Thursday, April 19, 2007


St. Joseph's weekday drop-in center opening

St. Joseph Center has relocated its
Homeless Drop-in Center
The center has moved from 373 Rose Avenue to

404 Lincoln Blvd., at the corner of Lincoln and Flower.

Executive Director for St. Joseph's Rhonda Meister

St Joseph Center
204 Hampton Drive
Venice, California 90291-8633

Bread & Roses Cafe
663 Rose Ave.
Venice, California 90291

24 hr Community Hotline: 310-358-2835

Members of the community with questions about this program or its new site may contact St. Joseph Center’s Community Relations Liaison Monday through Friday, 9AM to 5PM, at (310) 396-6468 ext. 322. After hours and on weekends, a 24 hour hotline is available at 310-358-2835
Feedback is appreciated let us know how you feel about this new Homeless Drop-in Center on Lincoln Blvd. in Venice? Send us an eMail:

submitted by

April 11, 2007

  • 2007-04-09: The SJC officially opened its doors for business. For the first week a sign is posted that it will only be open in the morning for the first week.

  • 2007-04-09, 2:00 PM: An official appeal was submitted to the West Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. The basis was that the use SJC will be conducting is not just a Counseling and Referral Center. Progress of the appeal will be posted to this website. It is anticipated that further appeals will need to go up the ladder and end at a hearing before the West Los Angeles Planning and Zoning Commission.

  • 2007-04-11 7:00 PM – 9:10 PM: The first meeting of the Saint Josephs Center Working Group (SJCWG) met. Rosendahl, Jennifer Ma-Pham (Homelessness Legislative Deputy), Mark Grant, Sophia (from the Council’s office), Anthony Vasquez (temporary SLO replacing White after he retires), Claudia Martin (Prosecutor working at the Pacific Division), a DWP rep, Rhonda Meister (from SJC), Julie De Rose (from SJC), 3 other individuals called community members (their real status is SJC supporters), Arthur Kessler (from SONIC), and Andre de Montesquiou (from SONIC).

It was a very cordial meeting but not much was accomplished. It was a get to know each other meeting. Jennifer will be organizing the meeting in the future and I think she is competent and we will soon learn how effective and balanced she is.

The plan is to meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at 7:00 PM for 90 minutes to discuss the issues. I tried to emphasize that the purpose of these meetings is to design operational conditions on SJC in a manner that best mitigates the negative impact it will have on the community.

It is important that the worthiness of SJC’s mission, the legalities of SJC’s operations, etc., not enter into these discussions. The issue of legalities is for the appeal process and the courts. It will be very easy for this group to lose focus and have 90 minutes pass with little accomplished. We will do our best to keep focus on the important issues.

The goal is to better understand SJC’s priorities and flexibilities in order to arrive at the best possible solution for the neighborhood. After the meeting I suggested to Jennifer that it might be a good idea if the three of us (Rhonda, Andre, and Jennifer) could meet soon to discuss my suggestions and other mitigating measures. Jennifer liked the suggestion very much and she proposed that we meet at the Lincoln and Flower location. Jennifer will attempt to set up a meeting.

The meeting, the suggestions, etc., appear to me to be very similar to the working group that was set up in the late 90s for the very same purpose. More police, more security, outdoor lighting, etc. were topics then as they are now. I don’t know why this group would be effective when the last one did not appear to be that successful. We will remain positive and persistent.

A few interesting items:

1. True to form, Rosendahl stated, “I promise that the quality of life will not deteriorate in the neighborhood.” He also stated that the biggest problem is fear and that once the center is operating, the fears will go away.

2. SJC stated that they felt that 70% of their clients had some form of mental illness.

3. The new police officer who will be the temporary SLO on White’s retirement will be covering the area from Lincoln to Robertson. Officer Vasquez covers the East side of Lincoln, and Officer Theresa Skinner covers the West side of Lincoln.

4. The alley closures have been approved and they may be closed in, within a month.

5. Hours of operation:
Monday 7:30 am – 4:30 pm
Tuesday 7:30 am – 4:30 pm
Wednesday 7:30 am – 12:00 pm
Thursday 7:30 am – 4:30 pm
Friday 7:30 am – 3:30 pm

6. There will be dedicated, in house security present during days of operation and until 1:00 AM.

  • 2007-04-16 7:30 AM: The SJC will be open regular business hours on Monday. The previous week the entire organization was on hiatus. Bread N’ Roses was closed. The expected number of homeless individuals on a daily basis, once they are operating at full swing is estimated at 80 – 120 by SJC staff. Who knows, this number could actually be much higher. Please be ready with cameras to document any problems. Make sure your camera is set on date mode so we can properly document the progression of any problems. Meetings and protests are being planned and we will keep you posted.

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