O! The Bitter Irony! Will FIES Create Homeless People?

504 W. Amerige Ave.

The Fullerton Interfaith Emergency Services (FIES) is a non-profit collaboration of local folks whose mission is to help people of marginal means subsist, learn job skills, and for some, transitional housing is provided in the FIES compound in the west 500 block of Amerige Avenue.

Imagine the surprise of the tenants at 504 W. Amerige when they recently received eviction notices from their landlord. It seems FIES wants to buy the multi-family property located next to their current assemblage of properties, and the residents have to go. Apparently there are several families living on this property including several kids and even an infant. Some have been living there for over fifteen years and must like it.

It seems nobody at FIES has made it their business to inquire about the fate of the current tenants who now have to find a new home with a comparable rent, and will somehow have to scratch up a new  first/last payment on a new place; or if they did, perhaps they dismissed it as not their problem.

We don’t think it’s real nice of FIES to cause the eviction of employed, rent-paying citizens simply because their mission is to minister to people farther down the housing stock food chain.   It’s particularly egregious since FIES routinely receives government subsidies to pursue its mission.   It must be galling for a taxpayer to find himself on the receiving end of an eviction notice due to the efforts of a taxpayer subsidized organization.

We hope that the good folks at FIES can reach an accommodation with the current tenants to let them stay on until they can relocate, and/or provide monetary relocation assistance. That’s only fair. It would be a painful irony indeed if any of these people ended up as FIES clients in the future.

The Ever Expanding Compound

Finally, the issue of the FIES compound itself needs to be addressed. Is it appropriate for this facility to continue to expand at this location? Is it wise to aggregate this sort of transitional use in a single neighborhood? Continued expansion seems likely to hasten  even more growth in the future. What are the permit requirements, if any, for this proposed use, and what does the City have to say about the dislocation of the existing tenants.

With all of the collaborative activities going on in Fullerton, maybe somebody can collaborate on some help for the residents at 504 W. Amerige Ave.

30 Replies to “O! The Bitter Irony! Will FIES Create Homeless People?”

  1. I appreciate what FIES does for the homeless, but they really need to be careful in situations like this. It’s easy for do-gooders to overstep their bounds and walk all over the little guy along the way.

    The fact that they get loads of government money makes this a bit more alarming. I believe that might put thier property acquisitions under a whole new set of rules.

    In my wee libertarian mind, a church taking government money is akin to making a deal with the devil. The faithful should be wary.

  2. Do-gooders are always over-stepping their bounds, because for them the “mission” supercedes all else – even the lives of people who don’t fall withing their particular catchment net.

    Good luck to the folks at 304 Amerige! I wonder if they realize there is a whole c
    Collaborative out there behind their displacement!

  3. It sounds like someone at FIES screwed up but doesn’t want to admit it.

    Pretty much every church in Fullerton contributes to this cause. FIES ought to clear up this issue quickly before the donors find out.

  4. collaborate on this, “mission suprecedes all else” reminds me of the end justifies the means also known as fascism. the collective good achieved by the collaborative elite supercedes common decency in good ole fullerton.

  5. redux, the perceived collective good by the collaborative elite supercedes common decency. FIEs is indulging in moral relativism. If a person or agency has the power usually from government, then it may break the rules and force others to live by their rules. In sum, FIES may have good intentions but is unethical in its conduct.

  6. First of all NO eviction notices were given from landlord a 60 day notice of termination of tenancy was. speaking for myself i am in good standing as i beleive the other tenats are as well. The only connection to this property i have to FIES is in the form of a letter from our landlord attached to the 60 day notice that FIES had purchased the property from him. Is it true? does it matter? What matters over everything else on this subject is Weather if in fact FIES or any other 501 c3 non-profit Organization who are subsidzed with Tax payer dollars are following the policies and procedures in the pursuit and aquirng real property? in this case from a multi-tenant occupied purchase. Code of federal Regulations “CFR” found in Title 49:Transportation PART 24 This is and has always been the only interest in this situation. That if laws exsist over these types of tranactions/buisness dealings and if it is fact. and applies. So please check all the personnal attacks at the door. Because it is the law that superseeds all and is that so hard to ask for honest questions to get honest answers. Why go throgh any of this if theirs name calling. tenants just need be able to excersize their rights only if they apply which takes some education on there part asking questions is part of knowing because there are laws and protections on the books for everybody landlord and tenant and they are broad. So please refrain from the hostile tone and discuss a more serious aspect of law and look at the law based on the facts if it applies and is available. thank you

    1. I read this post and there’s no name calling – just pointing out the irony of FIES puting people out of their homes and an admonition that they will do the right thing by you.

      When you find out all about your right why don’t you check back with us.

    2. tenant you seem to be confusing blog with a legal aid society. Anyway, good luck. Hope you and your neighbors find a nice place to live – who ever is responsible for you eviction.

