Homelessness is worsening throughout all of Orange County. Like most resort communities, Laguna Beach is extremely attractive to the homeless.
Our City should be proud of what we have accomplished. Our non-profit Friendship Shelter, our Laguna Beach food pantry and the Changing Souls organization work everyday to provide housing, nutrition and health needs for the homeless. The city-run alternative sleeping location in Laguna Canyon accommodates more than 50 homeless people nightly.
Other Cities in Orange County and the County Itself Are Not Doing Their Fair Share
The City of Laguna has more homeless beds per capita than any other City in the County. Other cities and the county need to bear their fair share. The County of Orange has more than $100 million of Developer Fees set aside to provide housing for the homeless and yet is doing nothing. This simply is not right. Newport, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Huntington Beach, and other cities are doing nothing except opposing homeless shelters in their own backyards — and instead directing their homeless to go to Laguna.
This must stop. Homelessness is a countywide issue and there needs to be a countywide approach. Until there is, the City must engage in legal activities to force the County and other cities to shoulder their fair share of the cost and burden of addressing this growing problem.