It troubles me greatly that most cities' harbor the assumption that the County's long-standing and utterly false assertion that there are always 540 emergency beds available is true. While no such respite exists 8 months of the year, the assertion always serves to invalidate any presumption of necessity on the part of either the SAPD, the City Attorney and most Judges.
The current practice in Santa Ana is to, respectively, ticket anyone they target, drop charges met with a not-guilty plea and request for a jury trial, and then levy an automatic denial of community service and the sentence of a $300 fine, paid at $10/month in the absence of such a plea. One veteran is paying $70/month out of an $1100/month SS retirement to avoid certain incarceration based upon his guilty pleas for infractions the OCDA promised (in Tobe v. Santa Ana) would never be cited.
Necessity is often explained via the example of a man driving his pregnant, crowning wife to the hospital; his excessive speeds forgiven because his wife's "necessity" for medical care trumps speeding. In our case, the homeless' need to sleep, thereby preventing death, is cruelly subordinated to our shelterless County's need for visual order in the Civic Center.
This appearance of order was so important to the City that it "stole" a proven law from the National Park Service designed to discourage people without reservations (Yosemite and Yellowstone come to mind) from displacing those that do. But my attorneys have already proven that no reservations [permits] exist.
I hate the way justice is meted out in the OC. Especially because any sane person, upon reading the Register, would quickly assume that our elected representatives "really have hearts for the homeless."
The pretext that the Civic Center is deserving of the same protection afforded Yosemite is anathema to the plain truth, and a terrible stain upon the 1996 City Council and our current mayor. Even during the recent meeting regarding the history of homelessness in Santa Ana where I last spoke to this subject, they were yet proud of the statute's adoption by other cities and its affirmation by higher Court (by deceit) in Tobe. The idea that those victories stand upon the fiction that homeowners might voluntarily sleep in the Civic Center without a camping permit, even though no such permit is even available is necromancy. If communication with the dead in preference to the living fits, what about their preference for uncreated shadows over the living poor, if not worse? To be kind, maybe it's merely a blasphemy. My attorneys have specifically petitioned the City for a permit to camp as part of a celebration of camping itself, which I held to be recursively non-religious, and thereby requiring such a permit, but my anarchist reputation preceded me and their request was denied.
I'm actually dreaming of establishing a religious practice derived from Catholic tradition wherein the contemporaneous experience by two dreamers sleeping within earshot (for validation) is regarded as a theophany, and is therefore a revelation. Even this infrequently realized reason to undertake such a quest en masse outdoors on public property is a legitimate and protected expression of religious orthopraxis. Then the least restrictive means of furthering the city's compelling interest in keeping the Civic Center available for wealthier citizens between the hours of 6PM and 6AM would then be to get the homeless emergency shelter beds, or perhaps to allow them to sleep in those unused parking structures purchased with low-income housing funds. Perhaps such a "permit request" could trump the Supervisors' campaign against the homeless.
If you're Christian and which to help me with this, don't comment. Please call me at the number shown on our website. If you'd just like a list of all the ways the government creates and perpetuates homelessness, email me at "admin" via this website.