  7. I’ll be calling FIES on Monday morning and they can tell me whether we’ve been hasty giving credence to this individual’s landlord. I will do an update with what I learn.

  8. Thank you! I know on this site that there has been no name calling and thank you! There are other local blogs with talk about the “Irony” story where there have been. And i just would hope that they dont show up here. Only a constructive healthy debate pertaining to the laws of this country or state if it applies. So if anybody knows this area of law please advise. Speaking for myself while I muster the resources for re-location part of that is to study our laws. Thats all. And thank you for all your thoughtful comments.

  9. And to answer the Wha? comment. I agree that there would be “Irony” if the letter i received from my landlord pans out to be true. FIES are our next door neighbors. And yes because of their MISSION STATEMENT it would in fact be “Irony” if FIES has been pursuing any interest with our landlord or any occupied building. FIES should have the current occupants/tenants futures as part of their plans shoul it put the occupied tenants in jepordy, wheather they proceed with aquisistion or not! Once they sit down with the current property owner and start to negotiate. Any current tenants fate should be on the table, that way occupants may have a heads up earlier on. and could prepare better. I could add more then “Irony” hows about “Unneighborly” If this is true. The “Irony” the people will decide. I hope this answers your comment. I can not let emotions go to far as i said it is the application of law and yes legal aid is looking into the matter. thank you

  10. Sadly, your article O” The Bitter Irony! Will FIES Create Homeless People? recently posted on your website has all of the facts wrong with regard to this particular situation. I am a life-long resident of Fullerton and my family has helped develop Fullerton housing since 1938. I personally have known and gone through Fullerton schools with the landlord you have targeted who by the way is not FIES and I can tell you he has served to his tenants a Notice to Terminate Tenancy and has done so according to the legal California requirements for “month-to-month” renters who have occupied a unit for over one year. All California tenant rules have been strictly adhered to with the serving of this notice and he has made every kind and thoughtful contact between himself and his tenants to that end in the months prior to serving official notice. He has not given these tenants what you call an “eviction” notice.

    My friend and the landlord of this property is a 70-year-old man who finds it necessary to sell his rental property because of health issues – a property that has been owned and personally managed by him or his family in Fullerton for over 60 years. In fact, he cares so much about our community that he is gifting a substantial amount of the cost of the land to a major charity in town.

    I also know that he has always maintained this property at low rental rates and worked with many tenants through financial difficulties. It should also be noted that the tenant you mention with children and an infant has already located and will be moving shortly to a wonderful new affordable apartment with amenities that are extremely beneficial to them as a family. Another tenant who has lived alone since her husband died now has the impetus to reconnect with family back east and will be also moving shortly.

    It is hard enough on this man to let go of a property that has so many personal memories, but your website’s misinformed article and egregious comments are only serving to make matters worse for him. I believe it is still legal and morally correct for a landowner to sell or partially gift his personal property to anyone and at any time, most especially when deemed necessary for their own well-being. And also legally and morally correct for a buyer to decide what they will do when they acquire the property.

    Shouldn’t the Friends of Fullerton’s Future be supporting a landlord who has offered affordable housing to so many people and paid Fullerton property taxes and maintained a Fullerton Business License over all of these years? Unlike tenants, he has not just paid Federal and California State income taxes that do not always go directly toward the benefit of the city of Fullerton.

    It should also be a moral obligation for a journalist or an advocacy group/website such as yourselves to get their facts correct before passing information on to the public for comment.

    Cheri Jewett Brenner

    1. Ms. Brenner, while I appreciate your loyalty to your friend I have to ask: DID YOU EVEN READ THE POST?

      The landlord is only mentioned peripherally as having related (according to our source) that he was selling to his property to FIES and he was giving notice to the tenants on the property. NOBODY accused him of anything, certainly not illegal actions with regard to his tenants, or even any sort of ethical failure.

      The post was about FIES and the consequences of their actions if they were, as we were informed, acquiring the property; and the irony contained therein.

      By the way, Ms. Brenner, you said: “In fact, he cares so much about our community that he is gifting a substantial amount of the cost of the land to a major charity in town.” Can you share the name of the charity who is being gifted? Thanks.

    2. “Unlike tenants, he has not just paid Federal and California State income taxes that do not always go directly toward the benefit of the city of Fullerton.”

      Ms. Brenner, your classist prejudices really don’t make you out to be the picture of the humanitarian volunteer you have the poor taste to brag in print about being.

      It does little good to attack the long-term renters with elitist assumptions stated as fact. They seem the bystanders in this situation. How do you know they don’t also work and/or operate businesses in Fullerton, or that your euphemistic idea of an “impetus” to move isn’t someone else’s hardship in the midst of this deep recession? And where exactly do you think these pleb tenants eat, shop, bank, and do all their other day-to-day business?

