At its first board meeting of 2022 last night, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council furthered planning for its January 27 Greater Wilshire-area homeless count, listened to brief presentations from three of its four current applicants for Neighborhood Purpose Grants, and voted on four recommendations from its Land Use Committee.
2022 Homeless Count
The topic of the Homeless Count was first raised early in the meeting by interim homelessness liaison Max Kirkham, who noted that so far only 7 of the 50 needed volunteers have signed up to help with the late February event. This brief mention was followed up with a more detailed report near the end of the meeting, however, and at that point, thanks to the earlier mention, Kirkham reported that he now had 25 volunteers registered. 25 more are still needed, though, and people who are interested can go to http://www.greaterwilshire.org/count to sign up.
Kirkham also reported that all the counting work this year will be done from cars, to keep things as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, for the same reason, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) is requesting that teams of volunteers sign up together, so people can be paired, as much as possible, with people they know.
Kirkham noted that Hope Lutheran Church, which will serve as Greater Wilshire’s hub for the event, may not have enough outdoor space to hold all the volunteers, but will be able to open all its doors to create a safe, well-ventilated indoor space if needed. Also, the board voted to require that all volunteers participating in the homeless count provide proof of COVID vaccination…and approved funding for the purchase (if needed) of handwarmers for volunteers.
Neighborhood Purpose Grant Applications
In other business last night, the board listened to brief presentations from three of the four non-profit organizations that applied for the GWNC’s Neighborhood Purpose Grant program before the December 31 deadline.
Among these, in order of presentation:
- The Wilshire Crest PTA requested $1,350 to fund the services of the Garden School Foundation, a non-profit that provides both maintenance of the school’s teaching garden and an instructor and standards-compliant curriculum for the garden program.*
- The Friends of the Wilshire Library requested $1,126.80 to print and frame a series of large historic photos to decorate the library’s interior.
- And LAUNCH-LA requested $2,500 to help fund its annual Tar Fest event, which celebrates and supports a wide variety of local arts non-profits and up-and-coming musical artists.
The fourth applicant, the Anderson Munger YMCA, was not represented at the meeting, and details of its application were not provided.
Grant committee chair Julie Stromberg said the grant committee will review the proposals in the coming month, and members plan to bring a final funding recommendation to the board for approval at next month’s board meeting. The GWNC has a total of $3,000 to divide among the applicants in this grant cycle.
Among Land Use items last night, the GWNC board voted to confirm the recommendations of its Land Use Committee to:
- Oppose an application to replace a single-family dwelling and garage with two 3-story duplexes at 520 N. St. Andrews Place. Project representatives had been invited to make a presentation to the Land Use Committee, but declined, and it’s the committee’s policy in that situation to oppose the project until a presentation can be made.
- Oppose the replacement of a vacant parking lot with a 7-story apartment building at 975, 977, 981 and 987 S. Manhattan Place, also because the developers were invited to, but did not make, a presentation to the LUC.
- File a Community Impact Statement in support of a motion by City Council Member Paul Koretz for the city to more specifically define both “co-living” and “ghost kitchens” for city planning purposes. (More information about Koretz’ proposal is available here.)
- Confirm Brian Curran as the new chair of the Land Use Committee, following former longtime chair person Philip Farha’s recent resignation.
Board Member Comings and Goings
Finally last night, the GWNC board voted to remove Area 13/Wilshire Park representative Michael Duggan from the board, according to city and GWNC policies, for non-attendance. Wilshire Park alternate John Gresham will become the new board member for that neighborhood, leaving the alternate spot open for new nominees. The board also confirmed Vincent Cox as the new alternate board member for Area 7/Larchmont Village.
The full list of currently open board and alternate seats, available to interested stakeholders, now includes:
Area 4/Fremont Place – Alternate Board Member
Area 6/La Brea Hancock – Alternate Board Member
Area 8/Melrose – Board Member and Alternate Board Member
Area 9/Oakwood/Maplewood/St. Andrews – Alternate Board Member
Area 11/Sycamore Square – Alternate Board Member
Area 12/Western-Wilton – Alternate Board Member
Area 13/Wilshire Park – Alternate Board Member
Stakeholders who live, work, or own property in any of these areas, who might be interested in being appointed to one of these seats or would at least like to learn more, can contact [email protected]
The next meeting of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council will take place on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 at 6:30 p.m., via Zoom.
* Full disclosure: this writer is the current president of the Wilshire Crest PTA, and made that group’s presentation at last night’s meeting.
[Note: this story was updated after publication to reflect the new, delayed date for the Los Angeles homeless count, which was rescheduled from January 27 to February 22-24.]