Irvine Tent City Protest

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Dear OC Board of Directors,

We most strongly protest the Board’s decision few days ago to allow a tent and shack city for 200 or more homeless transients on a 100 acre parcel right next to the Irvine Spectrum.

The Irvine Spectrum is one of two major commercial centers in Irvine that is also one of Southern California’s busiest retail, business and entertainment centers. It is home to more than 180 businesses employing more than 46,900 people and with 6,806 households, including children, living nearby – some in the three apartment complexes surrounding the Spectrum.
We are most upset and greatly concerned by the Board’s decision. We cannot overemphasize the harm to the City and its residents, especially children, that the tent/shack city so close to a core retail, business and entertainment center and residential communities of the City will bring.

This should come as no surprise to the Board since it is well documented in many urban areas of various sizes throughout the country that such an increase in transient population all too often causes a large increase in property and violent crime (car prowls, residential burglary, shop lifting, assaults, murder); drug dealers, use and crimes; health problems (public urination, sex acts, spent needles in parks and other public areas); hygiene problems; unsightly loitering; harassment and danger from aggressive panhandling; coupled with a sharp drop in safety of public areas (libraries, trails, parks, bus stops, arena parking lots, community centers). And, of course, there is the unavoidable drop in home prices and business growth.

We strongly urge the Board to reconsider its decision: more can be done for the homeless in ways that truly help them and by sheltering them at places and in ways that do not disrupt existing communities and the safety, health and livelihoods of the people living there. That is what Irvine’s residents, as well as other cities’ residents, would support!


Suresh Paulraj