COSTA MESA (CBSLA.com) — The mayor of Costa Mesa proposed to get rid of soup kitchens to deal with the area’s homeless problem at a city council meeting on Tuesday.
“My belief is that if we manage to put the soup kitchen out of business that will go a long way to addressing the attractiveness in our city that’s creating a huge negative impact,” Eric Bever said.
According to Bever, the “negative impact” is homeless people who like Costa Mesa because of services that offer food to less fortunate individuals.
Clients at Someone Cares Soup Kitchen and the non-profit Share Our Selves were stunned by the controversial comments.
“It’s very hard to come here. I’ve been a very self-sufficient person my entire life,” said a tearful Mary Raphael. “When I need some help, I’m told I’m trash? It’s not a very kind thought.”
Shannon Santos, the executive director of Someone Cares, said nearly half of her clients are low-income seniors and most of the people who eat there live nearby.
She said she’s thankful the mayor will be termed out of office next month, but still offered him an invitation.
“My open invitation is for him to come in and have lunch with me,” said Santos.