Monday, December 4, 2006

Great turn out for our meeting!

The back yard was packed full, standing room only, with over 100 neighbors. The speakers were passionate and knowledgeable. Councilman Rosendahl listened, the Police and the City Attorney’s office offered their help as did other city representatives who attended. St. Joseph's representatives stated they would work with the community.

What the meeting was about?

In essence St. Joseph’s is trying to relocate one of their part-time programs, the Homeless Day-time Drop-in Service Center, to Lincoln Blvd. in Venice California on the corner of Flower. (Flower Ave. is the first street south of Rose Avenue.)

This center would be open in between the hours of 7:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. four days a week and 7:30 A.M. to noon on one day per week. The Center is closed in the evenings, night, weekends, and holidays.

St. Joseph's success rate is very low with this particular program and it becomes a program of enabling a "revolving door" tactic to this huge problem. This "revolving door" type of help actually enables a population labeled by social service providers as “service resistant or service adverse” within the homeless community.

The program provides 2 free meals a day plus showers and laundry services free, indefinitely, and without any requirement to register for services or follow-up responsibility to get the population off the streets. It has been a classic enablement situation. The "service resistant" homeless are not being helped, but instead have been enabled to keep living this destructive lifestyle and in effect, hindered from getting off the streets.
Included are criminals, parolees in violation of their parole, druggies, chronic alcoholics, and prostitutes who are enabled and remain in their criminal and dysfunctional living choice.

It’s been bad for them and it’s bad for the community.

The neighbors were not objecting to many or most of St. Joseph's programs but to just this particular program.

It was mentioned several times that St. Joseph's does a lot of wonderful work and offers many wonderful programs. But this "homeless service center" is a program that does not work in the way it is currently constituted, and should never be located next to, or in, a residential area close to children, seniors and the law-abiding community. In fact when pressed, the Chairman of the Board of St. Joseph’s James Bancroft, candidly admitted he would not like this program located next to his home.

With the push to move the homeless population out of downtown, this program as it is currently configured, stands to bring substancially more homeless including the criminal homeless wandering inour streets, alleys and homes, using the streets and alleys as their toilet, bringing diseases, and criminal activities to our doorsteps..

Remember Benjamin Franklin said:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different resutls.

The Living in Venice Neighborhood Watch group supported by our neighborhood ask St. Joseph's NOT TO OPEN THIS FACILITY!

We ask Mr. Rosendahl to help his neighbors in his 11th district to prevent such a facility to OPEN.


Patrick Meighan said...

"St. Joseph's success rate is very low with this particular program..."

Do you have a cite to back up this assertion? I'd like to learn more about the program, and its purported lack of success, relative to, say, other, alternative homeless service programs which you may recommend should be utilized instead.

Any links you can provide would be much appreciated.


Patrick Meighan
Venice, CA (Flower and Lincoln)

Anonymous said...

St. Joseph's Accomplishments 2004-2005

From their web site:

Homeless Service Center

• Made 468 contacts with individuals living on the streets through the Field Outreach Team
• Served 2,699 homeless individuals with 21,376 units of basic services (showers, laundry, mail, etc.)
• Case managed 213 individuals, 74 of them chronically homeless
• Provided 114 individuals with mental health services
• Placed 164 individuals in emergency shelter, 41 in transitional housing, 22 in permanent housing
• Assisted 27 individuals to find employment.

Patrick Meighan said...

I don't much know what to do with those raw numbers, anonymous. Do they demonstrate great success? Horrific failure? Something in between?

Is there some way to compare those numbers from St. Joe's to those of different programs that have a similar scope and mission?

I don't know much about the average success rate of the average homeless service program (nor do I even much know how "success" is even defined when we're talking about serving people who are homeless), so any information that can help me understand the success (or failure) of St. Joe's program compared to other, similar programs would be very helpful.

Many thanks,

Patrick Meighan
Venice, CA (Flower and Lincoln)