Local News in Brief : Costa Mesa : Task Force Addresses Rea Center Problems

Share via

Members of a city task force met Tuesday in a continuing effort to resolve complaints of residents about the number of disabled and needy people who visit a private relief agency and other social service programs at the Rea Community Center.

“Parents do not feel safe letting their children walk to school,” said Barbara Littrell, one of three residents on the eight-member task force. According to Littrell, children have been followed and panhandled by transients near the center.

Increased crime, traffic and littering were among the eight major complaints of area residents who responded to a questionnaire, a task force spokesman said. Solutions proposed to deal with “real and perceived” problems include relocation of Share Ourselves (SOS), a private anti-poverty agency; changing bus stops, and increasing police patrols .


Costa Mesa Police Lt. Alan Kent said that while major crimes such as burglaries and rapes have declined in the area over the last 3 years, there has been an increase in minor offenses.

“Most of the problems are petty theft or nuisance calls,” Kent said. He explained that the department has increased patrols in the area to address nuisance complaints such as loitering and sleeping in public places.

Jean Forbath, director of SOS, admitted some problems based on the number of clients but said that many complaints stem from misconceptions.