Last year for the whole year there were 67. By the end of this year, unless the shadows change, and there is currently absolutely no reason that they would, the number of homeless deaths in Santa Ana will approach 100 (96 would be the prediction). That would make for a 50% increase in the number of homeless deaths in Santa Ana between 2020 and 2021.
What happened during this year in Santa Ana?
Well, the County closed its main walkup shelter, the Courtyard Transition Center, which was simply a parking garage converted into a place where people could pitch their tents or lay down their sleeping bags, with minimal services – notably bathroom facilities – offered.
The homeless people, shut out from the Courtyard Transition Center, moved a few blocks over to El Centro Cultural de Mexico.
Now the City has chosen to bill El Centro for not kicking out the people, WITH NO PLACE TO GO, from their parking lot a few blocks away from the mothballed Courtyard facility.
The City of Santa Ana has at least 33 extra deaths among the homeless on their hands.
It’s stunning to now watch that City trying to shake down basically Mother Theresa to cover that expense perhaps in hopes of providing at least temporarily its City Attorney a nice “small boat sized” payment as well as giving a handout to the poor souls of Santa Ana’s apparently desperately hungry police department. All that shiny new equipment and state-of-the-art counter-terrorism training spent when all that there is, is a bunch of homeless people and a small assortment of people with souls to shakedown. It all must be rather depressing for a city and county ready to go to war against … I guess its own people.
If all this makes the City of Santa Ana and its public safety establishment look like a bunch of idiots and evil ones at that, well … FOUR PEOPLE on its City Council chose to “make an example of” the city’s Centro Cultural de Mexico for showing compassion to the weakest among us.
Folks hope honestly that there is no God because there is simply no religious tradition that has ever existed that would defend this cruelty. I certainly would not want to defend that decision before God on my judgment day. Shame, evil shame.
Fr. Dennis Kriz, OSM, Pastor St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church, Fullerton.
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Correction: an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the City of Santa Ana closed the Courtyard Transition Center. The author regrets the error.