The start to the second week of Orange County’s efforts to clear out homeless encampments along a three-mile stretch of the Santa Ana River Trail began with opposing actions: the filing of a federal lawsuit aimed at stopping the evictions and a bulking up of the team of law enforcement personnel telling people to pack up and leave. 29, Elder Law & Disability Rights Center in Santa Ana asked a U. District Court to issue a temporary restraining order and allow the hundreds of homeless inhabitants at the riverbed to stay where they are until the county and nearby cities provide a satisfactory alternative.“My personal rights, my civil rights, my constitutional rights have been violated,” said Larry Ford, one of seven homeless people on whose behalf the lawsuit was filed, along with the nonprofit homeless services provider Orange County Catholic Worker.
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The county continues to remain vague about any deadline for the area to be completely clear of inhabitants.
But new yellow-green neon signs were posted Monday on the gates that mark the entrances to the bike trail, delivering the warning, “Trail Closed – Violators Subject to Citation.” The county plans to close public access to the bike trail from I-5 to Ball for about three months to clean up waste and debris that public-works officials say poses an environmental threat to the flood control channel.
Some homeless people, such as Aubree Cumbo, 26, packed frantically Monday.