The Republicans who make up the city council majority in Costa Mesa have been accused of lacking heart. And according to this story in this morning’s LA Times, Costa Mesa Mayor Eric Bever proves it.
Bever is seeking to reduce city services for the homeless and has asked the city’s staff to investigate long running charities that benefit the homeless. The Mayor thinks shutting down the “Share Our Selves” and “Someone Cares” soup kitchens means Costa Mesa’s homeless will go elsewhere.
From the story:
It would go a long way to solving the problem of homeless people coming to Costa Mesa, the mayor said, “if we managed to put the soup kitchen out of business.”
The homeless population in Costa Mesa has been a stubborn political issue over the years, with some residents complaining that vagrants take over public facilities like Lions Park and the library in the heart of the city’s downtown.
But the assertion that the soup kitchen and outreach center are magnets strictly to homeless people is off base, said Shannon Santos, the executive director of Someone Cares.
Santos said a survey the soup kitchen conducted in 2011 found that 86% of its patrons said they were from Costa Mesa, and about 40% were low-income seniors, many from the nearby Bethel Towers apartments, which serves seniors with modest incomes.
“There’s a big misconception that the only people we’re feeding here at the kitchen are the homeless people,” Santos said. “I would love to invite the mayor to come in and see who we are really serving, and I think he’d be surprised.”
The thought process of comparing a soup kitchen to a nightclub that becomes a neighborhood nuisance have revealed Bever to be a heartless thug and voters in Costa Mesa should be happy this mayor is termed out and leaving the council late this year.
Council member Wendy Leece offered this reminder to the Bever through the Times story: “They are Costa Mesa families, and I think that’s where the mayor needs to step back,” said Councilwoman Wendy Leece, a liaison to the city’s Homeless Task Force. “They are Costa Mesa residents who have fallen on hard times.”