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Escondido City Council Told Homeless Center Inadequate

At the Escondido City Council meeting of January 12, Thomas Armstrong complained that conditions at the Salvation Army's new homeless shelter on Metcalf Street were "deplorable."

"The Salvation Army is not totally to blame," he said. "The City of Escondido, its citizens, and businesses are more at fault. The last-minute negotiations with the City and its businesses left the Salvation Army in the unpleasant position of trying to accommodate people without adequate resources or facilities. Combined with trying to convert commercial property into some kind of habitable and safe environment for dozens of human beings is no easy task."

Armstrong said that the new shelter — a former golf-cart shop — has only two restrooms for approximately 60 people. There are no showers, laundry facilities, and only one sink for everything, including washing mops used to clean restroom floors.

"Would the City of Escondido and its highly esteemed city council allow someone to get a permit to house dogs this way?" Armstrong asked. "Would business owners, employees, and customers allow their immediate family members to live in such a manner? I don't think so."

Mayor Sam Abed took issue with Armstrong's complaints and assured the public that the accommodations were adequate. He said that as a Rotary Club member he had served food to 44 people at the shelter and was happy to do it.

"We have been commended by the Salvation Army," he said. "I want to make it very clear that we [the City] are proud to provide services to the homeless."

Image: stock photo

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At the Escondido City Council meeting of January 12, Thomas Armstrong complained that conditions at the Salvation Army's new homeless shelter on Metcalf Street were "deplorable."

"The Salvation Army is not totally to blame," he said. "The City of Escondido, its citizens, and businesses are more at fault. The last-minute negotiations with the City and its businesses left the Salvation Army in the unpleasant position of trying to accommodate people without adequate resources or facilities. Combined with trying to convert commercial property into some kind of habitable and safe environment for dozens of human beings is no easy task."

Armstrong said that the new shelter — a former golf-cart shop — has only two restrooms for approximately 60 people. There are no showers, laundry facilities, and only one sink for everything, including washing mops used to clean restroom floors.

"Would the City of Escondido and its highly esteemed city council allow someone to get a permit to house dogs this way?" Armstrong asked. "Would business owners, employees, and customers allow their immediate family members to live in such a manner? I don't think so."

Mayor Sam Abed took issue with Armstrong's complaints and assured the public that the accommodations were adequate. He said that as a Rotary Club member he had served food to 44 people at the shelter and was happy to do it.

"We have been commended by the Salvation Army," he said. "I want to make it very clear that we [the City] are proud to provide services to the homeless."

Image: stock photo

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Comments
8

lmao! wow, a whole 40 people were fed once by the mayor! someone give this man a medal! give me a break!

obviously, the mayor didn't like Armstrong making a complain about the facilities, as the article says. The article doesn't mention how ARmstrong is related to the shelter...? Is he a volunteer, employee or without a home?

Jan. 14, 2011

viewer's comments are nonsensical, I would like to understand what his comments are aimed at.

Jan. 15, 2011

I've been trying to decipher Viewer's comments too -- there may be a second-language issue, or perhaps we're being pranked.

Jan. 15, 2011

Or it could be a case of Casey Stengel syndrome, Jay.

Jan. 15, 2011

viewer...yikes!!!

Jan. 15, 2011

Photo's would make it easy to see what is going on at this shelter!

Is the sink photo from the Shelter, or from some place else?

If someone has some good images (or a short video) and can post them, then provide a link, it would be helpful for others to see what is the "real" situation.

If nobody can provide some images, perhaps some folks can get a tour and give some first hand impressions...

Jan. 15, 2011

Gosh, I haven't heard a Mork and Mindy joke in decades...

===== LOL...there was SMALL comedy club in San Francisco-now defunt- called the Holy City Zoo (I think that was the name), held about 40-50 people max and Robin Williams used to do stand up there before he made it big in LA, and still showed up from time to time, and he showed up one time when I was there-guy was very very funny.........

Jan. 16, 2011

So getting back to the shelter story, if someone wants to go there and take a look around and also take some "images" or "digital photo's" or "pictures" or lacking that post their own first hand impressions, then we all can better see and or understand what is going on. + I feel the stock photo (unless you have been to the shelter and it is representative of the conditions in the shelter) is unfair because it projects an image of the shelter...

Good Luck

Jan. 16, 2011

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