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Friday, December 3, 2021

Homeless woman vows to fight against new court order to leave Mile Square Regional Park

On most days, Nancy Wood makes her bed and carefully puts on her makeup. Sometimes she paints her nails like many other women—except she lives in a tent tied up in brushes at Fountain Valley’s Mile Square Regional Park.

The city has labeled 75-year-old Wood’s camp a “public nuisance” for violating Fountain Valley’s ban on sleeping in the park. Wood, for her part, doesn’t look like she’s making a fuss. She’s just trying to make ends meet until she can find better accommodations that aren’t just “mats on the floor”.

“Hurdle. It’s so humiliating,” Wood said, leaning on his bike Tuesday near one of the park’s baseball fields. “Life happens, and the struggle to regroup in society, it’s hard. And I have homeless coots. ,

Wood and Fountain Valley are locked in a legal battle over his four-year residence in the public park. Wood won the first round last week when a criminal court jury found him not guilty of four misdemeanor counts of staying in the park after dark.

But as the criminal trial went on, Fountain Valley lawyers hedged their bets by obtaining a written civil court order barring her from being in the park as a public nuisance.

Mayor Michael Vo said he sees Superior Court Judge Derek Hunt’s order as a bargaining chip in the city’s effort to persuade Wood to follow the city’s code.

“We will do our best to work with Nancy Wood and anyone who breaks our ordinance, to hopefully find a better solution to help the homeless population,” Vo said. “We will inform him what the court will allow us to do, but it is more important to help him than to enforce the letter of the law.”

planned appeal

Meanwhile, Wood and her criminal attorney, Deputy Public Defender Dan Maher, say she has stayed and plans to appeal the November 3 court order.

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“The civil order … is completely inconsistent with the jury’s decision in her criminal case,” Maher said. “The Office of the Orange County Public Defender will vigorously defend any attempt to prosecute for violating the new order. The City of Fountain Valley insists that it will respect the jury’s decision. However, the new case against Ms. Wood Attempts to lay the groundwork for the allegations show that this was not true.”

Wood’s case has become a symbol of Southern California’s thorny homelessness problem, in which the law often clashes with the human belief that not having a place to live should not be criminalized. The answer, some say, is to provide more services for the homeless.

“It’s a wake-up call that we need more help,” said homeless attorney Donald Dermit. “It is very difficult to bring people to (homeless shelters). Most of all the shelters are full. ,

don’t want to be out

Wood said that most shelters are unhygienic, especially in the era of COVID-19. She didn’t want to be out and would be happy to move into suitable accommodation, she said.

She said she had got an appointment to apply for HUD accommodation, but missed it because of her criminal trial. “You’d think something would happen there, but it doesn’t work that way,” Wood said.

Fountain Valley police officers, who have a long history with Wood, repeatedly offered him a city pamphlet listing shelters and services—where a bed is hard to find—and with phone numbers they said no one answered. gives.

“It’s very difficult to hand someone a pamphlet and expect them to navigate it,” Dermit said.

Wood said she told police she couldn’t move because the government had ordered everyone to “shelter.”

18 quotes from 2011

Court records show Wood has been cited for 18 misdemeanors since 2011, such as trespassing, soliciting money and illegally camping. Many cases were dismissed.

In the latest criminal case, attorney Alexandra Hoffman representing the city said she was not seeking a fine or jail time, but simply a “stay away” order that would force Wood to leave.

According to police, the city’s long-running dispute with Wood reached a turning point in 2020, when his dera came in the way of the park’s purification project.

At the time of Wood’s arrest, Maher said, there were two shelters available for the county’s homeless population, but none were located in Fountain Valley.

The city is not a party to a settlement reached by US District Judge David Carter in 2019, allowing some cities to enforce antitrust laws, but only if they provide adequate shelter and connect homeless people to services. Huh.

Maher has said that police officers, sometimes up to 10 of them, surround Wood’s tent at 3 a.m. and pull him out. They would then tear down his tent, stack his belongings in a dump truck and handcuff him to the police station, where he was released after hours of detention. But the mayor said enforcing the city’s rules is not the main goal.

“Our idea is not to go after a person, but to keep our parks safe,” he said.

Wood is questionable.

“I’m pretty sure their intention was to terrorize me out of the park,” she said. “He has no intention of trying to talk to me. They want me to leave.”

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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