Social worker to head Project Safety Net | April 13, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - April 13, 2012

Social worker to head Project Safety Net

Llerena hopes to move from focus on 'deficits' to 'wellness' theme

by Chris Kenrick

A veteran social worker has been hired to run Project Safety Net, Palo Alto's youth mental health coalition formed in the wake of a devastating series of local student deaths by suicide in 2009 and 2010.

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Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be emailed at


Like this comment
Posted by Sheri
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm

How about using some of that Stanford public benefit money to fund the Animal Shelter, especially as it benefits Stanford residents? Not to sound anti-youth, but there are also other services this town needs and values.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Apart from the obvious question of whether we can afford another City employee, I would like to know exactly what she will be doing? Will she have an office, and an assistant, and a budget? Will she be doing things that are presently done by qualified volunteers for a great deal more expense? Will she be working hand in glove with some of our existing youth organizations, the Y, Boys and Girls Scouts, our high schools, our church youth groups, etc. etc.?

While I like the idea of having a full time youth advocate in Palo Alto, I am wary of this announcement. Unless we know what exactly she will be asked to do, I can't see this than anything more than fluff. I give her a year to prove her worth. After that, she is just another City Hall employee.

Like this comment
Posted by I agree
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Yes, what will be her job description?

Like this comment
Posted by Fed up
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Looks like a lot of money was there to burn, with Stanford having chipped in.

Consider it like a government purchase, for instance, where $10 hammers cost $1,000 in government money, and are rarely, if ever, used. The budget for that department is kept high, for future years.
City Hall is happy.

Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Apr 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm

These comments are stunning. Do you really think that this is a waste of money? A sad number of young people have committed suicide in Palo Alto. God forbid there's another tragedy in another family.

If Ms. Lierena's outreach prevents one more suicide, we should be thankful.

Perhaps it's time for the citizens, and this newspaper, to ask: What kind of community has Palo Alto become?

Like this comment
Posted by Bruce J
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 12, 2012 at 7:56 am

A huge THANKS to Rob de G and Amy D for their significant efforts on PSN over the past few years. They stepped in our time of need and did some amazing work.

Like this comment
Posted by WELCOME and Thank You
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2012 at 10:50 am

Welcome, welcome Ms. Llerena! Thank you for saying yes to Palo Alto's call and sharing your skills with our community. There is still important and helpful work to be done. Thank you to the City Council for allocating a portion of the Stanford's public benefit dollars to the overall effort of Project Safety net and youth wellbeing in PA.

Dear Resident, I agree, & Fed Up... speaking of effort, a quick (and free!) google search for details and a job description would have provided you with this up-front link and answers to a number of your questions: Web Link

Hard work? Needed? Qualified? Well thought through? Paid for? - yes. Fluff? - no.

Still wary, questioning or disgruntled (respectively)? Check it out for yourselves - get involved or come to a meeting. Then, please post.

Like this comment
Posted by Fed up
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 12, 2012 at 11:40 am

@Welcome: City workers often begin their work with good intentions. But something about Palo Alto City hall discourages people with good intentions. It cripples their efforts.

Remember the "anonymous employee hotline" to report co-workers? That did not happen in a vaccuum.

Palo Alto is a twisted system that rewards the incompetent & those towing the line, underachievers, just waiting for retirement.

But thanks for the web link - you went the extra mile, and your attitude is good. You are obviously not a city employee.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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