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.
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.
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
“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.