5.7% of OC’s start-of-the-year homeless population is now dead, with 41 homeless deaths in August, 328 for the year

Another 41 people died of “no fixed abode,” meaning homeless, in Orange County last month. Their names are:

Samuel LIEBMANN who died on August 1 at Dana Point

Dennis ROSEN died August 3 in Cypress

Tricia SIMS died August 4 in Santa Ana

Robert RINEHART died on August 4 in Huntington Beach

Kristina VIDAL died on August 6 in Placentia

Orion GARDNER died on August 7 in Costa Mesa

Francisco TORRES died on August 7 in La Habra

Toby WHIPPLE died August 8 in Huntington Beach

Micheal REED died August 8 in Fullerton

Miguel VELASQUEZ JR. died August 9 in Anaheim

Joseph SIORDIA died on August 9 in Orange

Addison LINNEEN died August 11 in Fullerton

Richard FERNANDEZ died on August 12 in Costa Mesa

Stanley SINGLETON died August 12 in Anaheim

James MASTRIANNA died August 12 in Anaheim

Joseph CONROY died on August 13 at Mission Viejo

Zachary HAWKINS died on August 13 in Orange

Thomas FRENCH died on August 14 in Santa Ana

William NEBLETT who died on August 15 in Costa Mesa

Alvaro CARBAJAL died on August 16 in Costa Mesa

Michael MASTERS died August 15 in Costa Mesa

Manuel REYES died on August 16 in Santa Ana

Aaron PARKS died August 16 in Santa Ana

Richard RENSINK died on August 17 at Seal Beach

Jennifer WEIDNER died on August 18 in Santa Ana

Rogelio CARBAJAL PENA died on August 18 in Orange

José ALVARDO died on August 19 in Orange

Daniel PRICE died on August 20 in Santa Ana

Isaiah MURILLO died on August 21 in San Clemente

Ronald CUSHEY died on August 21 in Santa Ana

Joshua DEVORE died on August 23 in Garden Grove

Robert AZEVEDO died on August 23 in Santa Ana

Marc HERNANDEZ died on August 24 at Dana Point

Mary FELIZ died August 25 in Anaheim

Jovun BROADNAX died Aug. 25 in Anaheim

Joe RIVERA died on August 25 in Orange

Jeff SHUBAT died August 26 in Fountain Valley

Jose GUZMAN died August 27 in Anaheim

Désirée MENDOZA died on August 27 in Anaheim

James RADVANSKY died on August 28 in La Habra

Robin O’CONNELL died August 29 in Santa Ana

This brings the number of homeless deaths to 328 for the year so far. Last year, then also a peak year, the total number of homeless deaths in August was 261. Thus, this year’s homeless death rate increased by about 25.7% from to last year again, at the time also a record year.

Looking at these numbers another way, taking seriously OC’s point-in-time tally from January 2022, where the total number of people found homeless was 5,718, 5.7% of the homeless population at the start of the county year has now passed away, with four months in the year to go. We can fully expect to see between 8 and 10 percent of the county’s start-of-the-year homeless population dead by the end of the year.

What is the county and its constituent cities doing about it? Not a lot. Supposedly, the county is spending up to $1.4 billion on homelessness, yet families with children and seniors with disabilities are being told to wait on the streets while they are treated for the first times, then shelter is found for them. How is it possible?

Here in Fullerton, a state-of-the-art, 150-bed navigation center is being held empty because the city refuses to pay the $70-per-bed cost to place people there. He says he has no money, but he doesn’t ask for money either. Again $1.4 billion is supposed to be spent on homelessness in this county and yet a state of the art 150 bed navigation center is being bled dry for lack of funds. How is it possible?

So certainly in Fullerton, but almost certainly in the entire county, every homeless person we encounter is out there on the streets simply because our government officials have chosen to keep them there, watching our children as they play. at little league sports, greeting them at a few public restrooms we leave open in our parks. These unfortunates are out there, baking in the sun, marinating in their own sweat, periodically getting sprayed by our parks sprinkler systems to add to their discomfort (and then our fear), because our government officials have chosen to keep it there.

Ask yourself honestly, what do we pay our police to do if there are shelters, good shelters, no longer Buchenwald-style shelters, but shelters with 24-hour air conditioning, TV, internet, 3 meals a day, shower, laundry and medical facilities, and…they are kept empty even as all around us we have people who haven’t had a shower or clean clothes in weeks, wandering our streets or sleeping in our parks.

It doesn’t have to be that way. But we choose to keep it that way.

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

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