Garden Grove

Homeless problem at the park

HOMELESS CAMPERS in Garden Grove’s Civic Center Park has raised the issue of a emergency shelter in the city (Shutterstock).

By Jim Tortolano

The issue of homelessness flared up at an otherwise routine meeting of the Garden Grove City Council Tuesday night.

Councilmember Stephanie Klopfenstein (District 5) spoke about conditions in the Civic Center Park at Euclid Street and Stanford Avenue.

“I’m tired of seeing the drug use and filth there,” she said. “I’m as angry as I would be if it was in my backyard and it is my backyard because it’s in my district

“I’ve heard from countless residents about this,” she said. “I’m tired of the park being held hostage by people who don’t want help although they’ve been offered help.”

She noted that regarding police action to clear the park of transients, “their hands are tied.” However, she wants some action on an issue that’s been – she said – on a “slow boil” for over a year.

Mayor Pro Tem Kim Nguyen agreed that there was a problem at that park, well-known for its ponds and resident water fowl population but noted that without an emergency shelter for the homeless, the city’s anti-camping ordinance can’t be enforced.

City Manager Scott Stiles said the city leadership was “examining our options” on the problem and added that “it’s very difficult to find a location” in a city that’s largely developed.

Huntington Beach, faced with a similar problem, went through three proposed locations – often meeting with neighborhood opposition – before finally erecting a “navigation shelter” on Beach Boulevard near Talbert Street.

Also Tuesday night, the council voted to:

  • proclaim Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month in Garden Grove
  • proclaim Oct. 11 to be Indigenous Peoples Day, and
  • support the establishment of the creation of the Orange County Veterans Cemetery in Anaheim Hills.

The next regular city council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 14.



3 replies »

  1. Hard to find a location? Or the city just doesn’t want to? Lots of vacant cleared land sitting on Harbor Blvd between Lampson and Chapman. Don’t want the homeless near the tourists? Many are already there – living at bus stops with a mass of belongings, street corners, sleeping at our public schools at night. Help those who want help and remove those who don’t. How do we change the laws to allow us to do it?

  2. Sherry – maybe a change in Sacramento would help? If we VOTE YES in the upcoming election, it should send a STRONG SIGNAL that we are FED UP with the homeless/mentally ill on the streets/open abuse of drugs/etc. and we might even get our current laws enforced, forests managed better, reservoirs finally built, boondoggle train ended, etc. etc. etc.

    • Amen Joanne!

      Recall the man who let the methy malfeasant and some future murdering dawgs out on us to create chaos and madness and stress.

      In East GG, this guy trolled, stole and threatened our neighborhood, for meth, before he did this, and more,

      It could have been any one of us in our area. Not pretty. Not nice. Houses were shot at. Break ins. Nasty, threatening notes.

      Gavin did it, no one else. Intentionally. My opine. Basta! Fuera! Bye soon. 🤞
      May the door hit ya, where the good Lord split ya.

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