TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


June 8, 2017

Mercy Housing creates discussion

As Temple City residents filled the May 16 City Council meeting, the room buzzed with questions about the nonprofit Mercy Housing’s plan to turn the Golden Motel on Rosemead Boulevard into housing for formerly homeless veterans and other individuals. Many of the residents at the meeting oppose Mercy Housing’s plan because of its location.
“I respect homeless people, they are human beings like everybody else,” Temple City resident Ms. Feng Lu said. “I still don’t think this is the proper location for a homeless shelter. There are 25 schools within two miles.”
Ms. Lu and others expressed concerns that the formerly homeless residents would interact with their children on their way home from school in a way that could harm students.
Some previous negative encounters with homeless individuals that were expressed, have caused parents to be apprehensive that the new Mercy Housing residents could be considered dangerous.
Also at the meeting was the Mercy Housing Regional Vice President of Real Estate Development, Mr. Ed Holder. He addressed the residents’ concerns and provided additional information about Mercy’s El Monte site.
“What we’ve found is that homeless housing absolutely does work to scale,” Mr. Holder said. “We provide more resources to attach to each individual.”
The housing development in El Monte has provided studio apartments for 40 veterans, and other housing projects in southern California have created more than 1000 units for formerly homeless and low income residents. Since 1982, Mercy Housing has expanded their programs to 41 states and has provided more than 48,200 homes for 152,000 people. 70% of their housing goes to low income or formerly homeless families, 21% to senior citizens, and 9% to those with special needs.
Mercy Housing conducts criminal background checks on all applicants, but does not automatically dismiss any person with a criminal record. No applicants will be accepted who have any record of terrorist activity or criminal sexual activity against a child. They must also have not committed a felony within the last seven years.
The Mercy Housing project prioritizes the mentally disabled in their requirements for veterans who apply for residency. Stating that at least 50% of the veterans’ housing be reserved for those who have mental illnesses and are chronically homeless, meaning that they have been homeless for one continuous year or four times within the last three years. The remaining units have similar limitations.
At the former Golden Motel site, Mercy Housing is planning to provide services, including mentorships, assistance with accessing benefits, financial literacy programs, family support, voter education and job search assistance.
As the proposal moves forward, Temple City residents are starting to look beyond the Temple City City Council, which has no direct influence on the project due to the fact that the Golden Motel is part of San Gabriel’s jurisdiction.
They plan to protest at the meeting of the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission regarding this issue, which will occur on June 21 at 9 a.m. at the Hall of Records in downtown Los Angeles.
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About the Author

Kaiya Pomeroy-Tso
Kaiya Pomeroy-Tso is a TCHS junior and second year staff writer for Rampage. She writes articles, takes pictures, and does illustrations for the publication! She also edits and designs a monthly newsletter for Longden Elementary.


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