Thursday, February 14, 2008
Love is in the Air
On the left is Jose Egurbide, Deputy City Attorney, City of Los Angeles. The middle man is Don Garza. The man on the right is Jeff Page. These gentleman were at the Safer City Initiative (SCI) Update meeting that was held at the Midnight Mission today.
It was good to see Jose smile. It has been a long year for him and I do not believe he gets enough credit. Jose manages the Safer City Initiative for the City Attorney's office. Usually he must educate the public about their goals. Most of the public believes that it is the goal of the SCI is to criminalize the homeless.
Indeed, the press reported many arrests in the phase of the program but that was it.
I sat in a meeting room today where there was a round table discussion about the intricacies of options that people have with regards to entering prorams if approached by the LAPD or other City agencies.
Different service providers made it clear that a bed will always be available if an individual makes a commitment to getting treatment. It is called the SOS program. It is my understanding that the program is being expanded.
Funding for Gladys Park is under control. Reportedly the Mayor has committed to making funds available so the parks in Skid Row will not have to be closed. Gladys Park is the home venue for the Skid Row Street Basketball League. Their second season will start later this Spring.
In the one year that I have been on Skid Row, I have seen alot of change. However, the biggest change is the attitude I have seen in the people who work so hard to make things happen. They all have been critized by the press and various civil rights organizations. However the stuck with it and are beginning to see results. The streets are cleaner and people have been placed in housing where they are receiving supportive services. Enough time has elapsed so that a few success stories have been making the neighborhood grapevine.
They all share in that victory and you could see that they are inspired to do more in 2008.
I met Anita Nelson SRO Housing. She is a very pleasant woman and sensitive to the needs and growing curves that her employees must undergo in order to service the Skid Row community. I look forward to getting to know her.
The Southern Hotel received its Purple Heart today.
The Skid Row Street Basketball League will be honored at City Hall tomorrow.
Speaking of the Mayor's office, Paul hernandez, of the Mayor's office was at the SCI outreach meeting today. He is going to be liaison between the SCI participants, which include the LAPD, City Attorney's office, and the service providers.
Enthusiasm was high today. They feel they are making a difference and they are.
Keep it up.
I had lunch today with a neighbor friend of mine who lives across the street from my mom. It felt good to hear words of support from him and his wife. I saw him a few weeks ago at the Little Tokyo library where I am typing this. He gave me his card and expected my call. he thought he lost me. However, in the online Leimertparkbeat.com, he saw a story that was written about me and clicked the link that connected him to my blog.
he emailed me immediately.
That kind of stuff happens everyday, it seems.
Finally, I am on the Educational committee of DLANC.org. It feels good to get involved and to see if I can make a difference.
Wow. Lots of things are happening. If you guys have any ideas to help the people on Skid Row, please do not hesitate to write. I would like to make the educational committee interactive and incorporate good ideas from the community in the rebuilding process of the lives of people on Skid Row.
Love was in the air today. It was a good day. People are uniting on Skid Row to get things done. Each day I see the communication building among people from all walks of life. I always said that Skid Row could lead the way in the homeless battle and other areas. We just might get there.
Good night world. I love you. Happy Valentine's Day.