By Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times
An official letter from the city of Dana Point asking a volunteer organization to stop feeding the homeless has resurfaced in a Los Angeles Times article published Tuesday, Feb. 19.
The letter, written by Mayor Pro Tem Paul Wyatt, is dated June 18, 2018, and asked Welcome INN “to stop the feeding the homeless at Doheny State Beach and, instead, work with the City of Dana Point and its partners to eliminate the necessity of homelessness in the Dana Point regional area.
Welcome INN is an “interfaith needs network” that has been voluntarily feeding the homeless for 20 years in Capistrano Beach.
“The city contracts with Mercy House so that case managers work six days a week to work on the street and interact with every one of our homeless people, know their story and encourage them to change their situation,” Wyatt said in a phone interview. “We would like for Welcome INN to take guidance from our care coordinators and collaborate together.”
Dana Point Times reached out to Welcome INN for comment but did not hear back before press time.
“Welcome INN has said to us that they set up the feed because nobody was doing anything while they’ve been doing the feed for ten years. I understand they believe it’s the right thing to do,” Wyatt said. “I can appreciate tha, but I believe there’s a better way for us to work together. They disagree.”
On the Welcome INN website, it states that volunteers serve breakfast on Saturday mornings in Capistrano Beach through the generosity of several local churches and volunteer teams.