Nonprofits frustrated with Chula Vista
Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Tuesday, March 1st.>>>>
Nonprofits and chula vista
More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….######
Starting today masks will no longer be required for unvaccinated Californians indoors. On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that after March 11th - masks will not be required in schools and childcare settings..
State secretary of health and human services Dr. Mark Ghaley says the shift comes as cases and hospitalizations continue to decline.
“this is the state level guidance, and local jurisdictions and in this case schools and districts may decide to keep or add additional requirements beyond what the state is outlining.”
According to the CDC’s recently released masking framework, San Diego county is in an area that still has high levels of virus transmission.. The guidance suggests that everyone should mask up indoors, including at schools.
A construction project scheduled to begin Monday at the San Ysidro port of entry has been postponed. U.S. Customs and border protection says crews were going to start replacing the infra-structure on the southbound privately-owned vehicle lanes on the roadway to Tijuana. No explanation for the postponement has been given.
It’ll be somewhat warm over the next few days in San Diego. Highs are expected in the 70’s at the coast and 80’s inland. cooler weather is expected on Thursday and friday. The national weather service has issued a beach hazard statement for all San Diego County Beaches. It’ll be in effect through early Wednesday morning. Strong surf and rip currents are expected.
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Cities need nonprofits to serve their most vulnerable. But in Chula Vista, some nonprofit leaders told KPBS investigative reporter Claire Trageser that working with the city isn’t worth the trouble.
It’s a cool and cloudy morning outside an old warehouse in Chula Vista. Homeless people are waiting to get free showers and meet with case managers. A volunteer with the local nonprofit Community Through Hope walks around passing out warm burritos.
Since starting in 2018, the founders of the fledgling nonprofit felt they could meet the challenge of providing basic services to Chula Vista’s homeless population. They had no idea their most difficult struggle would be with city officials.
Community Through Hope CEO
“After months of back and forth, we were told that we were not going to be able to use the building, and we were left without a facility.”
Rosy Vasquez is the CEO. She says she was excited when the city promised she could sublease space from the local YMCA.
But after months of frustrating communication, she was told she couldn’t use the YMCA space after all.
“So myself and some volunteers went out, and we were able to find the building that we're in now and paying a substantial amount of rent.”
Photos from Facebook in Google Drive folder, credit Community Through Hope
She was finally able to open her doors almost a year later. But her issues with the city of Chula Vista were just beginning.
Over the next three years, she dealt with late payments, poor communication and the feeling that the city didn’t value her services. Last year, the city opted not to renew its contract with Community Through Hope.
Vasquez vowed never to do business with Chula Vista again.
“You're a value when they need you, and if you aren't going to do what they say, you are no longer of value. There is no thought around the work that's being done by this organization and who is really going to suffer if that organization is not up and running.”
This is a problem that goes beyond just one nonprofit—it’s a problem for the entire community.
University of San Diego Nonprofit Institute
“Especially in COVID, if you want to really look at how much government had to rely on nonprofits to reach populations to deliver all kinds of services, the nonprofit sector really stepped up.”
Yet, Community Through Hope is one of several nonprofits that feel they were knocked back by the city when they stepped up.
Chula Vista officials refused to be interviewed for this story. Instead, a spokeswoman sent written statements referencing some, but not all, of the issues raised by the nonprofit leaders.
“The Lucky Duck Foundation and Peter for making this happen, for providing this much needed shelter structure to help address homelessness in Chula Vista.”
In May 2020, during the depths of the COVID crisis, Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas made a big announcement. The city would set up a large tent to house hundreds of people experiencing homelessness.
The tent came from the local Lucky Duck Foundation. City officials promised it would be up by December 2020. But a year later, the tent wasn’t set up.
Lucky Duck Foundation Director
“They ultimately said, ‘actually, we've changed our mind, we no longer want to use this asset…. It's unfortunate and frustrating that that shelter could not be up and operational throughout that time.”
In response, a city spokeswoman referenced a City Council agenda item that said: “The Lucky Duck Foundation and the City of Chula Vista mutually agreed that the (tent) would be better utilized elsewhere with fewer limitations.”
Moser says that’s a lie—his organization was willing to work with the city on its terms for using the tent.
Love Thy Neighbor President
“It just seems like every time we did something we hit a brick wall,”
Ruben Torres leads the nonprofit Love Thy Neighbor. He too started with high hopes in his relationship with Chula Vista. But those hopes soon faded.
For example, he says city staff told him he could set up a coffee cart business at local libraries as part of a job training program he does for youth.
He went out and bought coffee cart equipment. But then the city went dark on him.
“You just walk away feeling like, should I even attempt to do anything else?”
