Underwood: Some New Year Thoughts on the Homeless

Orange County based reporter and documentary producer John Underwood writes that even for a reporter familiar with the homeless communities of Orange County assumptions about the unhoused, who they are and what we think we know about them can often fall terribly short of the truth, as this reporter discovered one day while serving up meals to a group of homeless who served him up a lesson on the fine points of giving thanks.

Aly: Orange County Can Afford to Responsibly Treat Inmates’ Opioid Addiction

Orange County resident and public interest attorney Mohammed Aly writes about the local campaign to implement best medical practices for treating opioid addiction in the Orange County Jail. Orange County loses hundreds of lives each year to the opioid crisis. Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the most effective medical response, using a combination and drugs and therapy to treat opioid addiction and deter relapse. By local policy, however, only pregnant inmates can access MAT upon booking in jail. Barring adequate opioid treatment for inmates exacerbates the health crisis and violates federal law. Funding MAT access would save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in hospitalization and law enforcement costs. For these reasons, advocates are calling for the Board of Supervisors to implement MAT access in the Orange County Jail.

OCTA Seeks Members for Public Committees

The Orange County Transportation Authority is seeking qualified volunteers to serve on two vital public committees that review OCTA programs and monitor funding to help ensure OCTA continues delivering on its commitment to implement an effective, balanced and sustainable transportation system.