[Hpn] Los Angeles Mission To Create Haven For Homeless

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Sun, 30 Oct 2005 08:42:02 -0500


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      Posted on Sun, Oct. 30, 2005=20
          =20


      L.A. mission to create haven for homeless

      By BETH BARRETT

      Los Angeles Daily News


      LOS ANGELES - Amid intensified attention on Los Angeles' homeless =
population, a downtown mission announced plans Friday for a 71-acre =
complex north of Lake View Terrace to aid up to 80 families from Skid =
Row.

      Union Rescue Mission said it paid about $7.5 million for the old =
Foresters Haven on a remote site adjacent to the Angeles National Forest =
and the former Lopez Canyon Landfill.

      Officials said the campus, which includes rolling lawns, a =
waterfall, a koi-filled pool and lodge-style dormitories and buildings, =
will be used as transitional housing for up to 300 people, about 27 =
percent of whom landed on Skid Row after living in the San Fernando or =
Antelope valleys.

      "It's really all about getting women and children away from the =
dangers of the streets of Los Angeles and out to a peaceful, restful =
place... where they can be restored," said Andy Bales, president of the =
mission, which houses about 40 families at its downtown facility.

      The move comes as city scrutiny of Skid Row has increased in =
recent weeks and some have raised concerns that city efforts to aid the =
homeless would include moving facilities to the San Fernando Valley.

      Residents with the Kagel Canyon Civic Association, who would be =
the closest neighbors to the proposed center about a mile away, were =
briefed by mission staffers in August and tentatively agreed to the =
project as long as conditions such as beefed-up patrols, adequate staff =
and association input were met.

      "The community recognizes that the facility would probably not be =
welcome in Brentwood, and that there exists a potential for some issues =
with troubled kids, possible drug use and potential for some male =
figures coming and causing some trouble," said association President =
Randy Drew.

      "That being said, the consensus of our residents... seemed to me =
to be that it was a good and worthy cause.

      "I am proud that my community seems willing to risk potential =
sacrifice to help the people in need by partnering with the Union Rescue =
Mission."

      Other community groups farther from the site just north of Lake =
View Terrace said they hadn't yet heard of the mission's plan, and =
wanted more information on the potential impact.

      "We definitely need to get involved. While it might be a positive =
for them... we have to hear how the stakeholders in the community feel," =
said Bonnie Bernard, vice president of the Sylmar Neighborhood Council.

      Before the facility can open, possibly by February, it must get a =
county conditional-use permit, which would include public hearings, as =
well as make some renovations.

      While Bales said city and county funding would be sought, city =
officials noted that money from the city's Affordable Housing Trust =
Fund, which Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced this week would be =
doubled to $100 million, is not available for transitional housing.

      Union Rescue Mission purchased the property with an equity line of =
credit, and has raised $3 million as part of an $18 million =
private-public campaign to renovate the facility, as well as provide =
extensive counseling, education, mental health, life skills and other =
services with 28 staff members over the next three years.

      Families, mostly single mothers with children, but including some =
dads, who are already on Skid Row or who are about to lose their homes, =
would be eligible for the facility, to be called Hope Gardens Family =
Center.

      Bales said residents would be allowed to stay a maximum of two =
years and the mission's goal is to return families to their communities =
of origin or low-income housing throughout the county.

      Around-the-clock security at the gated facility also is planned.

      Irene Sumida, director of Fenton Avenue Charter School in Lake =
View Terrace, said the school is prepared to handle up to 75 children =
from the center, saying the school's experience so far with children who =
lived in shelters has been positive.

      "They are wonderful models in terms of the appreciation they show =
for what they receive at school," Sumida said.

      The center is being embraced by homeless advocates, who say it =
would represent a new environmental model.

      "Everyone universally agrees Skid Row is not a good place for =
anyone, but that it's terribly detrimental to families with children," =
said Mitchell Netburn, executive director for the Los Angeles Homeless =
Services Authority.

      "There is nothing I can think of like that setting, a little =
community unto itself," Netburn said of the new site. "It's like =
paradise."

      Netburn said one of the problems with getting people off Skid Row =
is finding reliable service providers as well as sites where NIMBYism =
isn't overwhelming.

