merchants oopose homeless & soup kitchen downtown: San Rafeal, CA

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Fri, 12 Jun 1998 19:44:58 -0700 (PDT)


http://www.sfgate.com:80/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1998/06/11/
MNR4BA2.DTL
FWD  San Francisco Chronicle - Thursday, June 11, 1998 - Page C3


     MARIN COUNTY - NEW SPOT IN SAN RAFEAL FOUND FOR SOUP KITCHEN


San Rafael -- A possible site for a new St. Vincent de Paul dining room has
been found in downtown San Rafael, but city officials must still negotiate
a sale and fend off opponents.

The three-acre lot, which currently holds a Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
service center and employee parking lot, is on Lindaro Street between
Second and Third streets. Representatives of PG&E are interested in selling
the land to the city for use by the soup kitchen.

Sue Brown, the executive director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, said
she is hopeful, but environmental studies, public input and other details
must be worked out before a price can be negotiated. The nonprofit group
has served 300 meals a day for 16 years at its center on B Street, but
downtown merchants have complained about panhandling, drug abuse and crime
in the area.

A 17-member task force found the new site after attempts to move the dining
hall away from downtown created an uproar earlier this year. Brown said
purchase of the PG&E site, which takes up an entire block, would allow the
city to redevelop the area not occupied by the dining hall. As with the
current location, however, nearby merchants have expressed opposition to
having homeless people in the neighborhood.

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