Oct 7, 2013 6:24 PM by April Hansen, KSBY

Grover Beach City Council to decide future for People's Kitchen

The Grover Beach City Council may decide the future of the South County People's Kitchen Monday night. Last month, the Planning Commission denied the Kitchen's temporary use permit that would allow them to serve meals to the homeless and people in need. In August, the People's Kitchen moved from an area church to a dirt parking lot near the Longbranch neighborhood, but some residents do not want the Kitchen in their community. An appeal was made on the Planning Commission's decision by the People's Kitchen. After the vote in September, the city has been receiving stacks of letters from Grover Beach residents and people in outside communities expressing their opinions on what the city should do about the People's Kitchen and the public will have a chance to be heard one more time. The Grover Beach organization has been around for two decades. The empty lot where the meals are served is along the Grand Avenue corridor and 16th Street. After the Kitchen moved to this location, a coalition of concerned residents formed. The group hung notices on the doors of area homes talking about the increased transient population. Grover Beach police told KSBY this area already attracts a large transient population. KSBY spoke with a representative for the People's Kitchen Monday who says they interviewed about 300 people they serve and found 62% of them have a resident address and only 1% of those served were considered homeless. "There's a fear that we are not going to be able to continue to feed those that come every day and that's obviously our fear. Twenty-one years of continuous operation and to not have the ability to open up and reach out to the community, honestly frightens us as well," said Bernie Horton. He says the kitchen serves 50 to 60 meals a day at the 16th Street location. Horton says the People's Kitchen is asking the City Council Monday night for more time. He says they want a 10 month grace period so they can look into other locations for the Kitchen. The meeting is at 6:30 PM at Grover Beach City Hall.  



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