By Larry Arnstein
Santa Monica 

OPCC Provides Wonderful Services for the Homeless Population in Santa Monica

A volunteer rebuts previous post at www.smobserved.com

 

December 8, 2017

Volunteers from Rodeo Realty serving meals to the homeless on December 12, 2016.

I have been volunteering for a couple of hours every Monday morning at the Access Center, operated by OPCC to serve the homeless population here, for the last 25 years.

Having read the article about OPCC by Mr. Louis, I think he must be living in some alternate universe. http://www.smobserved.com/story/2017/11/20/opinion/ocean-park-community-center-opcc-accused-of-human-rights-violations/3202.html

Wherever that alternate universe may be, the charges he makes about the abuse and neglect of the homeless population by the staff of OPCC may have merit. In this universe, the one I'm living in and I think your readers live in also, there is nothing that he says that is even remotely true.

I have seen over decades the dedication and extraordinary abilities of the professional staff at the Access Center, doing whatever they can do with the limited resources available to them.

It is nothing short of amazing what they are able to do, the real help they are able to provide for those who seek help. I attended a City Council meeting many years ago at a time when the Access Center was being kicked out of the modest quarters they had, and seeking help from the city of Santa Monica in finding a new location, which they did find around the corner.

Speaking before the City Council were at least 30 or 40 clients who spoke about how the Access Center had provided them with crucial help they needed at a time when they were most vulnerable, and how with the help of the staff there, they had put their shattered lives together, found permanent affordable housing, employment, and whatever else they had been seeking.

I had assumed when I didn't see them coming back week after week that they had died or moved on. It never occurred to me that they had succeeded.

I have witnessed so many wonderful interactions between the staff at the Access Center and the homeless clients who come for a bag lunch and whatever help can be provided for them, that I can't recall all of them.

But this is the real Santa Monica I live in, on this planet. In the Alternate Santa Monica in the Alternate Universe that Mr. Louis inhabits, it may be that self-serving and/or incompetent staff members abuse or neglect the homeless population they are meant to serve. But not in the Santa Monica where I live, in this universe, on this Earth.

Larry Arnstein

Santa Monica, CA

 

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