      Sheriff Lee Baca, whose plans for a South Los Angeles village for =
homeless people in transition fell apart amid NIMBYism and funding =
problems, called the proposal's location and services "ideal."

      "We can't afford to have children homeless," Baca said, adding =
that he's convinced the mission will manage the facility well and won't =
be transporting "a nuisance" from downtown to the Valley.

      Bales said the community has nothing to fear from the mission, =
recounting some families' reaction a couple of months ago when they got =
a preview of the center during an outing from downtown.

      "The kids were transformed, the teenagers were running around... =
the moms were relaxed."












    =20

William Charles Tinker

New Hampshire Homeless  / Founded 11-28-99
25 Granite Street
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640  USA
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.
1-603-286-2492
http://www.missingkids.com
http://www.nationalhomeless.org
http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org

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  <TR>
    <TD class=3Dv1>Posted on Sun, Oct. 30, 2005</TD></TR>
  <TR>
    <TD colSpan=3D2>
      <DIV class=3Dbody-head>
      <TABLE cellSpacing=3D5 cellPadding=3D0 align=3Dright border=3D0>
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          <TD></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><IMG height=3D3=20
      src=3D"http://www.montereyherald.com/images/common/spacer.gif" =
width=3D1><BR>
      <H1>L.A. mission to create haven for homeless</H1><IMG height=3D5=20
      src=3D"http://www.montereyherald.com/images/common/spacer.gif"=20
      width=3D1><BR><B><FONT size=3D-1><SPAN class=3Dbyline>By BETH=20
      BARRETT</SPAN></FONT></B><BR><IMG height=3D1=20
      src=3D"http://www.montereyherald.com/images/common/spacer.gif"=20
      width=3D1><BR><B><FONT size=3D-1><SPAN class=3Dcreditline>Los =
Angeles Daily=20
      News</SPAN></FONT></B><BR><IMG height=3D1=20
      src=3D"http://www.montereyherald.com/images/common/spacer.gif"=20
      width=3D1><BR></DIV><SPAN class=3Dbody-content><!-- begin =
body-content -->
      <P><B><SPAN class=3Ddateline>LOS ANGELES</SPAN><SPAN=20
      class=3Ddateline-separator> - </SPAN></B>Amid intensified =
attention on Los=20
      Angeles' homeless population, a downtown mission announced plans =
Friday=20
      for a 71-acre complex north of Lake View Terrace to aid up to 80 =
families=20
      from Skid Row.</P>
      <P>Union Rescue Mission said it paid about $7.5 million for the =
old=20
      Foresters Haven on a remote site adjacent to the Angeles National =
Forest=20
      and the former Lopez Canyon Landfill.</P>
      <P>Officials said the campus, which includes rolling lawns, a =
waterfall, a=20
      koi-filled pool and lodge-style dormitories and buildings, will be =
used as=20
      transitional housing for up to 300 people, about 27 percent of =
whom landed=20
      on Skid Row after living in the San Fernando or Antelope =
valleys.</P>
      <P>"It's really all about getting women and children away from the =
dangers=20
      of the streets of Los Angeles and out to a peaceful, restful =
place...=20
      where they can be restored," said Andy Bales, president of the =
mission,=20
      which houses about 40 families at its downtown facility.</P>
      <P>The move comes as city scrutiny of Skid Row has increased in =
recent=20
      weeks and some have raised concerns that city efforts to aid the =
homeless=20
      would include moving facilities to the San Fernando Valley.</P>
      <P>Residents with the Kagel Canyon Civic Association, who would be =
the=20
      closest neighbors to the proposed center about a mile away, were =
briefed=20
      by mission staffers in August and tentatively agreed to the =
project as=20
      long as conditions such as beefed-up patrols, adequate staff and=20
      association input were met.</P>
      <P>"The community recognizes that the facility would probably not =
be=20
      welcome in Brentwood, and that there exists a potential for some =
issues=20
      with troubled kids, possible drug use and potential for some male =
figures=20
      coming and causing some trouble," said association President Randy =

