LAist Reading Stack of Old Papers, Finds Midnight Mission

Tuesday, May 17, 2005, at 02:13PM

By Eric Richardson

Ah, LAist, late to the story and skimpy on the details... Today they discover the Midnight Mission saga that became a story about a month ago when the new facility opened. The Christian Science Monitor did a piece of reporting so shoddy that I don't really feel the need to link to it and put it onto the AP wires, and now here we are still having to talk about it. Brady rebutted the piece on April 19th, and I covered NPR's followup on blogdowntown a week ago. But today LAist jumps in. Aside from their usual lack of timeliness, they also lazy their way around some important facts you would think the extra time would have allowed to be researched.

In the comments to one particular blog post, Justin Wisniewski of the Midnight Mission explains that the majority of Midnight Mission isn't government funded and that most of the amenities are a necessity for getting those who are homeless and want to re-enter society to succeed.

More correct would have been that the CS Monitor's so-called "amenities" are really just essentials, and that the facility intentionally receives no government funding for their operations.

The facility also seems to be in response to the renewed interest in downtown as a residential area and the desire of those moving in to have the homeless off the street. Affordable housing in a community with rising rents and increasingly upscale constituents doesn't seem like a solution that will be welcomed.

Ummm... Here's the thing. Homeless people living on the street are a problem. It's bad for the neighborhood, but far more importantly it's bad for them. As someone with a definite interest in Downtown, I don't care what the rents are in the building next to mine. Affordable housing has its issues (mainly in regard to economics), but I hardly think Downtown is somewhere snooty enough that people care that those next to them don't quite match the median income. People want a neighborhood that's liveable, and having homeless people living on the streets is just as bad for those individuals as it is for their neighbors.