Monday will mark the beginning of Venice providing storage for homeless people’s possessions, belongings so these homeless people can go to a shelter. Shelters do not allow people to go there if they have a lot of luggage, belongings. In fact, one can have only the clothes on his back and a small bag or back pack.
The storage facility will be a railroad-type storage container (pictured above) maintained by volunteers that is west of the racket ball courts at Venice Beach.
“Council office is going to provide regular street-pickup garbage containers,” said Deborah LaShever, a volunteer. “Plus I am donating a bunch of plastic containers about 20x15x24 inches for people to put their possessions into. Probably get a guitar and sleeping bag in one. There are shelves inside the storage container. We hope we can help about 80 homeless.
“There are three shelter departure times: 5, 6:15, and 7:15 pm from near Windward Circle. The three arrival times are 5:30, 6:30, and 7:15 am. We are hoping we can get volunteers for a two-hour period to accommodate those times. Shelters are only open until 1 March.”
The program sounds like part of Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s program to transition people off the street that he spoke of in September 2010. This program originated at the council office and is administered by Steve Clare of the Venice Community Housing Corporation. The plan is for many of the homeless to be safe in the shelters and off the streets of Venice.
“We have been trying to get places for the possessions that the homeless have for over a year now,” said Steve Clare, head of Venice Community Housing Corporation, “and now this program coincides with the Winter Shelter program which is even better.
This program even has another extra value because these people are going to be met at the shelter with case management people who will try to transition them into housing.
“People can have a shower, warm meal, and a warm bed.”
Arturo Pina of the council office said: “We have heard that some individuals do not participate in the Winter Shelter because one of the rules of the Shelter is folks can only take what they can carry. Unfortunately, if folks have more than a few belongings, they do not participate.
“Under this proposal, folks interested in attending the Winter Shelter but have quite a few personal belongings will have the opportunity to have their items stored while they visit the shelter. Once folks arrive at the shelter, they will be greeted by case managers who will work to transition folks into services and/or housing.”
If you would like to volunteer, call Deborah LaShever at 310-396-3044 or Barbara Milliken, coordinator for Venice Community Housing Corporation, at 310-399-4100, ext 134.