Fresh out of church and still in his Sunday best, he stops by The Lot La Jolla to pick up the remaining food from their ever-popular brunch. Then he heads around the block and delivers the meals to any homeless person he can find. Sometimes they say yes, sometimes they say no, but at least the food isn’t going to waste.
While Erbe hopes to create a volunteer infrastructure that will allow his project ParksSD to deliver meals from even more restaurants to people all over San Diego, right now the venture is just beginning. In partnership with The Lot La Jolla, ParksSD has delivered 14 meals from their brunch and taco Tuesday events.
“At the end of those events, they have a lot of leftover food,” he said. “I treat [the homeless] with a lot of respect, just try to approach them quietly and say, ‘Have you eaten yet?’”
When The Lot La Jolla originally partnered with Erbe, the agreement was to donate 20 meals a week; 10 from each of the events. However, a change in management has halted the upscale dining and entertainment club from donating anymore until their lawyers okay it.
Special events manager Rafael Duran said even though he wants to take care of any legal issues before they move forward, he appreciates what Erbe is trying to do.
“The Lot is always willing to help the community,” he said. “And this would not cost us anything because we already have it. Instead of throwing the food in the garbage, we can give it to [Erbe].”
Erbe hopes that more restaurants will sign on to donate food or the money to buy food for people living on the streets. He’s also looking for volunteers to help him distribute the meals; something he’s currently doing on his own.
“I’m just a private citizen that cares,” he said. “It’s sad. People shouldn’t be out there.”
For more information on ParksSD, its Meals for the Hungry program and Erbe’s other projects, like renovating the La Jolla Recreation Center, and advocating for more space for the Darkstar Science Fiction and Fantasy Library at UC San Diego, visit parksSD.com.