The Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved spending $2 million to settle attorneys’ fees and any outstanding claims stemming from federal lawsuits regarding homelessness in Orange County.
The supervisors’ vote was 4-0, with Supervisor Andrew Do absent because of illness.
The lawsuits were triggered by the county’s move to clear out homeless encampments along the Santa Ana riverbed in January 2018.
Most cities in the northern part of Orange County, as well as Laguna Beach and Bellflower, agreed to settlements with plans to construct homeless facilities at 2229 S. Yale St. in Santa Ana as well as in Buena Park and Placentia.
A recent federal ruling mandates that municipalities must prove they have provided adequate shelter beds for transients before enforcing anti-camping laws. With the new facilities in place, the cities were able to move ahead with clearing out encampments, but must attempt to place the homeless in shelters first, according to the terms of the settlement.
The homeless facilities in the county are meant to be transitional centers that help transients into permanent housing as opposed to overnight shelters.