MEND move tied up for now in knot of bureaucracy

first_imgBut after a discouraging meeting with city Public Works officials Tuesday, MEND staff decided to unpack their medical and dental equipment and begin rescheduling appointments that had been set for the new site. “It’s detracting, in a lot of ways, from what we’re about and what we’re doing,” said MEND Executive Director Maryanne Haver Hill. “We got stuck in this awkward situation with the city bureaucracy. It’s not one person’s fault. It’s the whole system that’s broken and we’re stuck in the middle of it.” MEND had suspended its medical and dental clinics in anticipation of the move. “What’s at stake here is services,” Alarc n said. “Sometimes people get locked into doing things from the perspective of the permit process and they’re not looking at the outcomes. The outcomes here are medical and social services including food, clothing, dental and medical care … to some of the most disenfranchised people in the northeast San Fernando Valley and the entire San Fernando Valley.” [email protected] (818) 713-3722160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! MEND has been operating for more than 35 years out of a 10,000-square-foot warehouse on Van Nuys Boulevard and was scheduled to begin moving last Friday into the larger new complex nearby. But delays and miscommunication by the Department of Water and Power – which donated more than $200,000 in services to the charity – and the city’s Department of Public Works prevented the charity from getting its required temporary certificate of occupancy. Public Works officials have said they want to help but their hands are tied by a city ordinance that requires all public improvements to be completed before they sign off on a temporary certificate of occupancy. Alarc n said he has asked for clarification of the law and is working with the building and safety department. “I’m very pleased that it seems that building and safety and public works are motivated to get this done and are moving very expeditiously, and if we can get past this one glitch, we believe we can possibly see a temporary certificate of occupancy,” Alarc n said. Caught in a bureaucratic tangle that has stymied a planned move to a brand-new center, San Fernando Valley’s largest poverty-assistance group Wednesday had to unpack equipment at its old site in order to continue to serve needy residents. Officials with Meet Each Need With Dignity said, however, that they will still hold a ceremonial “opening” Saturday at the $8.5 million complex nearby even though they will not be able to move in immediately. And while city officials have estimated it could take up to six weeks to issue a temporary certificate of occupancy for the new building, City Councilman Richard Alarc n said Wednesday he is trying to expedite the move for the Pacoima-based group. Alarc n, a former president of MEND, said he’s negotiating with city departments and hopes to persuade them to allow the group to move in this week. last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *