Texan Starve-Out?

Kitchen closed: Catholic worker house shut down

SAN ANTONIO — A city code inspector slapped the Catholic Worker House with a violation for serving food to the homeless without the proper permit.

Some people consider the Catholic Worker House a threat to neighborhood safety and property values, and they are relieved the place is temporarily shut down and unable to serve meals to its homeless clientele.

The Director of the Catholic Worker House, Chris Plauche, said an inspector with Code Compliance notified her about the violation last Friday.

“These crock pots are the problem,” stated Plauche.

We’re told she doesn’t have the right permit to serve food from the remodeled home on the East Side.

“We feel Jesus always looked out for the neediest and cared for the neediest,” Plauche told us.

They shut down immediately.

“For years, volunteers have served hot food to the chronically homeless,” said Plauche.

Out back, a wooden deck with plenty of seating overlooks a garden which serves as an example of how the place has grown over the years. During that time, a lot of controversy has cropped up too.

“I know they are doing a good deed, but it’s scary,” insisted Charlene Handy.

She hopes hopes the Catholic Worker House remains closed. A sign on the front door directs the homeless to other places for food. Handy is fed up with people hanging out, publicly urinating and littering.

“It’s scary having guys and even women walking up and down the street,” Handy added.

She said someone recently broke into her home, and she points a finger down the street, toward the Catholic Worker House.

Plauche is a fighter who has weathered problems before.

“Every time they’ve closed our doors, we’ve come back stronger and with more community support,” she told us.

Some homeowners believe her doors should stay open, if volunteers can do more to control problems. Homeowners said the place has raised concerns about crime and and lowered property values on the East Side.

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Press Release for March 1st, 2013 Re: OMJP (Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace) organizes in response to the homeless crisis—hosts a Homeless Solidarity Rally & Community Pizza Party, builds an emergency shelter, and installs Olympia’s only 24 hour public restroom at the downtown artesian well. Attention! Our community is in crisis and the Mayor of Olympia has insisted that we not let it go to waste. On March 1st the Sacred Heart and Saint Michael’s men’s shelters will be closed for the season. The county-funded cold weather shelter at the Salvation Army is only sporadically open at best, and it too will soon be closed. Though shelter is a human right, there are hundreds of unsheltered houseless people in Thurston County. In response to this crisis, we have constructed an emergency shelter and installed Olympia’s only 24-hour public restroom at the downtown artesian well. It is our intention to maintain these facilities as a service to the community until an adequate alternative can be arranged. Furthermore, we draw attention to the fact that in January of this year, the Olympia City Council, with the sole exception of council member Jim Cooper, voted in favor of a reactionary ordinance which banned camping and camping related paraphernalia such as blankets from all city-owned public property. The criminalization of homelessness is a national worst-practice model which negatively impacts not only homeless persons, but also service providers, the criminal justice system, and the broader community. Olympia’s anti-homeless ordinances violate standards of fairness and raise moral questions about community values, priorities, and social and economic justice. They dehumanize the homeless, damage their health, and create even greater barriers to housing. These ordinances are a threat to the general health of the Olympia community and must be repealed.