This past week, I've joined hundreds of you, if not more, in discussing the homeless crisis in Orange County.
It began at an Emergency Session of the City Council held this past Tuesday in response to the County of Orange's announcement they would be creating a "Tent City" across the street from a Senior Citizens community and soccer fields at the Orange County Great Park.
Tonight, it continued at an incredible community-organized Town Hall Forum that Irvine Mayor Donald P. Wagner, Mayor Pro-Tem Christina Shea, Police Chief Mike Hamel, Commissioner Lauren Johnson, and I were able to participate in.
I want to be clear: the County of Orange's plan to relocate a segment of the homeless population right next to a senior community and the sports fields at the Orange County Great Park is not well thought out, and most definitely not a solution to the problem. These remaining homeless individuals, who had been moved from the Santa Ana River Trail, represent those who have refused services and housing options.
I will always work with our community and regional leaders to prioritize the public safety interests of Irvine's children, families, and seniors.
Our community has consistently stood ready to help and to be collaborative. I am proud that we are home to organizations leading the charge to alleviate poverty and to support those in need like the Second Harvest Food Bank, Families Forward, and Human Options. Additionally, Irvine is home to the county's third largest stock of affordable housing.