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According to the OC Coroner’s office, twenty-four people died “without fixed abode” in Orange County in October, making it the deadliest month for those living without fixed abode in OC this year.

Their names were: Joel LOPEZ (who died on October 4 in Costa Mesa), Pascual TORRES (who died on October 7 in Orange), Glenn MOBERLY (who died on October 9 in Santa Ana), William GLOVER (who died on October 9 in Anaheim), Edward SLANK III (who died on October 1 in Fountain Valley), Victor ESTRADA (who died on October 12 in Anaheim), Walter CARTER (who died on October 13 in Fullerton), Mario SANTIVANEZ (who died on October 13 in Santa Ana), Rodolfo AGREDANO (who died on October 14 in Santa Ana), James TALBOT (who died on October 18 in Santa Ana), Josephine BECERRA (who died on October 18 in Orange), David SORENSON (who died on October 18 in Costa Mesa), Infant female CUEVAS (who died on October 21 in Santa Ana), Scott TERNER (who died on October 22 in Costa Mesa), David WHELPLEY (who died on October 23 in Orange), James GALLIAN (who died on October 23 in Fountain Valley), Jennifer KUHNS (who died on October 24 in Anaheim), Virgil DWYER (who died on October 25 in Capistrano Beach), Loren VINCENT (who died on October 26 in Tustin), Ernest MEZA), JR (who died on October 27 in Buena Park), Mary HARDY (who died on October 27 in Newport Beach), and Garrett GALLOWAY (who died on October 28 in Garden Grove).

There is motion on the homeless front in Orange County.

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Fullerton’s TriParish Homeless Collaborative along with allies from the Fullerton Interfaith Ministerial Association (FIMA) brought out hundreds upon hundreds of members of the city’s faith communities to Fullerton’s City Council Meeting in support of the approval of a 150 bed Navigation Center / Recuperative Care Facility.

Both the City Council chambers as well as its overflow room were completely filled by a sea of residents in white shirts and holding red-white-and-blue signs expressing support for the Center resulting in a 4-1 vote by the City Council to authorize the City to allocate $500,000 as its contribution to the project.  The project will still pass through the necessary CUP process.  However, the hope is that with such deep support for the project that it will be realized soon.

Throughout Fullerton it has become increasingly clear that every delay simply extends the irritation of city’s residents and the sufferings of the people sleeping on its sidewalks.

Hopefully the Faith Community across the county will start to take up this matter – members of Fullerton’s Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and Unitarian Communities all present at the Nov. 5 Fullerton City Council Meeting – for as Fullerton’s Temple Bet’ Tikvah Rabbi Nico Sololovsky said: “When residents are starting to ask that people reduced to sleeping on our sidewalks be kicked off of those sidewalks, we begin to have a true moral crisis on our hands.”

There simply is no religious tradition anywhere that says it is “right and just” to hurt and humiliate those in need.

We need to be, or at least become, better than this.

Twenty-four people died last month “without fixed abode” in our County because we’ve still chosen to do (much) less than what is needed to respond adequately to this crisis.

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

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