web analytics

Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Bonin, Sobel, Ordundo, Shannon on Panel to Discuss Homelessness

Carol Sobel, advocate and attorney for the homeless; Councilman Mike Bonin; Alisa Ordundo, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Homelessness Policy Director; and Susan Shannon, of Department of Public Social Services.

Note: This reporter had no intention of covering the panel discussion. Just wanted to attend and listen. Ended up taking notes to pass along.

The four comprised a panel discussing homelessness and what to do about it at a local Democratic club.

Carol Sobel, advocate and attorney for the homeless, said she tried to prevent confiscation of private property and criminalization of homelessness.

Regarding funding, it was stated that the Governor did not want to declare a state of emergency, county wanted a millionaire’s tax, and the city wanted a fee on developers and a bond on the November ballot.

Councilman Mike Bonin, who was lauded as the councilman spearheading help for the homeless, mentioned that two of the eight City lots identified for sale or development were in Venice. He said the City will provide the land and the county will provide the services. The City plans to either build on the City property or sell and build elsewhere.

Susan Shannon mentioned “Brilliant Corners” which finds places for individuals and guarantees to landlords that the apartment will be in present shape when vacated, provides supportive services to tenant, and is paid for by vouchers. Another program she mentioned was the “Master Lease” which takes over a building and fills it with homeless and provides them services.

Councilman Mike Bonin mentioned the “Safe Parking” program as one of the new programs he is proposing. He wants to designate commercial, industrial properties as a safe place for motor homes amd people who live in cars to park during certain hours. This will last one year until safe parking areas are identified, such as parking lots in church lots, empty parking lots, etc. Bonin said there were 4600 in vehicles in Los Angeles. The ordinance is to be considered this week. See LA Times story http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-homeless-car-ban-20160623-snap-story.html

One of the panelists mentioned that it saves the city $25 to 35K per year when a homeless person is put in permanent supportive housing. Someone mentioned that the Veterans Administration is finally helping to reduce the number of veterans on the street.

The plan is to house people first and then give them services. This was tried as Project 50 and was successful. There is also a plan to place those with animals. Right now it is hard to find places for people with drug or alcohol problems or with an animal.

Someone brought up the situation with Manchester Square where approximately 100 motor homes will be displaced when work starts on the LAX project. All agreed this was a problem because these people had established community and finding places for them would not be easy.

All panelists agreed that every method needed to be tried, not just one.

All panelists agreed that homelessness is a situation, not an identity.

All panelists also agreed that now was the time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.