FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 1, 2020
Public Affairs Information Officer
The County continues to transport homeless individuals into Santa Ana and has failed to provide sufficient services outside of the city, the amended complaint alleges.
SANTA ANA, Calif. – The County of Orange has breached a settlement agreement by transporting homeless individuals into Santa Ana from across Orange County and failing to do its fair share to provide homeless services, the City of Santa Ana alleges in an amended complaint filed on Monday, Aug. 31.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this crisis as the County has implemented overly restrictive admission restrictions at its shelter in Santa Ana and reduced the number of County shelter beds, leaving more homeless individuals unsheltered in the city, the complaint states.
These and other actions by the County have resulted in the City of Santa Ana, which has the highest Latino population and one of the lowest median household incomes in Orange County, bearing an inequitable share of the responsibility for addressing the countywide homelessness crisis. The City has diverted millions of dollars from programs and services on which residents depend in order to address the disproportionate share of homeless people living in Santa Ana, the City alleges.
After numerous attempts to seek assistance from the County in the City’s efforts to relieve homelessness, the City had no other choice but to file suit.
The First Amended Complaint and writ of mandamus in Case No. 8:20-cv-00069-DOC (KESx) was filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Southern Division. The complaint names the County of Orange as defendant. The lawsuit was originally filed on Jan. 13, 2020.
This legal action follows a July 23, 2019, settlement agreement between the County and Orange County Catholic Worker that required the County to adhere to certain guidelines for the operation of its shelters. It also prohibited the Orange County Sheriff’s Department from transporting individuals experiencing homelessness across the boundaries of the County’s three Service Planning Areas.
Although Santa Ana is not a party to the OCCW Settlement Agreement, Santa Ana is a third-party beneficiary of the agreement and entitled to relief for breach of contract because it was intended that Santa Ana would benefit from the Settlement Agreement.
Allegations in the amended complaint include:
The City of Santa Ana is seeking monetary damages from the County to reimburse the City for money spent on homeless resources and related services.
The City additionally is seeking an injunction and order that includes:
Copies of the complaint are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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