      One hopes that you try in the future not to dehumanize folks you profess to help.

      1. “I am a life-long resident of Fullerton and my family has helped develop Fullerton housing since 1938”

        Perhaps I misunderstood and you were not talking about affordable housing or your own charitable works.

        My apologies in advance for accusing you of bragging if you were boasting about the donations that your friend has made to charity, and not your own accomplishments.

    3. Cheri, please explain what you mean by “your article…..has all of the facts wrong with regard to this particular situation”?

    4. If I received a 60 day notice to terminate my tenancy, I equate that to mean: get out, move away, we don’t want you here anymore, scram, high-tail it to some where else, evict, take a hike, get the picture.

  11. I agree Cheri that a 60 day notice was given and i have said so all along and never has a eviction notice given. And never mentioned to the administration of this blogsite, this “Irony” story is not myine. my asking a few questions about laws to educate myself may have been. They worded and put this story together on there own. It is shameful for you to be so bias your friend is in business. I have been a loyal and good tenant and understand the issues that have fallen on my landlord with his health so don’t bring that up again I would and have been a tenant who does send get well cards. This is a business His! And in our dealings however peacefull and respectable has always been treated as a business. We all have personnal issues maybe our own health or we maybe support another family in town and we are strapped in this economy whatever. It is a non-issue and this should not be a personal one. His ownership to a handed down property and all the good he does is great, Very great in fact. But that is not the issue the issue. It is the Law and i find it very insulting for you to compare his life to those who support his life. Or maybe even lifestyle, Why? Their has never been a bad word spoke of about our landlord. The Issue of caring is a dead one. Researching the laws is somehow wrong? I have never said his notice was invalid by all intentional purposes it is valid. Is it ok with you if I check if other aspects of law have been adheard too? To Insult a tenants right to check the laws pertaining to a letter he chose to write and deliver connecting the FIES organization has only added some questions in my low intellect worthless mind is that ok i choose to research that area with you If i knew you would i have to ask for permission. My landlord wrote the letter so ask him why. The FIES does remarkable work and have never questioned that only the letter not written from me stems some “Irony” because if its true and their are laws that something was missed then what is the problem to address them. The gall for a lowley tenant to exersize his rights to educate himself. I did not write this blog. Check who you make insult too and get off the high horse because somebody who isn’t your freind decides to check the laws. Amazing!

  12. Cheri, Your remark that the landlord has made every kind and thoughtfull contact between himself and his tenants to that end in the months prior to giving official notice. Did he tell you that. Well not to this tenant to the contrary in fact on June 26 he had a meeting with me and he told me he “had sold” the property to nice people and that nothing would change except where we would be mailing our rent checks his turnover date would be around august 15, thats the only knowledge i ever have been givin. But It doesn’t matter anyway per law he said i said. he didn’t have to give me a heads up. Though I would of liked the better notice then what bull he told you and the one he gave me on june 26. But to talk about what you dont know is again bias the only indication was the 60 days notice and he can do that. No question about that. But dont give me this heartfelt bias lie. And to go back to your glowing statements about taxpayers and “unlike tenants” remark. Why? Trash tenants who make up the fabric in so many ways and provide income in so many peoples investments. Think about that general statement and hope to many renters dont here it Cheri that takes some nerve. What do you know about me? I pay taxes and maybe have a business that pays taxes too? You are way off subject. For you to sit up there and bias and insult the very people who make it so landlords are able operate their businesses to pay taxes by renting their properties for sooo many years and by tenants who pay with their taxable income is yet another general insult and very elite. Where is your respect is that what landlords, the pedistal they are on and think of their tenants. give us all a break and quit getting off she subject. My research on this matter has never been personal or about our dear landlord cheri I didn’t blog the “Irony” story. So refrain.

  13. “Tenants of the six units within the two homes will be given help, if needed, to relocate.”

    ~ From the Sep. 13 issue of the Fullerton Observer – http://www.fullertonobserver.com – pgs. 1 & 9 (not 8 as indicated).

    I wonder what kind of help they’re offering tenant.

  14. Nobody has contacted me from the FIES Organization at the time of this posting. I did after reading the latest Ad in The Observer excuse me article contact FIES and left a email message on their website Attn: Pam Lee and both of my phone #s. And said sure. What does she have in mind?

  15. Well, at least this is nothing like evicting all families on 2 city blocks and sell the land for lots of $$$ to the city and build the SOCO homes, oh wait………………

  16. 1/24/2011 – FIES has just applied for a CUP to construct eight dwelling units to serve as transistional housing for the homeless on property located at 504 W. Amerige Avenue and 117 N. Richman Avenue (located on the southwest corner of Amerige Avenue and Richman Avenue).

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