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The Latest: Agreement reached to relocate evicted homeless

Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on federal court arguments over an effort to clear a huge California homeless encampment (all times local):

6:20 p.m.

After a long court hearing, public officials and homeless advocates have reached an agreement on providing for homeless people who are being evicted from an encampment in a Southern California riverbed.

Orange County officials say they will provide as many as 400 vouchers for monthlong stays in motels and find hundreds more beds where people to stay while social workers seek to help them find permanent housing. The sides agreed that the encampment would be allowed to remain for another week while the homeless are relocated.

The deal came at the demand of U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter, who called the sides in for the unusual hearing on Tuesday.

The city of Anaheim, where the encampment is located, said in a statement that it thanks the court for embracing and expanding efforts to offer shelter while addressing an unsustainable situation.

Details on how the agreement will be enforced are not yet clear.

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11:30 a.m.

A federal judge hearing arguments over whether a Southern California county should be able to clear out a huge homeless encampment says he plans to take a field trip to the site alongside a dry river.

U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter also is demanding Tuesday that Orange County officials provide answers to what federal funding is available to feed and temporarily house people if they are moved.

Carter asked for volunteers from the courtroom to be ready to walk the site and identify veterans and abused women who need assistance.

The judge questions whether an adversarial setting like a courtroom is the best place to find solutions to a problem that has overwhelmed cities up and down the West Coast.

Orange County had begun efforts to close the encampment when a lawsuit was filed. The judge has already temporarily blocked the county from arresting tent-dwellers solely for refusing to move.

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11:08 p.m.

A long-running dispute over a Southern California county's plans to shut down a massive homeless encampment faces a key day in court.

Homeless residents and their advocates are expected to argue in U.S. court Tuesday that Orange County can't remove them from a 2-mile (3.2 kilometer) stretch of a riverbed bike trail without adequate housing options.

County officials say they've done outreach and offered shelter beds and housing. They say conditions in the riverbed are unhealthy and the area is littered with hypodermic needles and human waste.

U.S. District Judge David O. Carter has temporarily blocked the county from arresting tent-dwellers solely for refusing to move.

The lawsuit is being watched by homeless advocates in West Coast cities and elsewhere amid a rise in homelessness and growth of encampments.

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