Tag: Homeless

Two articles published the week of May 8, 2017

So I suppose I should address the elephant in the room. Or at least I would if there was an elephant here, but there isn’t because the elephant has been on hiatus much like I have.

Does that metaphor make sense? Does it have to?

Probably not, it was just a silly way to transition into a thing that doesn’t have much to do with it in the end after all.

Yes, it has been quite a while since I posted anything here on my blog. I would go into the reasons why, but admittedly it’s not all that complicated. School has been extra busy, life has been extra busy… Doesn’t really leave too much time to talk about silly things like video games, as much as that’s what I do almost all the time anyway.

This post itself is a bit of a red herring though, as I still have finals next week and will probably be back on hiatus at least until those are done with. However, with two big articles of mine getting published over the last week, I figure this little quiet period over the weekend is a good a time as any to drop them off here. Everything else –  new card packs in Duel Links, the near release of a new Fire Emblem game, the fact that I just watched Guardians of the Galaxy 2, internships I’m potentially taking part in over the summer… All that kind of stuff can wait for later.

For now, let’s talk Titan. Early on this week, my co-editor Sarah and I worked together on an article about members of the CSUF College Republicans club creating a fake Instagram account parodying the Students for Quality Education (SQE) group on campus. The account wasn’t sanctioned by officials in the club itself, College Republicans club president Chris Boyle said, but he did acknowledge that he knew which members were responsible for act and had no intention of telling them to stop exercising their free speech. However, the story got tricky, as the fake Instagram account put out a fake advertisement regarding a fundraiser on Cinco de Mayo that was considered hate speech by some, particularly those in the real SQE, and it wound up going in front of the Academic Senate with the intent of passing a resolution against the account.

For as small and, frankly, hilarious a story as this one was to start with, it wound up getting a little hectic to pull together. We had to talk to all involved parties and get comments building upon the already complicated web or involved organizations, as not only was there the controversy behind the Cinco de Mayo post, but there was also other things happening concurrently like a whodunnit-style mystery behind exactly who was in charge of the account given accusations and denials across various individuals. In the end it was a fun article to work with alongside Sarah, and it was almost a last hurrah for us working together since she’s graduating. Though we did get some backlash from the Republicans on campus accusing our article of being biased, I think we did a good job staying neutral and just reporting what we were told and what we saw.

If you want to check out the article, you can see it here. It’s certainly a fun one to read, in my opinion.

The second piece I had published came at the end of the week, and it was a bit more of an adventure to put together. While the fake Instagram story came together in about a weekend, this article was quite literally a whole semester in the making.

As part of the Investigative Reporting class I’ve been taking, we have been collectively looking into homelessness in Orange County as our big project. Over the past couple of weeks, the stories we’ve written for the class have finally been coming out, including the one I wrote with Roxana Paul on the Mercy House emergency shelter in Fullerton and the Check-in Center that feeds into it. Admittedly I wrote most of the final article, since English isn’t Roxana’s strongest suit, but all of the work leading up to the end product was undoubtedly a group effort.

The article essentially follows a night in the life of the homeless who make use of these Mercy House services during Armory season (from about November to April). They can check goods in or out of storage at the La Palma Check-in Center in Anaheim during the afternoon shift (from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.), take a bus to get priority registration at the shelter in Fullerton, spend the night there and then go back to the center once the shelter closes at 6 a.m.

We not only talked to officials working at the two facilities, we also talked to homeless individuals making use of the services and looked through documentation on the amount of people that are homeless in Orange County (courtesy of things like the Point in Time count I participated in early on this semester) to try and weave a narriative of how hard it is to support people who can’t easily support themselves as well as the immense amount of work people that are really passionate about helping are putting in.

Fun fact, this was also the very first article I’ve taken my own photos for, pretty cool right? I think so, at least.

I’m super proud of this article and think it’s a great way to wrap up a semester, and I’m hoping you’ll agree. I spent extra time setting up the online edition of this story in particular as well, so be sure to check it out here!

You can also check out a full archive of my work for the Daily Titan over on the right.

