As an organization a lot of what we do is fueled by the concept of social justice. Therefore, it’s important that people know what that is. The following is an explanation of the concept:
Social justice embodies the vision of a society that is equitable and in which all members are physically and psychologically safe.* Social justice also demands that all people have a right to basic human dignity and to have their basic economic needs met. Our commitment to social justice recognizes that health is affected by a host of social factors. It is not possible to address trauma and violence without also wrestling with poverty, racism, sexism, classism, homophobia and all other forms of stigma. Because of this, we cannot ignore deep seated inequalities as we seek answers to problems like violence and trauma. Rather, we must struggle with these problems clearly and honestly.**
*From: Barry S. Levy and Victor Sidel. The nature of social injustice and its impact on public health, p.8. In: Social Injustice and Public Health, Barry S. Levy and Victor Sidel, editors. Oxford Press, 2006, 529 pp.
We at Dorothy’s Place and the Chinatown Health Services Center are committed to the practice of social justice, starting in our neighborhood, Salinas’ Chinatown, where Dorothy’s Place serves the poor, the traumatized, the chronically homeless.
Although we see tremendous poverty and debilitating unmet health needs everyday in Chinatown, over the last few years, we have come to serve far more than those who live in our home neighborhood (who number between 60-150). In the 12 months preceding June 30, 2018, our Drop-In Center alone served 1,183 individuals, far more than in our immediate neighborhood, and evidence that more than a thousand people annually make their way to Dorothy’s Place and the Chinatown Health Services Center for extraordinary assistance.
Salinas’ Chinatown is in a period of carefully planned growth. The introduction of two major low income housing projects will facilitate change in an area that has been stagnant for decades. We welcome the change, believing it to be in the best interest of those we serve, but if the landscape changes, we must change our method of service.
We look forward to being both the constant and reliable facility to fulfill basic needs and find assistance into housing, and the nimble and caring outreach team that meets our homeless neighbors where they’re at, no matter where they’re at in Monterey County.