Dozens of Ontario police and code enforcement officers descended upon the homeless encampment known as Tent City early Monday, separating those who could stay from those to be evicted.
Large, often confused, crowds formed ragged lines behind police barricades where officers handed out color-coded wristbands. Blue meant they were from Ontario and could remain. Orange indicated they had to provide more proof to avoid ejection, and white meant they had a week to leave.Many who had taken shelter at the camp — which had grown from 20 to more than 400 residents in nine months — lacked paperwork, bills or birth certificates proving they were once Ontario residents.
“When my husband gets out of jail he can bring my marriage certificate; will that count?” asked one tearful woman.
Another resident, clearly confused, seemed relieved to get a white band — not understanding it meant she had to leave.
Pattie Barnes, 47, who had her motor home towed away last week, shook with anger.
“They are tagging us because we are homeless,” she said, staring at her orange wristband. “It feels like a concentration camp.”
Last week, police handed out 90-day, renewable photo identification cards to about 130 people. The others were told to leave by Monday.
Police also banned pets and ordered all motor homes and campers to be removed from the streets.
The crackdown caused anguish for many who thought that they had a secure place for the foreseeable future.
Gina Worges, 47, has family in Ontario and was able to stay, but her boyfriend had to leave.
“I’m staying because I got no place else to go,” said Worges, who was evicted from a house after not being able to pay rent. “My daughter is . . . flying a sign on Citrus Avenue asking for money.”
Worges’ daughter, Nancy McAbee, 21, gave birth last month to a girl whom she put into foster care. McAbee still lives in Tent City.
Worges’ boyfriend, who could not prove an Ontario link, took her two dogs and moved back beneath an overpass along the 10 Freeway in Bloomington.
Alex Jones has recently covered a tent city in California:
The national government and the Federal Reserve create the environment to cause many of these people to be in that situation and now the local governments are screwing them over by breaking up the tent cities. All this could be handled far better. Let the people protect themselves. Let them homestead the land or some other lot which isn’t being used and allow them to build as they see fit. They’ll take care of themselves.