Homeless Service Center to Be Doubled in Size

St. Joseph Center in Venice, which provides services and referrals to the homeless, is doubling in size by expanding into a adjacent 1,000-square-foot building, an action that has drawn mixed reactions in the Venice neighborhood.

Center director Rhonda Meister stressed that the number of clients served by the Rose Avenue facility would remain the same--about 150 people a day. “This is a physical space expansion, not a numbers expansion,” said Meister.

The expansion has divided the neighborhood, with some complaining that St. Joseph is a magnet for the homeless and others lauding the organization’s efforts.

“What they’re doing is marvelous,” said Helen Alland, a 23-year resident of Venice.


Alan Schniderman, co-owner of DNA, an upscale clothing store across the street, was more wary.

“It’s my feeling that there is a potential for bringing more homeless into an area that is already inundated with them,” said Schniderman, who complained that homeless people sometimes wander into the store and scare his clientele.