Today is a difficult day.

Last night we were horrified to hear that CHP was in El Sereno, a lovely community East of LA. They were evicting homeless families who were sheltering in place in State-owned homes. CalTrans had acquired hundreds of homes in the path of a proposed new freeway. The properties were kept empty for decades. When that highway project fell through last year, local families who were living in cars and on the streets moved in.

That was all shattered when law enforcement dragged families out of their homes yesterday, the day before Thanksgiving.

LA TIMES – CHP officers evict homeless families, who were sheltering from COVID

NEWSWEEK – California Highway Patrol drags child from home as it evicts families

It was starting to look hopeful with neighbors and activists from all over Southern California, uniting to drive the CHP officers out.

We woke up today to the terrible news that Law Enforcement was back at dawn, dragging mothers and children outside, before arresting them. All of this during a pandemic!

The footage is hard to watch.

No child should be traumatized like this.

I understand that the homes have no utilities and thus propose a health risk. So why doesn’t the state donate composting toilets or cut a deal with power companies? Project Roomkey has already provided free hotel rooms for countless homeless, but these families have fallen through the cracks.

Homelessness is a big issue in many cities. Here in Santa Ana, we have the most homeless shelters of any city in Orange County, yet there are still thousands of people living on the streets.

We’re having a community meeting on it on December 3rd to talk about the issues arising from having so many folks unhoused.

My own brother has struggled with homelessness, as have several of our friends. Homelessness can happen to anyone.

So I’ll be spending lot’s of time this week in prayer and meditation, seeking insight on how to ease the suffering of the unhoused.

This harsh reality is a reminder that we have so much to be THANKFUL for.

Have a safe and cozy day y’all!