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Reputation at Risk

As a result of the San Vicente article in the Independent, I sent an email to the St. Vincent’s board of directors and management team:

St. Vincent’s mission statement says it “is dedicated to strengthening low-income families and seniors through programs rooted in the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church. Faithful to the charism of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, we serve our sisters and brothers by providing affordable housing, early childhood education, and family enrichment.”

I am writing to urge St. Vincent’s management team and board of directors not to evict the seniors that are subletting in San Vicente mobile home park. Such an action, while legal, is clearly a moral wrong that conflicts with St. Vicent’s mission and will impose a severe hardship on older adults, many of whom are disabled and/or have a terminal diagnosis and are low income. Some may be forced onto the streets at the most vulnerable time in their lives. All of the residents of San Vicente, many of whom have lived there for decades, moved there with the understanding that subletting was allowed. Clearly, under these circumstances, the small number of renters should be grandfathered in and allowed to stay until they pass or move.

I have lived in Santa Barbara since 1983, and while I am retired now, I worked with individuals with a variety of hardships and disabilities at the State of California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. Over the years, I have been aware of the good reputation that St. Vincent’s has had. Your organization’s standing in the community will be forever changed for the worse should management decide to move forward with these evictions.

While not everyone who has read the Independent article will write to you, all will be appalled to learn of this potential tragedy.

I do hope that you will reconsider this decision by showing the kindness and mercy that is consistent with your mission.

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