Today was an important day for the families of the mentally ill in Santa Ana. Senator Correa, my personal hero in the Senate, asked for our input and I'd like to share most of the issues I shared with him. I'm not sure I can forgive an ongoing tragedy perpetrated upon homeless children, so I have decided to bring certain facts to light in order that those children neglected might one day obtain the redress which could make their forgiveness possible.
I have grave misgivings about the way Prop.63 funds were used by the OC Board of Supervisors and by Providence Corporation.
Virtually all the families housed at the Catholic Worker in December 2007 were temporarily sheltered at the Armory when our bathroom floors forced a renovation. Two months later Ms. Kelly Lupro, OC Director of Homeless Prevention, asked to "transfer" over 100 people back to my back yard. When I declined, saying six years of abdication was enough, one or more children in each family were found to conform to Prop. 63 guidelines, qualifying the families that had stayed here for the Renew Program.
While it is my understanding that Renew was intended for the exhausted caregivers of profoundly mentally ill children, it is probably far too expensive to serve as a substitute for the armory. That expense will only multiply when the Program is applied to the homeless, drug-addicted criminal parents of fairly normal children.
The people I cared for for six years for a little under $600,000.00, none of it government money, have now cost the State over $2,300,000.00 for only half that time, and with less than half the families remaining.
I was unaware that the boundary of Prop. 63 had been stretched all the way to simple "homeless prevention." I was on the steering committee and I know we never intended for the law to remedy the situation of the ordinary homeless family. No such outreach was ever conducted, police agencies were never so advised, the voters didn't know or intend for this to be shelter program. It was, first and foremost, a housing first initiative for the mentally ill.
Had the program been used properly, the children of drug addicts would not be receiving family therapy while high. If you examine a geographic distribution of intake on the Renewal Program as funded by Prop. 63, you will find a statistically impossible concentration of 316 Cypress as a prior address.
This is because the OC Board, then as now, is adamant about not sheltering children.
At this moment, while CSA is still claiming 849 emergency shelter beds in the OC, and has so advised first responders, there are really only 183 beds funded, and these are all domestic violence beds. Non-profit does not mean not-paid! Not paid = not available. But a recent Public Records Act reply from Mr. Montoya, the Records Manager for the OC Healthcare Agency revealed that the primary intake requirement for Renew was simple homelessness.
So why aren't the homeless families we currently meet every day being accepted by Project Renew under the "homeless prevention" provisions of OC's version of Prop. 63?
Because it's cheaper to lie to the voters and make up both numbers and motives that will promote the political futures of the incumbent Supervisors - who tarnish the very designation Republican by their steadfast reluctance to extend any help whatsoever save the most minimal, while adorning their offices and their resume with lies stripped from the hands of hungry kids.
I've retained counsel to examine evidence collected from a witness for a potential false claims act against the Board and it's agents. Please pray for this effort.