A personal note about a former colleague: TV Guide’s Mary Murphy was honored Monday night for her work at the Midnight Mission, one of the largest and longest-running homeless facilities in the country. Also honored at the Mission’s annual gala was Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, whose series of columns on L.A.’s Skid Row focused new civic attention on the problem.
On the minds of many of those gathered at the fund-raising event, a classy affair held at the Beverly Hills Hotel (quite a juxtoposition), was Anderson Cooper’s “60 Minutes” piece about L.A. hospitals dumping patients off on Skid Row. An outdoor security camera captured Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital workers dropping off an invalid patient — he was on a gurney — to the Mission, only to be rebuffed because the facility cannot handle such cases. They later just dropped the man off on the side of the street, without his wheelchair or any means to walk.
Dick Van Dyke, who chaired a campaign to build a new facility, mentioned the story before the crowd of several hundred, which included Jackson Browne, Katey Sagal, Buzz Aldrin, Ed Begley Jr., Larry Miller, violinist Timothy Braun and pianist James Lent.
WireImage Photo: Mary Murphy and Dick Van Dyke.