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A record thirty-four people died “without fixed abode” in OC last month, April 2020. Their names are: Daniel HOFFMAN who died on April 1st in Huntington Beach, Michael TOKARS who died on April 3rd in Newport Beach, Stevi CROTHERS who died on April 5th in Stanton, David PORTNEY who died on April 6th in Costa Mesa, Rose KELLEY who died on April 6th in Laguna Beach, Mark SWANSON who died on April 8th in Stanton, Rudy SANCHEZ who died on April 8th in Fullerton, Jerry GROSS who died on April 9th in Garden Grove, Thomson VO who died on April 10th in Laguna Hills, Michael NYHUS who died on April 11th in Fountain Valley, Martin HOUSE who died on April 14th in Garden Grove, Mario PORRES who died on April 14th in Buena Park, Todd MEGNA who died on April 14th in Orange, Rick DAVIS who died on April 14th in Newport Beach, George ACEVEDO who died on April 15th in Santa Ana, Ruben MAGDALENO who died on April 15th in Fullerton, Miguel JIMENEZ who died on April 16th in Anaheim, Elizabeth NEALON who died on April 17th in Fullerton, William TRUDGEON who died on April 17th in Laguna Hills, Samantha KILBURN who died on April 18th in Irvine, Mario CRUMPACKER who died on April 18th in Costa Mesa, Tuan NGUYEN who died on April 21st in Fountain Valley, Noe GARCIA who died on April 21st in Fullerton, Emily JONES who died on April 22nd in Santa Ana, Linda GRAJEDA who died on April 22nd in Orange, Richard COMFORT who died on April 22nd in Westminster, Cheryl LEONARD who died on April 22nd in Santa Ana, William MCGUCKIE who died on April 23rd in Anaheim, Steven MARTIN who died on April 23rd in Anaheim, Samuel BALCH who died on April 25th in Garden Grove, Brian ESCHBACH who died on April 26th in Orange, Gerard KELLY who died on April 27th in Orange, Patrick LYNAUGH who died on April 30th in Garden Grove, and John YOUNGGREN who died on April 30th in Orange.
To give perspective. Last April, nineteen people died “without fixed abode,” or at a rate of one person every 37.9 hours (30×24/19). Last year, 206 people died “without fixed abode” over the course of the whole year or one person every 42.5 hours (365×24/206). Last month, thirty-four people died “without fixed abode” or one person every 21.2 hours (30×24/34). So people without fixed abode died in OC last month at a rate 79% higher than last April, and almost exactly 100% (2x) higher than over the course of last year’s average. The Voice of OC’s own reporting shows that last month’s homeless death toll was the highest in five years.
So then what to do? Bring in FEMA. I called for this last summer, after talking to a number of people about this, I’m doing so again, indeed, screaming it again!
To leave an entire population — of thousands — out on the streets during a plague to die is morally bankrupt., indeed Evil, especially since there are near empty hotels all around us, many of which will go financially bankrupt anyway. Let the State use FEMA funds to buy them and then use them to bring everybody indoors. And yes, everybody, including those bought-out hotel owners and the County will end up winners.
The alternative, to yet again do nothing, or next to nothing, is simply morally unfathomable.
Fr. Dennis Kriz, OSM, Pastor St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church, Fullerton.
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