Santa Monica homeless feeding program continues in park amid opposition

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ByAmy Powell via KABC logo
Monday, August 19, 2019
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A program that feeds 100 homeless people every Sunday in a Santa Monica park is continuing amid neighborhood opposition.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- In Santa Monica, volunteers showed up a city park Sunday - as they do every Sunday - to feed the homeless.

But city officials are threatening to take action against them.

Steve Petramale has been feeding at least 100 homeless people every week at Reed Park for more than a year.

Santa Monica officials told Petramale the park is not a good location for his food program. They had threatened to issue a citation if he served meals this Sunday.

Petramale says he's willing to work with the city to find a new location, but he wants to make sure the meals continue.

"I'm more than willing to make this work so everyone is happy and especially that these people eat," he said. "That's my main concern."

Some neighborhood residents have complained.

sot full alisa orduna/sr. advisor on homelessness, city of santa monica

"Neighbors are concerned about the amount of people, the lack of play space," said Alisa Orduna, an advisor on homelessness with the city of Santa Monica. "The lack of space to be able to stretch out and have their activities."

Petramale says he's sympathetic.

"I understand your concern and why you're upset but I really do feel, regardless, everyone needs to eat," he said.

Petramale says he started his organization after his then-11-year-old son became concerned about hungry people in the park.

He wasn't cited Sunday and says progress is being made toward finding a solution. He says he's ready to move to a different location.

If you'd like to donate to Petramale's organization that feeds the homeless, you can find Family Food.us on Venmo.