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Anaheim's emergency declaration sets stage for removal of huge homeless encampment

• latimes.com By Anh Do

They have swelled in recent month and become the latest symbol of Orange County's worsening homeless problem.

"Many times, things appear hopeless because we have nothing — not even restrooms," said Tammy Schuler, 41, who shares her cluttered tarp-covered plot on the trail with her boyfriend and younger brother. "We trade and try to help each other. We have no choice."

But this way of life has sparked a backlash from nearby residents as well as joggers and cyclists who say the camps have increased crime and blight.

Anaheim this week declared a state of emergency, clearing the way for the removal of hundreds of people living in a landscape dotted with trash and used hypodermic needles and lacking toilet facilities.

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