Community demands transparency and more involvement in a proposal to open a Hummingbird Place on Valencia Street

By Loi Almeron : missionlocal – excerpt

Frustrated neighbors packed Monday’s community meeting to discuss a proposal to convert the vacated Salvation Army location on Valencia Street into a Hummingbird Place, a 24-hour behavioral health respite center for homeless people, for the next three to five years.

“I find it shocking that I’m hearing about this today,” a resident named Kristen said. “Why the hell weren’t people in this neighborhood informed of this?” She added that she only found out about the proposal through the neighborhood app, NextDoor.

About 120 people attended the community meeting at 1156 Valencia St and spearheaded by the Department of Public Health. The meeting is part of the city’s process to move forward with its proposal to lease the property owned by The Salvation Army and turn it into a 30-bed community Hummingbird.

“I don’t think anyone in this neighborhood disputes whether or not this is a good program,” Kristen said.…(more)

Considering that no one knows what a “Hummingbird Place” is, I dispute that comment. Since the notice was shared on nextdoor, a few questions have been raised that remain unanswered.

Even after The Salvation Army, PRC/Baker Places, and the Department of Public Health presented on the behavioral health respite program, the room was filled with confusion, especially after community members found out that they are only being given three weeks to share comments and concerns regarding the proposal. That proposal will be presented at the Health Commission meeting on March 3…(more)

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