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March 22, 2017 Article Published

Between late nights in the newsroom, last minute midterms and assignments before Spring Break comes and other draws on my time, it has been a hectic and busy week for me.

Seriously, Spring Break starts after my last class ends tomorrow and it really cannot come fast enough.

While I’m sure I’ll have plenty more time to write about more fun personal subjects and video game-related things once my week off begins, for now I’ll just have to stack on more work posts. Seriously, looking at my blog over the last few weeks has been a little strange, since it has just been article publishing posts for some time now. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just different feeling productive sometimes.

Anyway, today’s article is all about the Fullerton City Council meeting that happened last night. Exciting stuff, I know, but a newsman’s job is to be a watchdog for government agencies in at least some capacity, so it’s never a bad thing to throw my hat into that ring once in a while.

At the same time, the part of the meeting I covered also relates to my Investigative Reporting class, where we’ve been investigating homelessness in Orange County (a subject for which stories showing the fruits of our labor should be showing up in print a little bit after Spring Break ends, at this rate). My partner and I have been looking into the nonprofit Mercy House, and the new shelter they’re building was one of the focal points of the meeting.

Orange County Community Services Director Dylan Wright gave a presentation at the beginning of the meeting to update the council on the progress of the Kraemer Year-Round Emergency Shelter & Multi-Service Center, which began construction in 2016 and is set to open phase one of its operations in April.

Phase one will be a scaled down version of what the shelter is planning to house, with 100 beds rather than 200 and only partially available services, but the earlier opening date will help to get some of the homeless population in Fullerton off the streets – provided they can get a reservation, that is. Phase two is planned to open in the summer of 2018.

Because we had some other big stories coming through the pipeline yesterday, such as day one of the California State University Board of Trustees meeting, neither I nor Sarah (who was covering the meeting alongside me) were able to go to City Council personally.  Luckily they live stream the whole thing, and though we missed the action of being right there during angry public comments, we got more than enough to write.

Plus, our photo editor was able to go, so we were able to run plenty of pictures. She’s seriously the best.

Now, here’s hoping our deadline tonight doesn’t go super late, because I’m just about ready to check out for a couple days and catch up on some sleep.

If you want to read the article in its entirety, you can check it out here.  For Sarah’s coverage of the rest of the meeting, where issues related to parking were addressed, you can look here.  It’s pretty worth a read as well.

You can also feel the full archive of my work for the Daily Titan over on the right!

That moment when sheer exhaustion sets in… So you decide to write about it

Last night and this morning, me and 9 other journalists for the Daily Titan attended the training for and covered the biennial Orange County Point-In-Time Count & Survey homeless census.

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Image courtesy of thunderclap.it

The training went from 7:30 p.m. to about 10:00 p.m. last night, and this morning the census itself started at 4:30 a.m. and was supposed to go until about 7:00 a.m.

Of course the group I was a part of didn’t finish their portion of the survey in Downtown Fullerton until at least an hour and a half later than the supposed end point… After my friends and I pulled an all nighter figuring it would be pointless to try and sleep for that short amount of time when we could just get work done.

Yes, we did get that work done and it felt good to get ahead, but combine all that with the fact that after the census we went back to the newsroom and wrote up all our information for our Advisor to be able to sort through… Plus drive time to get home… So currently I’m running on about 26 and a half hours of no sleep.

Thus is the life of a News Editor also taking part in the Newspaper Advisor’s investigative reporting class covering some real hard news issues like homelessness.

Long story short, I hope you all will excuse my delirium as I go scrounge up however much sleep I can reasonably get while still giving myself enough time to do all the homework I have for my regular classes.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to once again self-advertise, since I really think this issue of the Titan will be worth reading as the first major part of our Investigative Reporting class’s work for the semester.  It’s hard, early morning work that can only be done by volunteers out to give their time for a good cause.  We’re producing the paper tomorrow after spending an early morning meeting crafting the story itself, and campus newsstands will be stocked with the issues come Monday. Look out for them, at least for the online edition!