NEW TIMES: How is Prado Day Center faring in these tough economic times?
MAYOR: Due to the economy, we have yet to reach our goal for operating expenses during a normal year, and because we’ve been seeing more people our expenses have gone much higher.
NEW TIMES: What does Prado Day Center need?
MAYOR: Cash donations are truly a blessing simply because they greatly assist with our operating expenses, but aside from that we’re asking for lightly used sleeping bags and healthy food products for our breakfast program.
NEW TIMES: Have you seen many new people lately?
MAYOR: Often it’s just people who’re experiencing some hiccups in their lives—people who are community members and help keep the economy going but just aren’t able to keep a roof over their heads. These are people that, once they get back on their feet, come back to Prado Day Center and express their gratitude by volunteering themselves.
NEW TIMES: What’s the message Prado Day Center is sending to the community?
MAYOR: We’re just letting everyone know that we understand that times are tight but we just ask for their reconsideration in deciding not to give donations. The sky isn’t falling but we’re all trying very hard and we appreciate it when folks reach out and help a little bit.
NEW TIMES: What do you anticipate for next year?
MAYOR: We’re optimistic that 2009 can be hopeful and better for everyone—including the homeless—in SLO County. And it takes us as a community to come together and help out to make that happen.