Newport Beach Bans Homeless Encampments in Front of Schools, Daycare Centers

Newport Beach Bans Homeless Encampments in Front of Schools, Daycare Centers

In this file photo, a sign is seen near Sonora Elementary School, in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Dec. 1, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

7/13/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

The Newport Beach City Council unanimously approved July 11 an ordinance that bans homeless encampments that block public access to such facilities as schools, daycare centers, and public restrooms, as well as “unpermitted structures”—such as those made of wood pallets or lean-tos—of any kind even if the city’s only shelter is full.
Tents, tarps, and sleeping bags—as long as they are not blocking access at such facilities—however, will be allowed on public property when no space is available at the shelter.
Additionally, the ordinance outlaws the use of public facilities for personal hygiene, such as bathing, washing clothing, or brushing teeth.
According to the 2022 Orange County point-in-time count, Newport Beach’s homeless population was 96. The city also does its own count every month and has calculated a steady average of around 40 homeless persons in the city for the last year.
Newport Beach Civic Center in Newport Beach, Calif., on Aug. 25, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Newport Beach Civic Center in Newport Beach, Calif., on Aug. 25, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

One resident and longtime business owner who spoke during the city’s June 27 city council meeting, where councilors approved a first reading of the ordinance, said the homelessness situation has become much worse in recent years.
“In the last couple of years, picking up human feces has become a morning ritual for my employees … on our properties,” the business owner said during the meeting.
Under the new rules, police will have the discretion to detain, relocate, or remove and fine persons in violation.
Currently, the city pays $1 million annually for 20 beds for the homeless at a shelter located in Costa Mesa. During last month’s meeting, city officials also approved five extra beds at the shelter, which will cost an additional $275,000 yearly.
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Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

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Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

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