By Peter Lasky
I’d like to thank all in Northridge West for their input over the last several months concerning community issues that have emerged. Although in most cases neither I nor my fellow board members on the Neighborhood Council have any jurisdiction or real power over sober care homes opening in the area, or the presence of homeless individuals, I do understand your need to have your voice heard and understood. It’s important that we work together with community groups, non-profit organizations and city officials to find viable, mutually beneficial solutions that help those in need and keep our neighborhood safe.
We need to provide more housing and services for people who are lacking it. How we do that is still in discussion, but until that happens, change will not occur.
As a member of the community, it is imperative that you remain involved and take part in the change. Your voice is necessary to help solve problems that we can’t accomplish alone. We are stronger united, speaking with one voice, than when we do so as individuals.
What we have done and continue to do, as your Neighborhood Council is to support projects that beautify the community and help facilitate services to maintain those projects. In this vein, we are proud to have worked with the city to install a drip system on the Tampa Median. To help with water absorption in the median, mulch was recently added by the City Sanitation Department with help from NWNC Board member’s Glen Wilson, Mikkie Loi and myself; stakeholders John Mah, Gail Lapaz, Don Larson from Northridge Beautification, and Glenn Bailey, President of Northridge East Neighborhood Council.
We are also proud of our efforts to make Northridge West a safer place to work, live and play. We are pleased to provide Neighborhood Watch window decals available at our meetings, at the request of the Devonshire Police Station. The officers tell us that these decals have been proven “crime fighters.”
What Can You Do?
Continue to seek out more information about the issues that concern you. Together, we can identify resources and find solutions to solve these challenges.
Why Should You Get Involved?
Because “not-in-my-backyard” isn’t a valid reason anymore, we need to take responsibility for gaps in our societal safety nets and extend a helping hand to those who need it.
What Will All This Cost?
That’s a good question, but it may be much less than you think. Gale Holland of the Los Angeles Times recently interviewed Todd Lipka of Santa Monica’s Step Up on 2nd, a non-profit organization that supports individuals, families, and communities affected by mental illness. According to Mr. Lipka, “housing and support services cost less than we are spending now on police, court, jails and hospitals to manage homelessness, not to mention the nuisance cost of homelessness to a community.”
In a Nutshell
I am not an expert on these issues. However, I do know we will all be better served by becoming more knowledgeable than by attempting to wish a problem away.
NWNC New Executive Board
Last month, Northridge West held elections for a new Executive Board and started a new fiscal year. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions for projects that we might consider for this upcoming year.
As always, I’m interested in your comments and suggestions.
NWNC meets the second Tuesday of each month. Our next meeting is September 12 at Calahan Elementary School, 18722 Knapp Street, Northridge, CA 91324. Meet & Greet begins at 6:00 p.m. Meeting starts at 7:00 p.m.