Another 47 people died “without fixed abode” in OC in July.  Their names are:

John POWERS who died on July 1st in Huntington Beach

Robert HAAS who died on July 1st in Cypress

Rose GIBBONS who died on July 2nd in Irvine

Kianoosh KASRA who died on July 2nd in Anaheim

Jesus CONTRERAS MUNOZ who died on July 2nd in Santa Ana

David MENDEZ who died on July 3rd in Anaheim

Cheri RICHARDSON who died on July 3rd in Orange

Jose TIZNADO-BAHENA who died on July 4th in San Juan Capistrano

Manuel GONZALEZ who died on July 5th in Fountain Valley

William SMALLWOOD who died on July 6th in Santa Ana

Denny PIERCE who died on July 6th in Newport Beach

Noah BOWERS-RAMOS who died on July 8th in Anaheim

David SHAW who died on July 8th in Lake Forest

Jesus GARCIA JR. who died on July 8th in Orange

Ethen ANGCAYAN who died on July 9th in Ladera Ranch

Jeffrey RADFORD who died on July 9th in Placentia

Segundo MARTINEZ JAUREGUI who died on July 10th in Santa Ana

Sara SPAGNOLINI who died on July 10th in Lake Forest

Gary SARGENT who died on July 10th in Placentia

Greg ODAY who died on July 11th in Laguna Hills

Jason WILLIAMS who died on July 11th in Santa Ana

Beau HENDRICKS who died on July 12th in San Clemente

Rigoberto BENITEZ who died on July 12th in Anaheim

Caleb COKER who died on July 13th in Dana Point

Renee MONTOYA who died on July 13th in Fullerton

Chanel JOHN who died on July 13th in Anaheim

Yvonne CATALAN who died on July 13th in Anaheim

Aaron HOLLY who died on July 14th in Anaheim

Robert CAPPS who died on July 15th in Anaheim

Brian BARTON who died on July 16th in Anaheim

Bridget POOL who died on July 16th in Buena Park

Donald SMITH who died on July 16th in Santa Ana

Jalal SOUFI who died on July 16th in Santa Ana

Dylan BARKER who died on July 17th in Santa Ana

Joseph MORENO who died on July 17th in Orange

Salina SANTIAGO who died on July 19th in Placentia

Justin YRARRAZAVAL who died on July 20th in Anaheim

Joshua PONDER who died on July 22nd in Anaheim

Scott MOORE who died on July 23rd in Fountain Valley

Danielle SIMMS who died on July 23rd in Huntington Beach

Travis BEESON who died on July 24th in Dana Point

Ruben OROSCO who died on July 25th in Brea

Jacob QUINN who died on July 26th in Garden Grove

Marc NELSON who died on July 27th in Garden Grove

Michael FREIBURGER who died on July 27th in Anaheim

Kenneth BROWNE who died on July 29th in Rancho Santa Margarita

Tony MENDOZA who died on July 31st in Santa Ana

Additionally there was one other person who died in June but whose name was only recorded by the Coroner’s Office in July.  His name is:

Jose CONTRERAS CASTANEDA who died on June 30th in Orange

The additional 48 people added to the list of deceased brings the number of deceased among the County’s homeless to 308 for the year (last year there were 288 deceased at this time), and if the trend continues 9.2% of the County’s beginning of the year homeless population will have died by year’s end.

It’s been two months since I wrote here that a full 10% of the County’s homeless population may die by the end of the year.  Since then I’ve talked to both public and religious leaders about this, including my own bishop. 

It appears to be the consensus of our County’s leaders that the greatest obstacle for responding to this staggering death toll is simply us ourselves. 

It’s not necessarily that we’re evil people, but we choose not to care.  Many in the County simply don’t see people who find themselves homeless (and consider themselves fortunate for not needing to face this problem). 

Others, including honestly myself at times, bite down and sigh, when confronted by someone who appears to clearly need some help.  We feel inadequate, we feel overwhelmed, yes, at times we feel irritated by the person’s entry, even if not briefly, into our lives.

So it would seem that the first challenge for us is to come to see the people around us in need of help as, well, human, like us, worthy of our concern / care.

For people of faith like me, there is actually a very simple way to do this – to start to pray for them. 

Yes, such a step may seem wildly inadequate initially.  What good is prayer if one does not do anything for the person afterwards?  Well, prayer is certainly not the complete solution, but it is certainly a start.

It’s hard to go back to not caring, if one starts praying for someone.  And yes, I inevitably find that solutions start popping in my head (and in my heart) when I start praying for someone. 

So taking into account the advice of County’s leadership, both civil and religious, I’d simply like to ask the people of our humble County to just start praying for the people that we find on our streets who are homeless.   

Find time each week, or at the end of each day, to pray for the people we’ve met that we were not able to help.  Yes, we might find the problem initially overwhelming.  But solutions will be found and we may even become parts of the solutions.

We all know the alternative:  We will continue to see people on our streets who scare us, and we will continue to try to find ways to try to shield ourselves from them. 

Let’s instead start praying for them and see where our collective consciences take us.  Honestly, our County’s leaders will be happily listening.

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

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.

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.