Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

It has been getting quite cold at night.  Of course most of us are sheltered from the cold.  We live in heated homes with warm beds and snug pajamas.  But as comfortable as most of us in Orange County are, there are many who suffer in the elements.  They are the homeless and those of us who live in Santa Ana know more than those in, say Irvine, what a problem this is – as so many of the homeless gather in our Civic Plaza every day.

Dwight Smith, a longtime advocate for the homeless, who is part of the Catholic Worker organization, recently contacted the members of Santa Ana Occupy, to bring them up to speed on the dire straits faced by the homeless.  Unfortunately, asking an angry mob to actually work constructively with our elected and appointed officials is not exactly an idea that will bear fruit, but Smith is right – something must be done.

Here is Smith’s letter to Santa Ana Occupy:

Dear 99%,

I’m begging you to consider leading the OC toward humane behavior in four areas. We have a kitchen, a budget, and willing workers – all the elements to get communities organized. There are four issues which could greatly benefit from the kind of leadership you demonstrated during the first phase of the Occupation of Santa Ana. Please consider lending your leadership to any one of these areas:

  1. There are no public restrooms in the Civic Center after 8PM and before 6AM.
  2. Unlike LA and San Diego Counties, EBT cards given to the homeless cannot be used in restaurants, denying the homeless pre-cooked food and 24/7 restrooms, many of which require a token to enter.
  3. Homeless men are not allowed to use the computers in the Santa Ana public library.
  4. Although there are no emergency shelter beds available daily after 2:30, the SAPD nevertheless, in contradistinction to Tobe v. Santa Ana, can arrest the homeless for “camping” upon all public property within the city.

I have attached my magnum opus, the culmination of fifteen years working with the homeless. Because I am a volunteer, I don’t need to be successful to be funded. As a result I can reveal the criminal failure that characterizes the OC utter dereliction of the homeless. I’m happy to point out the conspiracy that virtually guarantees subsequent tax-dollars will likewise be totally wasted.

Please honor me and my decade of failure by reading the attached paper, and then volunteer to organize the OC on behalf of the poor.

Feel welcome to call my cell at (714) 469-4603, or to give it out freely.

Thanks for listening,
Dwight Smith,

PS. We are (bad, mostly) Catholics, but our work is not; All are welcome to join in the struggle for the homeless poor.

Check out the O.C. Catholic Worker’s Facebook page by clicking here.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

3 thoughts on “Have Orange County’s politicians forgotten the homeless?”
  1. Assuming that I am an aspiring politician, in 2008 Mayoral debate the question was handed to me: Mr. Fiala what will you do for homes?…. I have replied Nothing!

    The audience noticeably hissed.

    However, Pulido was tripling all over himself how much he cares and how much he will fix the homelessness.

    So who would made better Santa Ana Mayor the one who speaks truth or the one who does not?


  2. The homeless are free people.

    They do not belong to society as pets or to city government as wards.

    The best thing that Santa Ana society can provide are clean useable restrooms and showers.

    While our city has been promoting itself as a destination city, “Downtown Orange County”. we lack some basis necessaries to suport that title.

    Even Newport beach has public restrooms and showers, as do Avalon and Twin Harbors on Catalina Island.

    Going to Disneyland or Knotts Berry Farm? No need to wear an adult diaper, because they supply plenty of restrooms too.

    So the homeless do not need to be branded and herded like cattle, just supply some basis necessaries of life, like restroom and showers.

  3. Cook, you are right. What is happening to the homeless in Santa Ana and, indeed, most of the country is that no one wants them around. They appear as a blight in their parks and on their streets. What they should be doing is demanding that government, which is so free to dole out millions of dollars in grants for programs that do not directly benefit anyone without an income, and spend a little so that the homeless can take care of themselves. This includes lifting the ban on camping on public land. And, that prohibition on homeless men using the computers in the library? That is a slap in the face to a man looking to work or catch up on current events or who is trying to stay in touch with his family while he goes through some rough times. What are they worried about? Porn surfing homeless guys? c’mon, give me a break.

    Dwight Smith has it right; the city and county governments don’t get it.

    Hey John Moorlach, instead of looking up to Heaven thanking God, why don’t you look down and see the face of Christ?

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