Homeless Center Relocation Sparks Debate

By C.V. Beck

Councilperson Bill Rosendahl held a Town Hall meeting, February 6, at Penmar Park Recreation Center. The purpose was to discuss with the community issues regarding the relocation of the St. Joseph’s Service Center to their “old” thrift shop on Lincoln Blvd. at Flower St.

Some of the near neighbors were very concerned about this relocation, preferring, really, for these very needed and well-utilized services for the homeless, to be “somewhere else” or perhaps “anywhere else but here”, unfortunately.

On the other hand, other near neighbors were supportive and well-aware of the need for these services and were of an accommodating and supportive nature, apparently realizing that in anyone’s “model-perfect” life, sometimes things happen and that they or someone in their own family, may need the kind of help that St. Joseph’s has offered to the community of Venice for many years.

This was a very long meeting, lasting past 9:30 pm. About half of those present and opposing, headed by “SONIC” left then, having voiced their opposition to their satisfaction and the remainder speaking in favor of the good that St. Joseph’s does in this small beach community.

These affirmative voices included Rhonda Meister, Sister Judy Molosky, presenting the St. Joseph’s relocation plans, Kita Curry from Didi Hirsch MHC in Venice, other neighbors like Dr. John, Ibrahim and Diane Butler, a Mrs. L. Barnet, a motorhome person who spoke, saying that her motorhome was totally self-sufficient and that she was clean and did not bother anyone, a Lincoln Place resident who spoke of the need for the community to educate themselves on the services provided.

C. Beck, also of Lincoln Place, spoke in favor and suggested the utilization of the vast unoccupied areas of Lincoln Place as appropriate for transitional housing and senior housing (at least on a temporary basis) and also for people living in motor homes and other vehicles as members of the public, occupying public streets that were mostly empty and available; and asked for people to “stop persecuting the homeless”!

There were some catcalls from different factions of the people present during the course of the Town Hall meeting. Consensus is that this relocation is going forward with conditions which will include a hot line to St. Joseph’s, that will be enforced with vigor.

Posted: Thu - March 1, 2007 at 06:00 PM