Witnessing on behalf of Mary's Kitchen, which for 30 years has served hundreds of poor people each day, but now is slated to be closed by the City of Orange with no credible plan to replace it. Credit: K. Alvarado

Another thirty-six people died “without fixed abode” (homeless) in Orange County in August.  Their names are:

Anthony AMES who died on August 2nd in Anaheim, Evelyn GLENN who died on August 2nd in Anaheim, John PIEROVICH who died on August 2nd in Fountain Valley, Lawrence BOTICH who died on August 4th in Brea, Jose MOLINAESCOBAR who died on August 4th in Orange, Carol MURPHY who died on August 5th in Santa Ana, Lisa SHAFFER who died on August 5th in Buena Park, Steve MYERS who died on August 5th in Fountain Valley, Michael KELLY who died on August 6th in Santa Ana, Juan FLORES who died on August 7th in Anaheim, Angel GARCIA who died on August 9th in Tustin, Joany HERNANDEZ who died on August 9th in Santa Ana, Donald COOLEY who died on August 10th in Orange, Bobby ENGLAND who died on August 12th in Fountain Valley, Gilbert OCHOA who died on August 13th in Anaheim, Crisdun MEADOWS who died on August 13th in Garden Grove, Christina CHEW who died on August 14th in Anaheim, Harrison NELSON who died on August 16th in Costa Mesa, Steven OATMAN who died on August 17th in Fountain Valley, Lorenzo BELTRAN who died on August 17th in Fountain Valley, Robert PATTERSON who died on August 19th in Fullerton, Matthew JAMES who died on August 19th in Sunset Beach, Sergio ARROYO who died on August 19th in Fullerton, Anthony BRUMMETT who died on August 21st in Orange, Eduardo URISTA who died on August 22nd in Costa Mesa, Madison FOWLER who died on August 23rd in Stanton, Shair CALLOWAY-DUNNEL who died on August 23rd in Fullerton, Zachary COY who died on August 23rd in Garden Grove, Kristine KOSTKA who died on August 23d in Fullerton, Earl HUST who died on August 24th in Huntington Beach, Juvencio RODRIGUEZ RUIZ who died on August 25th in Orange, Robert MURPHY who died on August 25th in Lake Forest, Sterling ANDERSON-CRECY who died on August 27th in Newport Beach, Joseph OLVERA who died on August 30th in Fullerton, William PELTIER who died on August 30th in Fountain Valley, and Patricia GORDON who died on August 30th in Santa Ana.

So far this year, 260 people have died in OC without fixed abode, which is almost exactly twice the number, 132, who had died by August in 2019, the last year before COVID.  Last year the number at this time was 212.  So it’s clearly been a terrible year.

How are the County and its 33 constituent cities responding to this?   Terribly.  In city after city – Fullerton, Orange, Santa Ana, San Clemente – all of them seem to believe chasing the people sleeping on their streets out of town is the “solution” to their homeless problems.  Chase them out to where?   To other towns? to the next world?

The doubling of the death rate among OC’s population living “without fixed abode” between 2019-2021 seems to be the clearest indication that policies that make it harder on the homeless, “pulling away carpets” and sometimes actually reducing services simply render more people dead. 

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

Opinions expressed in community opinion pieces 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 email opinions@voiceofoc.org.

Since you've made it this far,

You are obviously connected to your community and value good journalism. As an independent and local nonprofit, our news is accessible to all, regardless of what they can afford. Our newsroom centers on Orange County’s civic and cultural life, not ad-driven clickbait. Our reporters hold powerful interests accountable to protect your quality of life. But it’s not free to produce. It depends on donors like you.

BREAKING TEXT ALERTS

Subscribe today to receive Voice of OC’s breaking news text messages (free beyond your standard messaging rates).

Join the conversation: In lieu of comments, we encourage readers to engage with us across a variety of mediums. Join our Facebook discussion. Message us via our website or staff page. Send us a secure tip. Share your thoughts in a community opinion piece.