Mary’s Kitchen: the Killing of a Miracle. PART 4. (Finale.)

The aftermath of the closing of Mary’s Kitchen cannot be measured among the homeless. By closing Mary’s Kitchen, the city of Orange has taken the final sanctuary for the homeless and force them into a vacuum that only they can feel. Federal Judge David Carter’s edict that forces the city of Orange to duplicate the services that Mary’s Kitchen provides, shows how little the powers-that-be really care for the homeless. 

From the get-go, the city of Orange has done everything in its power not to duplicate what Mary’s Kitchen provides for the homeless. No hygiene packs, no clothes giveaway, no bus passes, no food for pets, no coffee.            

Some of these things that the city of Orange chooses not to provide maybe insisted upon by Judge Carter, yet some of these things can never be duplicated by the city nor insisted upon by the Judge. These are the intangibles, the trust of the homeless, the peace of mind for 6 days a week, the acceptance they feel, and most importantly the community they have come to know.  All these intangibles add up to the very essence of what it is to be a human being– hope. Hope for a better life, hope that someone cares, hope for a warm blanket because the city threw away the one you had the night before, hope for a time to rest, hope to make it through another day.

And what homeless are we speaking about, the 30% Judge Carter deems shelter resistant, to be fair has Judge Carter figured the percentage of municipalities that are shelter resistant. The city of Orange certainly must fall in that percentage.            

And yes there are homeless who use drugs and homeless who drink too much just as there are doctors who use drugs and police who drink too much. So why does it seem like there are so many people who do not want to help?

The preconceptions  about the homeless  become, to many, facts. That is why it is so despicable when local Civic leaders lie about the homeless in order to move in big business. Then pretend to be caring all the while demonizing then criminalizing the less fortunate.             

As the leaders of Mary’s Kitchen continue to search for a new home, the homeless must steel themselves against the gutless cowards who attempt to kick the last living hope from their weary souls, for we are less fortunate, not less human.

About Patrick Hogan

Patrick Hogan is a retired surveyor from the international union of Operating Engineers/ local 12. He has had four short stories and five poems published in the last 5 years. He received his Bachelor degree from Eastern Illinois University in 2010. For the last four years he has volunteered at Mary's Kitchen in Orange California.