The Santa Ana Riverbed, a known refuge for many homeless, is being covered by giant boulders in an effort to have transients leave the area. OC Public Works put notices around the riverbed off the 57 Freeway near the Chapman Ave exit, announcing that it will conduct maintenance activities along the area from February through June.
The notice mentions that any person who “willfully and maliciously obstructs” is guilty of a misdemeanor. Many of the Skid River residents are standing their ground and not leaving until forcefully demanded.
The biggest issue with this “construction” has been access for the homeless to go in and out of the area, including disabled homeless in crutches and wheelchairs. The OC Public Works has shut the main gates with locks leaving the homeless with few options besides jumping the gate, walking miles to find an exit or making holes through the side of the fencing.
Riverbed residents we spoke to say their main concern is the fear of county officials removing their belongings while they are away working or being prosecuted.
View footage taken by the Weekly of Wednesday’s boulder dumping below.