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Center moves into high gear

The Laguna Relief and Resource Center is reorganizing and seeking new volunteers as it gears up for an expanded role in assisting homeless people in the city.

“We look to the next year for dramatic growth, and we’ll need manpower and money to accomplish that growth,” said newly elected board Chairman Jason Paransky.

“The recent legal action by the ACLU has spurred the city to enter very productive talks with the ACLU’s representatives, and we anticipate that what comes out of those talks will generate huge opportunities for our organization. We intend to be ready to meet those challenges and to further interact with the city’s leaders, who will be re-forming the Task Force in the very near future to deal with these important issues.”

Paransky replaces Ed Sauls, who will remain on the board in an active role. The board took the action at a Jan. 14 board meeting.

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“The resource center is in a stronger financial position and has a longer-term lease than we have ever had before,” Sauls said. “Now the organization will build up the expertise to better address the needs of the homeless population. Jason has led the way in efforts to organize and grow the organization, and I believe he is uniquely suited to do that.”

The new board, composed of 14 members, will seek to build the organization and expand its capabilities to more effectively serve the needs of Laguna’s low income and chronically homeless populations, while also pursuing a more active collaboration between the center and its disaster-readiness component, according to a statement from the center.

Paransky said the board will be reorganized to deal with all areas relevant to the center’s missions.

“I like using a committee system, where one or two individuals will oversee these various areas, allowing for efficient organization and growth,” Paransky said. “They will all report regularly to the board of directors, who will act on the committees’ recommendations.”

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Two new board members have been added. Gary Beverage will represent the Disaster Readiness component, led by Dr. Lynn Stanton. Daga Krakoweiser has rejoined the board to represent Laguna’s Interfaith Council, which plays an active role in many of the day-to-day activities of the resource center.

“What I hope to achieve is to organize the center’s components into specific areas of activity, by committee, and to reach out to the public in much more active ways to solicit their help across a broad spectrum, from financial contributions to volunteering in one of our activity areas.

“We will need help from people to walk the streets and work with the homeless, to folks who help with our food bank program, and even from people who can help us in some fashion with legal matters,” Paransky said.

Those interested in helping the Laguna Relief and Resource Center may call Ann Richardson, volunteer coordinator, at (949) 683-6242, or Paransky at (949) 376-8795.


CINDY FRAZIER is city editor of the Coastline Pilot. She can be contacted at (949) 494-2087 or cindy.frazier@latimes.com.


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