A recent OC Register Editorial asserts that the Homeless Persons Bill of Rights and Fairness Act is “misguided compassion towards the homeless.” To their horror the Bill would grant the homeless new rights in California, including sleeping on sidewalks.
As the county seat of government, and second largest city, Santa Ana’s Civic Center is a magnet for the homeless. For decades the city has been wrestling with the problem of homelessness with little progress. The City’s most notable accomplishment was in 1992 when Santa Ana passed its anti-camping ordinance in order to eradicate the tent city set up by the homeless in the Civic Center.
Fullerton city leaders have their hands full of angry residents and civil rights activists over the beating death of Kelly Thomas, a 37 year old mentally-ill homeless man at the hands of six Fullerton police officers. The beating, and the severity of injuries that beating caused, would have been called murder weeks ago if those responsible were civilians.
As I traveled around town, I continued to be on the lookout for the regular people on the streets. A few weeks back, I ran into the “drifter”. He had been chased away by the Sheriff after the local property manager had lodged a complaint. He was back with his increasingly faded “Need Work” Sign occupying the usual corner right across from the beautiful Laguna Niguel City Hall. I worked up the courage to walk up to see how he was doing.