By Greta Cobar
The Venice community won the legal battle to allow social services to continue being provided out of the Vera Davis. However, operating budgets have been slashed significantly by the city of LA, and the organizations operating are reaching out to those who are able to donate money in order to ensure that in these tough times the needy still have a refuge.
The Mildred Cursh Foundation provides food distribution every first and third Thursday of the month starting at 12:30pm. In addition, Reach for the Top brings in and hands out fresh, organic vegetables, tofu, yogurt and other healthy items every Friday from 1pm to 5pm. Bread and Danishes are also available every Tuesday and Thursday morning. An estimated five to six hundred people show up to take advantage of the free meals every month, and more are always invited to participate.
Another great program that has been running out of the Vera Davis center is Tech Training, with classes re-starting October 4. Lois Webb coaches students through instruction in Web Design, E-Commerce, Microsoft Office, CISCO and Digital Music Production to name just a few. The classes are available every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1pm to 3pm for adults and from 3pm to 5pm for youth under 18. The computer-based training allows the participants to go over and over each section until they are comfortable moving on to the next section without the intimidating pass/fail grading system. Twelve computers are available, and all classes are free of charge.
The Latino Resource Organization provides free legal consultations concerning taxes, immigration or passport questions every weekday from 8:30am to 1pm. Department of Public Social Services representatives are available every fourth Thursday to help people sign up for food stamps. Senior bingo takes place every Friday night, and Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings take place Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The dedicated volunteers who run these programs, especially the food distribution efforts, are in dire need of some help from those who are fortunate enough to be able to spare. Let’s make an effort to sustain these vital programs in these dire times.