said. "Two or three of the [phone] numbers don't even exist."

At 6 p.m Tuesday, the group plans to hold a press conference announcing the results of their survey.

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