The City of Norwalk held a virtual public forum on Jan. 28 to discuss events and new programs in the community. City residents also aired grievances with the homeless situation in the city.
Norwalk Mayor Jennifer Perez and city council members welcomed everyone to discuss problems in the city.
Councilmember and Public Safety Director, Grissel Chavez, discussed actions to help improve the city.
Chavez’s department provides the service H.O.P.E (Homeless Operation Prevention and Engagement), which provides services to the less fortunate and conducts clean ups around the encampments on city, county and state property.
Chavez discussed how she is helping the homeless and advocated for the need for a Neighborhood Watch in Norwalk.
Assistant City Clerk Marissa Asistin went over several job openings in Norwalk.
“Emergency Food Assistance Program will be provided to families in need,” said Asistin.
She added that each program provided from the city will be either free or charged at a lower price. Asistin also discussed youth and family services, which will be provided to families with children ages three to thirteen.
City Councilman John Ramirez discussed community development. Petitions were made for outdoor drive-in movie events and more indoor dining restaurants for the public.
Ramirez also went over business plans for the city, including reducing parking fees and making special events less expensive. He plans on having more opportunities for people in the city by slowly and safely reopening stores.
Anonymous callers also had opinions about the topics at hand. One concerned resident asked about the homeless situation in the city.
Gabby Sorennos stated that her friend was walking by the now-abandoned Walmart in Norwalk when she was stabbed by a homeless person for refusing to give spare change.
Sorennos says that she is afraid to go out with her daughters and is worried about the city’s growing homelessness.
Chavez replied, “We are doing our best to get help for the homeless. We need to get them off the streets and into affordable housing with a detox.”
Mayor Perez added, “It is our duty to be responsible for this community that we must make it safe for each other and the children.”
Each caller appeared pleased with how the Mayor and council members assisted in helping the community of Norwalk.