Human affairs committee reports on activities

The city's Housing and Human Affairs Committee focused this past year on educating the public and supporting community and social services.

Committee Chairwoman Lauriann Meyer presented a five-minute report at the July 17 council meeting on the year's activities.

Meyer was a member of the subcommittee that worked on changes to the Second Residential Unit Ordinance, which was meant to increase the city's inventory of affordable housing and bring the ordinance into compliance with state law.

The committee supported the changes to that ordinance, as did the Planning Commission and the City Council, which approved the amendments that same night.

Meyer reported that her committee hosted guest speakers during the year to learn how it could better collaborate with other city groups. Speakers included Laguna Beach Community Clinic's Dr. Tom Bent, Waste Management's Michelle Clark and Davy Clark, Cause Alike's Elsa Brizzi, Healthy Laguna's Marion Jacobs, Aquaponic Gardens' Sue Spray, Transition Laguna's Chris Prelitz, Friendship Shelter's Dawn Price and board members, and Laguna Food Pantry's Andy Siegenfeld.

Of special interest was information about the possible development near the Alternative Sleeping Location supported by the Friendship Shelter and the pantry, Meyer said.

Community services include 2-1-1 Orange County, which gives the public access to a directory of services by telephone or via online. Last year, 261 Laguna Beach residents used the service. Through May 2012, 172 residents have used it.

2-1-1 will offer training to city staffs who support the services of the nonprofit, which is funded by the county and United Way, but would like the cities it serves to provide financial support.

The committee has observed National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week for four years, conducting a citywide food drive, and the World Hunger Bowl, which benefits the Laguna Relief and Resource Center.

Last year's Hunger Bowl raised $18,036 to support programs for the city's homeless population.

Examples of hand-crafted bowls donated by local artisans for the Hunger Bowl can be seen at The 2012 event is scheduled for Nov. 3 at Aliso Creek Inn.

Committee members include Co-Chairman Lawrence Esten, Hunger Bowl Chairwoman Faye Chapman, nurse Laura Esposito, Sally's Fund and La Playa Director Sally Rapuano, Friendship Shelter's Donna Rae Valenti and Rick Scott, Meyer and Duncan.

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