Downtown: Where next?

Business reporter George Avalos did a round-up today on Cinema Place. A continued unknown is who will occupy the facility’s biggest store space — some are hoping for a restaurant-club there.

In the meantime, a debate this week about downtown’s free food programs (and other stuff) has already caused some changes. See the city’s full report in PDF form here.

Volunteers at a Castro Valley church announced in a Wednesday letter to city officials that they are suspending their Saturday morning breakfasts outside the main library. The letter:

The CrossStreets Homeless Ministry of Neighborhood Church in Castro Valley has been discussing plans for the past month on how to change the Saturday morning breakfast at the Hayward Library that we have been serving for the past several years. Our concern has been how to better serve the needs of the poor and homeless in our community while reducing the impact and associated problems that sometimes occur.

In the past, we have attempted to schedule the breakfast such that we can clean up and be out of the area before the Library opens. In addition, we have tried to work with the Library staff to address any other concerns.

After listening to the concerns of the community and the City Council we have decided to suspend our Saturday morning breakfast at the Library until the City develops a plan and process for conducting the breakfast in a permitted manner. We are hopeful that the City will move swiftly so that hunger in the cold winter months does not become a greater problem than those posed by a gathering of poor and homeless people.

Until we are able to comply with the demands of the City we will encourage more people to take advantage of an alternative. For the past year, Neighborhood Church has offered a hot breakfast to anyone in need at 8:00am, every Sunday morning at the church facility in Castro Valley.

We remain committed to serving our community, including the homeless and poor, in any way that we can. For over five years the CrossStreets Homeless Outreach has served thousands of people in the Hayward, Castro Valley, San Leandro and Oakland areas. Similar to the goals of the City Council for downtown Hayward, our goal has been to see broken lives reclaimed, redeveloped and restored.

Tom Green
CrossStreets Program Director

  • monica ruiz

    I attended part of the meeting and it was exciting to see so many people moved by this topic; there were even students from All Saints School in attendance. It makes sense that the food programs be moved to the church locations. I’m relieved that the council is finally taking control of this situation; we’ve been waiting so long for some action! Now let’s turn the library fountain back on! It’s a shame to see it sitting there all dried up:(

  • Yeah Monica, there were a lot of ideas raised at that meeting by all sorts of people. Such as: “Show some foreign language movies from Bollywood!” said John Kyle, arguing that greater diversity would bring more vibrancy to downtown commerce. Councilman Bill Ward mentioned looking at San Francisco’s Glide Memorial Church model of community service, while someone else suggested that a police substation, as at Union Landing, might help to do the trick. (Although the police already have a “koban” on the west side of City Hall.)

  • Jodie

    I thought I would take this opportunity to comment on article in Daily review about downtown. While working there for 5 years I got to know many of the merchants and the manger of the Green Shutter. Great people! The GS was run efficiently and for the most part, problem free. When the old manager left and the new one came in, as well as new owner, trouble began. On average, the police were there every day. Every merchant had several floods and their rents raised, causing them to eventually all leave. The empty sites are chlling and very sad.

    I read that the owner wants the city to help him with the cost of converting some of the rooms to offices. I cannot fathom why the city would reward a man for being a very bad owner. His ability to attract and keep tenants is dubious at best, as well as his ability to maintain order there and keep everyone from being flooded (there were no floods all the time that the old manager was there).

    The city seems to be hinging its whole existence on this movie theater. That is all we have been hearing about for years. I really hope it brings success to the downtown, but in the meantime something needs to be done about greedy and inept landlords, the homeless and the lack of support for the existing merchants.

    While the city council concentrates (for too many years) on trying to resolve the downtown, every venue for our children to use has been lost — bowling alleys, miniature golf, ice and roller skating, and several movie theaters. Because of the deal with the cinema, we can’t build a cinema anywhere else in Hayward without paying a penalty. A city as large as Hayward certainly needs more than the downtown cinema. Once construction is finished on all the homes, etc. in the old cannery area and the 880/92 exchange is being built, traffic on Winton, Hesperian and A Street will be a nightmare. You won’t find too many people trying to make their way through all of that to go downtown. Every meeting I tried to attend downtown that starts after 3 pm to 7 pm takes twice as long to get to and it will be worse once the above begins.

  • peaches228

    My daughter attends the middle school by the police department on Soto road and she tells me there is only one bathroom open during the day and it only has two toilets for about 400 girls that go to school there. The other bathroom that they sometimes open to the students has a sink that gives no water to wash there hands. My daughter says that she holds herself all day until she gets home because the bathrooms are so dirty. The locker room lockers do not work and kids have there things stolen and it is filthy. I went to there back to school night and there was broken desks, nasty writing in the books, and the water fountains do not work all over the school.

  • monica ruiz

    The schools have been in these conditions even when my children were in school and that was way back in the 80’s. And we complained and guess what? no improvements were made back then either.