I am reminded of the days when the American Friends Service Committee had its office in Pasadena and was seen as a center for peace and justice work in our community. It is no accident that GPAHG was birthed in the AFSC office in the early 1990s. I am pleased that Quakers are once again becoming known in the community for our work on behalf of social justice.
Here's a report of what the GPAHG's Homeless Housing Subcommittee (which I chair) has accomplished in the last month:
Outreach to Western Friends School (Anthony, see below) and to Girl Scouts (Jill). The Scouts plan to attend a Moral Monday vigil in April and the WFS will take part in March.
Press coverage in Pasadena Now that included a video
Outreach to Centennial Place: We held a planning meeting at Centennial Place on Jan 20 and encouraged residents to participate in our advocacy. They were very receptive and we plan to hold a second meeting there on March 5.
Outreach to churches: Foursquare Gospel Church and New Guiding Light.
Outreach to Senior Commission. When I spoke, they seemed very interested in homeless senior housing and invited me back.
Strategic Plan: Like other subcommittees, we are participating the strategic planning process led by Leadership Pasadena. Our goals include motel conversions, advocating for zoning changes to help the church land subcommittee, exploring other options for homeless housing sites, safe parking, etc.
Report by Teacher Tim Noonan of Western Friends School: Our friend Anthony visited to share more information about the Monday vigils for homeless and low-income housing. He helped connect the students to our homeless brothers and sisters with the story of his friend Mark, and inspired the students with the story of the success of his advocacy work so far and what still needs to be done. Anthony also gave tips to the Kameleons on how to prepare to address City Council to show they care about the issue. FWS has committed to joining the vigil on the second-fourth Monday in March (03/09, 03/16, 03/23) and some Kameleons will prepare to "pull a card" and address the Council with prepared statements as part of their service learning.
The City Council voted to prioritize affordable housing at the Civic Center. Most of the candidates indicated support for homeless housing at the Civic Center, except for Gene Masuda (who was neutral) and Felicia Williams (who was opaque). Our campaign is definitely having an impact!