Thursday, April 19, 2007

Social Services

While the tendency has been to centralize, the effect on the neighborhoods where the centralization takes place is devastating, regardless of the rationale used.

A better approach, scattering services in much smaller sites around the urban areas being served might make a lot more sense, and happier neighbors.

So instead of having hundreds daily gather for service at a large site, smaller sites would see perhaps less than a dozen daily.

Loaves & Fishes eyes future
With two milestones in sight, charity plans for growth but faces hurdles.
By Ralph MontaƱo - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sometime today, a volunteer at Loaves & Fishes will serve what officials estimate to be the 5 millionth free meal in the charity's 24-year history.

But rather than using the occasion to look at the homeless service's past, Executive Director Sister Libby Fernandez said it is time to look toward the future. The complex in the Richards Boulevard neighborhood will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year and Fernandez wants to celebrate by raising money for rebuilding.

"We're going to be 25 years old, and we're falling apart," Fernandez said last week during a community briefing on social services in the area. "We want to refurbish, and we want to beautify our neighborhood."

Fernandez has put together a wish list called the Loaves & Fishes 25th Anniversary Fund. The list includes renovating existing buildings, such as Mustard Seed, a school for homeless children, as well as building a new warehouse and housing.