Today, another local loft resident, Hal McMath (he does the Skid Row street light and trash can updates) and myself walked San Julian Street to monitor what is going on sanitation-wise in the area, as well as pass out some fliers for our upcoming Skid Row Community Forum. The weekend is always crazy on San Julian, with at least half a dozen “feeders” usually out in full force, more often than not without bringing trash cans or cleaning up their mess.
Today was no different. It was all the more depressing for us, because a new off-shoot “Clean-Up Crew” called Skidrow Cleanup had JUST been on the block sweeping an hour earlier. Their efforts at cleaning looked futile. Here, see for yourself…
I want to take this post to specifically take to task an organization called, “The Dream Center“. “Dream Center” people have been coming to Skid Row for years, and doing some good things along the way. But, they also contribute to part of the PROBLEM here. Many times since moving into the neighborhood, I have been approached by someone representing the Dream Center with a flier printed with the phrase, “Adopt a Block” on it (with no contact name with number on it by the way). The first time I got a flier like this, I was thrilled, thinking to myself, “Great! An outside organization coming in to Skid Row that really wants to help clean things up!”….I had heard of the concept of “adopting a block” before, as it relates to neighborhood beatification efforts and Community clean-ups. Could the Dream Center be interested in helping our Community clean-up?
Turns out the answer is a definite NO! I have tried repeatedly and earnestly to contact many higher-ups at the Dream Center about helping with our Operation Face-Lift/Skid Row clean-up days, as well as tried speaking directly with the volunteers passing out these fliers. All to no avail. I have never gotten a response from them, and the volunteers seem clueless and uninterested is helping clean-up the mountains of trash on our streets. Whatever it is they are doing in Skid Row- it does NOT involve cleaning-up. Usually, Dream Center volunteers are all stationed around 6th and San Julian St- an area with some of the worst trash- AND an area lacking trash cans! Today, there was a give away @ this corner put on by the Dream Center, and garbage was everywhere. Dream Center- why do you forsake this neighborhood? Please help be a part of the SOLUTION!
I know many, many other neighborhoods organize and implement neighborhood clean-up campaigns. Skid Row is no different. We are a neighborhood. There are people who have organized here- who live here, as well as many “friends of the neighborhood” who all come together over our lack of proper sanitation.
Below are some examples of other neighborhood groups which do clean-ups. This is what we want people who come to our neighborhood to get on board with here in Skid Row–you don’t have to clean up with us, you can start your own clean-up crews—but please, please if you do come here to help- help us clean too! A big thank you to those that do help clean (and there are several of you all).