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Orange County begins relocating homeless from Santa Ana River Trail




Jon Chandler, 33, rode out this week's El Nino storms inside his tent pitched on higher ground along the Santa Ana River Trail in Orange. Flood waters released from dam gates could force him to move to. January 7, 2015.
Jon Chandler, 33, rode out this week's El Nino storms inside his tent pitched on higher ground along the Santa Ana River Trail in Orange. Flood waters released from dam gates could force him to move to. January 7, 2015.
Erika Aguilar/KPCC

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For years, the Santa Ana River bike trail has been the site of a tent city that now stretches for three miles. Roughly 500 homeless people live there. 

"The tents along this part of the river and just kind of behind Angel Stadium used to be pretty spread out along about a three-mile track," Jill Replogle, KPCC's Orange County reporter, told Take Two's A Martinez.

"They've become very consolidated because of the county's efforts to move people out of certain areas and relocate them in the future. "

That process for removal began Monday morning. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is going to each encampment to inform the people there that they must leave.

Those involved in the process want to keep it as calm as possible.

"They say that this is going to be a very slow and methodical process," Replogle said. "The under-sheriff was just speaking and he said that they don't want to make any arrests. They're not planning a big sweep today. They don't even actually have an end date for when they plan to have this area cleared out. They're starting today to go tent by tent, tell people they need to move, [and] give them the option of storing their belongings in containers that they are providing."