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Letters to the Editor: Hey, Venice, if homeless housing can’t be next to a church, then where can it be?

Venice residents
Residents of Venice opposed to a proposed shelter for homeless people speak at a community meeting in 2018.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As mentioned, St. Mark Catholic Church in Venice has supplied food to the homeless youth next door at the Safe Place for Youth facility. Now the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles is attempting to block the proposed housing project for homeless people on the same site. (“L.A. Times takes a cheap shot at a Venice church for opposing a housing project,” letters, July 30)

Let me tell you about the people I have met in four years of volunteering at Safe Place for Youth. The kids studying for their GED appreciate their breakfast before class. Those taking showers trust you with their priceless cellphones to charge. The people serving meals seem more important to them than the food they’re eating.

I have seen a married couple expecting a baby waiting for a shower. Many find jobs, education and stable housing. Alison Hurst, the founder and executive director, has rescued many youth and made volunteers feel welcome and needed.

As for the opponents of the housing project, do they realize all entrances will be on Lincoln Boulevard? That social service employees will be on site?

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If youth can’t be safe next to a church, where can they be safe?

Suzanne Roberts, Venice


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