Kriz: Homeless Deaths on the Decline, Slightly

Thirteen more people died “without fixed abode” in Orange County in June.  They are: Leonel GARCIA DIAZ (who died in Garden Grove on May 22), Christopher WILD (who died in Santa Ana on June 1), Elliot FISHMAN (who died in Laguna Woods on June 7), Gregory WHITTINGHAM (who died in Newport Beach on June 8), Hoang TRAN (who died in Westminster on June 9), Jose CARRERA BARBOSA (who died in Santa Ana on June 9), Tyron COETZEE (who died here in Huntington Beach on June 9), Kyle PARRISH (who died in Garden Grove on June 11), Kosol CHIM (who died in Santa Ana on June 14), Hamid BEHRAZFAR (who died in Tustin on June 15), Elden KIRIFI (who died in Anaheim on June 20), Michael GARCIA (who died in Anaheim on June 21), Mark CAMPETT (who died in Fountain Valley on June 28).  May they rest in peace and perpetual light shine upon them.

There is some good news here.  There have been several months now where the rate of death among those who died without fixed abode has been significantly lower rate than last year.  This month, for instance the rate of death on the streets has been 1 every 55.3 hours (30×24/13).  This compares to the rate of 1 every 35.9 hours (365×24/244) cumulatively over last year. It would appear therefore that the greater awareness / concern across the County regarding the number of homeless deaths has resulted cumulatively in a decrease of such deaths, at least so far, and that would be something to cheer.

How else are things going?  Debate still clearly rages and is arguably expanding with regards to the best strategies for taking care of those experiencing homelessness in our midst.  Recent developments in both San Clemente and Fullerton, well documented here at Voice of OC and elsewhere, clearly indicate that there’s a lot of unfinished business in both localities as these cities and their citizenry seek respond to their homeless situations that clearly many in both localities would prefer to not have to respond to at all.

But let us at least note that in the last several months, at minimum, the death rate among the homeless of our County, has, at least for the moment gone down.  Let’s hope it stays that way.

Fr. Dennis Kriz, OSM, Pastor St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church, Fullerton.

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