      Drew.</P>
      <P>"That being said, the consensus of our residents... seemed to =
me to be=20
      that it was a good and worthy cause.</P>
      <P>"I am proud that my community seems willing to risk potential =
sacrifice=20
      to help the people in need by partnering with the Union Rescue=20
      Mission."</P>
      <P>Other community groups farther from the site just north of Lake =
View=20
      Terrace said they hadn't yet heard of the mission's plan, and =
wanted more=20
      information on the potential impact.</P>
      <P>"We definitely need to get involved. While it might be a =
positive for=20
      them... we have to hear how the stakeholders in the community =
feel," said=20
      Bonnie Bernard, vice president of the Sylmar Neighborhood =
Council.</P>
      <P>Before the facility can open, possibly by February, it must get =
a=20
      county conditional-use permit, which would include public =
hearings, as=20
      well as make some renovations.</P>
      <P>While Bales said city and county funding would be sought, city=20
      officials noted that money from the city's Affordable Housing =
Trust Fund,=20
      which Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced this week would be =
doubled to=20
      $100 million, is not available for transitional housing.</P>
      <P>Union Rescue Mission purchased the property with an equity line =
of=20
      credit, and has raised $3 million as part of an $18 million =
private-public=20
      campaign to renovate the facility, as well as provide extensive=20
      counseling, education, mental health, life skills and other =
services with=20
      28 staff members over the next three years.</P>
      <P>Families, mostly single mothers with children, but including =
some dads,=20
      who are already on Skid Row or who are about to lose their homes, =
would be=20
      eligible for the facility, to be called Hope Gardens Family =
Center.</P>
      <P>Bales said residents would be allowed to stay a maximum of two =
years=20
      and the mission's goal is to return families to their communities =
of=20
      origin or low-income housing throughout the county.</P>
      <P>Around-the-clock security at the gated facility also is =
planned.</P>
      <P>Irene Sumida, director of Fenton Avenue Charter School in Lake =
View=20
      Terrace, said the school is prepared to handle up to 75 children =
from the=20
      center, saying the school's experience so far with children who =
lived in=20
      shelters has been positive.</P>
      <P>"They are wonderful models in terms of the appreciation they =
show for=20
      what they receive at school," Sumida said.</P>
      <P>The center is being embraced by homeless advocates, who say it =
would=20
      represent a new environmental model.</P>
      <P>"Everyone universally agrees Skid Row is not a good place for =
anyone,=20
      but that it's terribly detrimental to families with children," =
said=20
      Mitchell Netburn, executive director for the Los Angeles Homeless =
Services=20
      Authority.</P>
      <P>"There is nothing I can think of like that setting, a little =
community=20
      unto itself," Netburn said of the new site. "It's like =
paradise."</P>
      <P>Netburn said one of the problems with getting people off Skid =
Row is=20
      finding reliable service providers as well as sites where NIMBYism =
isn't=20
      overwhelming.</P>
      <P>Sheriff Lee Baca, whose plans for a South Los Angeles village =
for=20
      homeless people in transition fell apart amid NIMBYism and funding =

      problems, called the proposal's location and services "ideal."</P>
      <P>"We can't afford to have children homeless," Baca said, adding =
that=20
      he's convinced the mission will manage the facility well and won't =
be=20
      transporting "a nuisance" from downtown to the Valley.</P>
      <P>Bales said the community has nothing to fear from the mission,=20
      recounting some families' reaction a couple of months ago when =
they got a=20
      preview of the center during an outing from downtown.</P>
      <P>"The kids were transformed, the teenagers were running =
around... the=20
      moms were relaxed."</P>
      <P>&nbsp;</P>
      <P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
      <P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
      <P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
      <P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
      <P>&nbsp;</P></SPAN></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>William Charles Tinker</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>New Hampshire Homeless&nbsp; / Founded=20
11-28-99<BR>25 Granite Street<BR>Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640&nbsp;=20
USA<BR>Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human=20
rights.<BR>1-603-286-2492<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.missingkids.com">http://www.missingkids.com</A><BR><A =

href=3D"http://www.nationalhomeless.org">http://www.nationalhomeless.org<=
/A><BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org">http://www.newhampshirehomel=
ess.org</A><BR></FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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