Studies indicate that Homelessness is on the rise bringing awareness to locals who have noticed an increase of people in need of shelter in Orange County.
The 2018 census, which physically counted the homeless in the north Orange County area, found the number of individuals living on its streets is approximately 60 percent higher than the previous official estimate back in 2017.
A study done by City Net, a homeless outreach program, examined 13 cities in the Orange County. Cities Including Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Cypress and Fullerton. Anaheim being one of the largest cities in Orange County had twice the homeless residents estimated in that 2017 count.
The results of the study concluded that of those thirteen cities, 1,837 people are experiencing homelessness and 1,474 people claim to be unsheltered. Almost 80 percent of the population has no where stay or go.
As homeless continues to increase, this has caused more people to become aware of the situation.
Numerous Fullerton College students have noticed an increase of signs regarding homeless throughout their Orange County area and on their commute to campus.
“I think the increase of homeless people the Orange County is a very serious problem that should be addressed with more urgency,” said student Zindy Contreras.
The cause for concern has people questioning what needs to done in order to addess this issue. Experts and public officials involved in the study count alerted that the size and nature of the homeless population is expected to change in the year since the data was collected.
For that reason, numbers matter to plan for emergency shelter and housing needs. Homelessness will continue to trend until county and cities come together to find a solution.
“I think that they’re just trying to survive and that they’re moving in from LA where it’s just too many people to compete with and few opportunities,” FC student Katherine Conforti said. “There’s also homeless students too who sleep in their cars just to be able to get through college.”
Orange County city council is planning to add shelter space thanks to pressure from the district judge David O. Carter. Buena Park and Placentia plan on adding 100 beds each.
“It’s important to provide these people with shelter, food, clothing and rehabilitation. Especially since the homeless population is growing at a time when Californias weather is becoming more extreme and living on the streets can be dangerous because of it.” FC student Zindy Contreras said.
On January 31 2019, Anaheim Emergency Shelter opened with a 224 bed facility on Lewis Street south of Ball Road. The La Mesa Emergency Shelter at 3035 E. La Mesa St opened and accepted their first residents on March 6. Santa Ana also opened a temporary, 200 bed shelter back in November of 2018.
Officials are now moving forward with plans for shelters in Buena Park and Placentia with 100 beds each. The Salvation ArmISIS set to build a 600-bed homeless care center known as the “Center of Hope” which is expected to open permanently in 2021.
The goal is to get more unsheltered homeless off the streets. However, since the survey by City Net, 400 more people have claimed homeless and been added to the count.
The link to all of the data conducted in that survey can be found here :https://laist.com/2019/03/06/homeless_north_orange_county_survey.php