What began as a few people sleeping outside El Centro Cultural de Mexico in downtown Santa Ana has, in recent months, grown to more than 40 homeless living in tents in the non-profit’s parking lot, pitting center operators against the city and neighborhood residents who complain of filthy conditons. The people who run the cultural center said they don’t feel right kicking the homeless off the property and they will not call police and risk criminalizing homelessness. Instead, they want city officials to find those living on their property some shelter and services. But Santa Ana officials said they are frustrated that El Centro, which owns the property, is allowing the unpermitted campers, and they’ve threatened legal action if the camp is not dispersed.
Bellingham officials began removing tents and belongings of about two dozen people camped at the Frank Geri Softball Fields in the lower Puget neighborhood early Tuesday, March 16.