COVID has impacted so many things in our community from school to business to how we interact with family and friends. In the midst of this pandemic, however, local government must continue to make progress on important initiatives like addressing the senior housing shortage.
Twenty-seven people died “without fixed abode,” homeless, in Orange County in August, last year there were 19. That’s 42% higher than last year, but somewhat better than in previous months when the mortality rate among the homeless was twice that of last year. Still, more options do seem to be available to the homeless than last year, even if those options would remain difficult for many of us to accept. Let’s all keep working to make things better.
The Santa Ana City Council is abandoning the City’s commitment to affordable housing by gutting the Housing Opportunity Ordinance (HOO) at a time when rent-burdened residents struggle to pay rent. The City Council is granting millions of dollars in unnecessary handouts to developers instead of maximizing the public benefit of the City’s valuable land.
A record Thirty-Four people died “without fixed abode” in OC last month, April 2020, eighty percent to one hundred percent more than then the year before. What to do? Let the State use FEMA funds to simply buy the near empty hotels needed to bring everybody indoors. To yet again do nothing, or next to nothing, is morally unfathomable.
It’s strange how this is thought to be the ultimate test of a “true” homeless advocate, and the ultimate solution to homelessness – the challenge to take a stranger … into your home and rehabilitate them.
State Senator John Moorlach, R – Costa Mesa, writes that his colleagues in the state legislature should step back and reconsider Assembly Bill 828, by Assemblymember Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, which among other things, would force most property owners to cut residential rents.
Orange County ignores CDC guidance to leave six feet of space between cots at its emergency homeless shelters. The Courtyard shelter has loaded four times the number of occupants than permitted by the building code. The Board of Supervisors must move immuno-compromised or elderly people from shelters to motels now.
We’re all consumed now by the Coronavirus. We’ve given up freedom of assembly and even of worship and yet we leave an immune-deficient population of thousands abandoned on the streets or crammed in “coffin boat” like warehouses. Don’t we realize that if we continue to do nothing, the Coronavirus will now be with us forever?
Another 23 people died “without fixed abode,” that is homeless in OC in January 2020. During this time, as always, there have been lights and shadows in terms of progress. The City of Fullerton approved 4-1 a new 150 bed Recuperative Care / Navigation Center for the homeless, while there have been rumblings about repurposing the County’s old Fairview Mental Health Facility to multipurpose development. Fr Kriz warns that if the Fairview Facility is diminished from its original purpose as a residential mental health facility, then it would be equivalent to saying that Orange County prefers to keep hundreds of its most afflicted, yes, at times most problematic people, sleeping on its streets rather than indoors where they can be helped.