Robbins: The Other Dimension of Mission Viejo

In the master planned community of Mission Viejo, desperate to maintain a pristine image, they just passed one of the toughest anti homeless ordinances in Orange County. They made it illegal to be on the sidewalk, park, or basically any place outside if you are homeless, completely ignoring the Constitution of the United States of America. So if you lost your job, house, car, and are homeless in Mission Viejo, you will be hounded by the police until you leave or go to jail.

Anti homeless ordinances are making the rounds these days. Forget helping the homeless. We just police them out of town like they did to Sylvester Stallone in First Blood. We have turned into a county that runs anyone that looks less fortunate, out of towns like Mission Viejo.

The homeless population, which is growing daily, consists of people who have fallen on tough times. Some had the misfortune to lose their job, house, and even car. Others were arrested for minor offenses like drugs and then released with nothing but the streets to look forward to. 40% of the youths on the street are LGBTQ distanced from their family.

Some are victims of domestic violence. There is a myriad of reasons people end up on the streets. However, all of them are not allowed to sleep in a car, a van, or an RV anywhere in the city. They are not allowed to rest in a park, on the sidewalk or anywhere else in Mission Viejo. The laws passed on Tuesday are designed to strengthen the homeless people out of sight- laws specifically targeting people who have no where else to go.

Instead of helping the less fortunate, the “chosen people” of Orange County who are lucky enough to have a house, seem to want to ban the existence of those less fortunate within their city borders. Studies show that helping the homeless people costs a lot less than policing them to death. So why are the people in charge doing this? With poverty wages, soaring housing prices, and apartment rents among the highest in the nation there will be thousands more homeless people on the streets blocking the view of the concrete jungle. This could be a near future tsunami of people on the streets if we do not help.

The constitution of the United States of America is supposed to protect everyone, even the less fortunate if you can believe that. “Sorry” says the city council in Mission Viejo. “Not in our city.”

This seems to be almost otherworldly in the complete disregard for the lives of people that are less fortunate. Are these people in a position of power even living in the real world? Perhaps they’re not in the real world…

“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone”, or in this case, Mission Viejo.

Mike Robbins is a 56 year resident of Orange County. He is a member of Housing is a Human Right OC and The People’s Homeless Task Force.

Opinions expressed in editorials belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue or others please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at TSears@voiceofoc.org