Robbins: A Homeless Christmas

What if a very special homeless man were here in the River Bed today?

Right now he will be denied basic sanitation like bathrooms, showers, and running water. Right now the police will make him move from place to place because there is no bed for him. The police and city/county workers will harass, berate, intimidate him, force him to move on a daily basis, confiscate his property and throw it away. Right now the politicians and police are even trying to block the charities from feeding him and those that he lives with! He has to share even his meager portion of bread with many.

And yet he kneels to wash their feet while idolater’s plan his demise.

Who are these people on the streets, the homeless people? 5% of the population is unemployed; that means around 75,000 people in OC alone. 70,000 of those people have a mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin or friend that cares. Even though they lost their job or have a problem keeping a job or are mentally disabled, or physically disabled or are just a geek that does not want to work, they have the family/friend support that care. They have people in their lives that no matter what, want them to have a bed, bathroom, shower, food and just plain want them to live. They hope that they will change and get better.

Then there are 4,500 people without that support. Well, the people with a heart and perhaps a little humanity should want them to live, not just die.

Right now the police write all the homeless people tickets for being homeless that go to warrant because they do not have the money to pay. Then the amount skyrockets to several hundred dollars and the state rescinds their driver’s license till they pay. So they drive on a suspended license and then get a ticket for that too. Finally they end up in jail for warrants that they cannot pay. We pay, as it costs $70,000 per year to keep them in jail; they pay, as any incarceration or suspension of their license makes it even more difficult to get a job!

Finally they pay with their lives as 5.5% of the homeless people die each year – 200 die in Orange County per year at the average age of 49. In Nigeria the average death rate is 1.5% and the age average age of death is 53.

With multi billion dollar budgets the OC cities and county refuse categorically to spend the money on affordable housing. They will build units for 27 people or 47 people while 4,500 are on the streets. The county gives housing vouchers to 600 people when there are no less than 40,000 people waiting on the 8-10 year waiting list!

So this Christmas think of the needy, the homeless people kept in a revolving state of homelessness by the system, perpetuated by the political hacks that do nothing to end the cycle or even care to keep them alive.

Say a prayer to/for the politicians and the haters, if you want. The homeless people walk with God and need no prayers for salvation.

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