Regarding this week’s article in SMDP about saving the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, I propose using the space and the adjacent (across the street) bowling alley as LGBTQ youth/senior resource center and housing.
Currently the “Westside” has no such programs or services and our community must travel outside the area (to West Hollywood & Schrader Ave) to reach the LA LGBTQ Center.
Likewise to access services at Hollywood’s Triangle Square (https://lalgbtcenter.org/social-service-and-housing/senior/triangle-square-affordable-housing ), it is Los Angeles’ only LGBTQ senior housing.
Most people are familiar with unhoused, at-risk LGBTQ youth living on the streets after being abandoned by their anti-LGBTQ families, but fewer are aware the same injustice occurs with LGBTQ seniors who have no family or resources to provide for them having been similarly abandoned by their families and no longer able to provide for themselves or earn a living.
Providing such resources locally in Santa Monica, at the Civic Auditorium specifically, would both preserve this historic site (home to the 1st Academy Awards, as well as where David Bowie, the Ramones and countless other artists performed) and immediately provide under-served LGBTQ youth and seniors with much needed resources and programs, in this period still reeling from “post-Covid” cuts to funding too many public services.
I urge City officials, our community and LGBTQ allies to make these resources an immediate reality, as housing is unaffordable in Santa Monica and LA County, and to prove we are serious about achieving diversity and inclusion.
Using the Civic Auditorium as a center for LGBTQ senior housing and youth resources only requires your support and for you to take action now, to make these vital services available right away.
Thank you for your time,
Joe Delaplaine, Santa Monica