Count the homeless… but watch your back!




The media is reporting that this weekend in Orange County volunteers are out and about to count the homeless. This in fulfillment of a federal requirement in order that the county receive as much federal money to assist the homeless as possible.

The media coverage seems to focus on the homeless who find themselves in this predicament because of the downturn in the economy or other circumstances pretty much beyond their control.  That there are homeless like that is indisputable, and a sad commentary on our community.

But there are also homeless who are in that predicament because of self-medication with substances (drugs, alcohol), a criminal past that makes them pretty much unemployable, and some are mentally ill.   The County civic center in Santa Ana is a gathering place for many homeless some of who are downright dangerous.  Not to mention the stench of urine that permeates the air due to urination occurring most anywhere.

The climate in the civic center is well illustrated by a recent electronic memo sent to all county employees by the County Executive Office as follows:

“On the evening of January 20, a Civic Center employee leaving work after 5 p.m. was confronted by a homeless woman who approached her from behind and hit her in the back of the head.  The transient immediately fled the scene.  The employee and a companion reported the incident to the Sheriff’s Department kiosk at the Hall of Administration, and SAPD responded to take a report.  The employee’s supervisor reports that she is shaken up but doing better and is back at work.  The incident remains under investigation.  We’d like to remind all employees to exercise caution when arriving to or leaving work. CEO takes the safety of employees very seriously, and we are working with the Civic Center departments to equip everyone with safety measures, training and escorts.”

Danger lurks, and precautions are warranted whether you work in the civic center or are going there to conduct business. Or trying to count the homeless.

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.