In recent days, Catholic Charities' Long Beach Family Shelter for the Homeless has come under fire by the newly formed Homeless Organizing Committee, which claims the shelter is oppressive in its treatment of residents and its policies and procedures (Times, Jan. 25).
It is unfortunate that the committee perceives the shelter in this manner when, in fact, the aim of the shelter, its policies and procedures, is to liberate residents from the cycle of homelessness. It is not now, nor has it ever been, the intent of Catholic Charities to add further burden to people who are already struggling with the trauma of homelessness and unemployment.
Catholic Charities today finds fewer and fewer organizations willing to commit to the financial and administrative tasks of running a shelter. We need the support of our homeless guests as much as they need our shelter.
Lupe Macker, Catholic Charities regional director in Long Beach, has unjustly come under fire for her administration of the shelter and been accused of lacking a true concern for the plight of the residents. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only has she shown great concern and compassion for the needy persons in her region, but she is often their advocate without promoting other personal agendas. This is clearly evident by the strong support she has received over the years from the community, the city and county. As executive director of Catholic Charities, I fully support and applaud Mrs. Macker's leadership and guidance in administration of the shelter.