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Letters: Readers speak out about SAY Dream Center

  • The former Warrack Hospital in Santa Rosa is targeted to become SAY's Dream Center.

Editor's Note: The Santa Rosa Planning Commission is scheduled today to review a proposal by Social Advocates for Youth to open a youth housing complex at the former Warrack Hospital. The meeting, to be held at City Hall, 100 Santa Rosa Ave., will begin at 4 p.m.

SAY's response to concerns

EDITOR: When the Dream Center proposal met with some neighborhood opposition, Social Advocates for Youth had a unique response. It opened the doors of its existing residential facility, Tamayo Village, to all who had questions or concerns about its ability to manage such a project.

A series of free, open dinners were set up by volunteers, and all were welcomed. On the evening I attended, I heard powerful poetry from a phenomenal young man and stories from other youth that broke my heart. I witnessed the bonds of support these young adults formed with one another and met dedicated volunteers who were committed to empowering them to make healthy choices. I also heard from a Bennett Valley neighbor who had opposed the Dream Center but left with her opinion transformed.

I encourage everyone to check out the frequently-asked-questions page on SAY's Dream Center web page. It will likely clear up confusion over misleading statistics disseminated by those opposed to this project.

My hope is that our community will come together to help create an effective, supportive, responsible and safe Dream Center for all who need it.

JULIE RACHANNA CHASEN

Santa Rosa

Oakland in Santa Rosa?

EDITOR: Diane Martini wrote (“No, no, no to SAY,” Letters, Jan. 16) of her concern that “our beautiful Bennett Valley” might be turned into “the new Oakland.” What does she mean?

I was born in Oakland, and I also owned a home in Bennett Valley for 25 years, so I know a bit about both places. And I know about the purpose and goals of the proposed Dream Center through a trusted friend, a proponent of Social Advocates for Youth, who provided me with information.

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