Claire Trageser, KPBS News
The suffering seen in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has left many asking how they can help. KPBS reporter Kitty Alvarado found one way they can.
Thank you mama, I’m so sorry.
DARIA NADAR IS GETTING A LOT OF LOVE FROM HER CUSTOMERS AT HER NEW BAKERY IN HILLCREST.
WHILE HER DREAM OF OPENING “OH MY CAKE” HAS BECOME A REALITY … HER FAMILY IS LIVING A NIGHTMARE …
they’re in Kyiv,
They sleep in the basement just in case anything will blow up next to them
SHE’S DONATING 25 PERCENT OF HER SALES TO THE NATIONAL BANK OF UKRAINE’S SPECIAL ACCOUNT
AND PEOPLE ARE RESPONDING AND BUYING UP HER DELICIOUS TREATS
They’re coming like crazy yesterday the shelves were empty, I’m just overwhelmed by support
ECONOMISTS WARN THOSE WHO WANT TO GIVE TO VET ANY ORGANIZATIONS BEFORE SENDING MONEY. NADAR SAYS GIVING IS AS EASY AS CAKE… AND SHE says…Ukrainian Cake is love!
More than a year after San diegans passed measure b, the process to establish a san diego city commission on police practices is finally advancing.
kpbs race and equity reporter cristina kim has more.
ON MONDAY THE CITY COUNCIL VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO discuss the proposal establishing the Commission on Police Practices with the San Diego Police Union through the meet and confer process…. WHICH IS REQUIRED BY STATE LAW.
It’s a first step in a long process as San Diego seeks to strengthen police oversight with a commission that has subpoena power.
Council President Sean Elo-Rivera commended Council President Pro tem Montgomery Steppe’s efforts and the importance of this oversight board.
"It is undoubtedly true as well that police officers have an abundance of power and accountability when that power is not utilized correctly is super important to make sure that we live up to our ideals as a country, as a city and just as as a society.
MARESA TALBERT IS- CO-CHAIR OF SAN DIEGANS FOR JUSTICE AND A LONGTIME ADVOCATE FOR MORE POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY. SHE’S CONCERNED THAT TOO MUCH POLICE INPUT WILL THE DILUTE THE COMMISSIONS POWER.
This commission started with the community and must end with the community.
THE CITY COUNCIL AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS STILL HAVE TIME TO MAKE CHANGES AFTER THE MEET AND CONFER PROCESS.
Cristina Kim KPBS.
The county wants people to know about services available to people experiencing a mental health crisis. On Monday, the health and human services agency kicked off an ad campaign about the mobile crisis response team.
The program offers an alternative to a police response by having trained mental health clinicians answer mental health calls.
yasmin saadatzadeh is a team leader with the mobile response team.
"There are several clients that we have that say into the triage that they do not want police at all. They don't want to have them called in. They're only requesting for us. It's unfortunate there's been people who have had negative experience the police. So we can help be kind of that force that helps get them get the help that they need without the police involvement.”
The program was piloted in north county in 20-21 and expanded countywide in December of last year. Supervisor Nathan Fletcher says the program has helped more than 670 people since February of last year.
if you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis … you can call 888-724-7240 for the mobile crisis response team.
Coming up.... We speak with San Diego writer Lizz Huerta who's debut young adult novel is out today. That’s next, just after the break.
Coffee and culture are now being served at a black-owned cafe in Sherman Heights.
KPBS Speak City Heights reporter Jacob Aere says it’s not just about coffee… the cafe’s owners want to create generational wealth in marginalized communities.
The opening of Cafe X in Sherman Heights was filled with music, dance and lots of caffeine and baked goodies.
Co-owner and founder, Khea (KIA) Pollard opened the shop with her mom Cynthia Ajani and says the timing couldn't be better.
“With the legacy of Malcolm X inspiring this journey, this vision, it's super important to really commemorate that. And take this time during Black History month, and really all months, to really move that forward. So for us it's powerful and it's energizing because it's going to set us up for the rest of the year.”
Pollard says the cafe will eventually be a space where they’ll offer paid internship opportunities to help historically underserved youth from the area … with the goal of inspiring a future generation of entrepreneurs and leaders. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.
San Diego writer Lizz Huerta's debut young adult novel is out today (March 1). "The Lost Dreamer" is a fantasy, inspired by ancient Mesoamerica. It’s set in a world where some women have gifts, the ability to dream the truth. The book unfolds as two young women struggle with their gifts as the world around them is rapidly changing. Huerta spoke with KPBS/Arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans. Here's that interview.
That was author Lizz Huerta, speaking with KPBS/Arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans. Huerta will be speaking and signing books at Mysterious Galaxy Books today at 7 pm. today.
That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.