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Friends, as most of you have read recently the Santa Ana Civic Center faces huge challenges when it comes to the impact of the more than 450 homeless living there. In the Opinion section of the Orange County Register, Ms. Bonnie Compton Hanson wrote about her observations and insight into the problem. She mentions the Orange County Rescue Mission. Yes, it is true that the Orange County Rescue Mission was founded in the City of Santa Ana and has operated two facilities in that City over the years.
Unfortunately ever since the Rescue Mission was encouraged to leave town by the City, the number of homeless and the impact of the homelessness issue upon Santa Ana have grown significantly. I agree with Ms. Hanson. It is time for the City of Santa Ana to step up and create some real capacity to provide a hand up and not just a hand out.
9/9/2016 | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Orange County Register, 20160907
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Time to get real about homelessness
Re: “Rough neighborhood” [News, Sept. 4]: I can remember when the Orange County Rescue Mission – which for years lovingly helped the down‐and‐out in Santa Ana – was invited to move to the old Marine Corps base in Tustin instead. “Whew,” some politicians exclaimed. “Now we’re rid of the homeless problem.” God bless the Mission. It still does a great ministry of long‐term rehabilitation and feeding the hungry – those who have transportation out to their new headquarters, that is.
Meanwhile, there has been no place for the homeless in Santa Ana – who keep increasing instead of conveniently disappearing – to stay. The Civic Center has become increasingly dangerous for the employees, for the visitors, and for the homeless themselves.
Enough with just talk. This is not a problem that can be solved simply by hosing down sidewalks, by trashing people’s only belongings in the world, or by political parties blaming each other. We need intelligent, determined planning and action – from the city, from the county, from the state, from the federal government, all working together. We need help for our homeless – help for the mentally ill, for drug addicts, for the disabled, for veterans – all of whom are getting lost in our political shenanigans. It’s not just a Santa Ana problem – it’s a national problem. But we need to start here. And we need to start now.
Bonnie Compton Hanson