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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Letter to Editor — Concerned about VHS Pool Use for Homeless Showers

By Loren Irgrossman

In response to Amy Alcon’s note in today’s Venice Update, I am concerned that last week’s Update’s listing of services available for the homeless, created by the MVCC (Mar Vista Community Council) Homeless subcommittee earlier this year, included the resource of taking a shower at the Venice Senior High School pool for $1, except on Mondays.

Students use the pool for their swimming physical education classes Monday through Friday from 8a to 4.30p for 180 school days of the year, and after school, depending on the season, there will be Novice Swim Team, Novice Synchronized Swim Team, Novice Water Polo, Novice Springboard Diving, Lifeguard Training ProgramJunior Lifeguard Training Program, Water Safety Instructor Course, Swim Lessons – Group, Private, Semi-private, and Adaptive, Adult Water Polo, Water Exercise, and Adult Lap Swimming. 

As a former parent of students on the Venice swim team for 6 years, I can attest to the unsanitary conditions at the pool for students, faculty, and observers, as well as the homeless. The locker room/bathroom(s) are always flooded, doors may be missing from toilet stalls, there may not be any toilet paper/paper towels/soap, etc. The air circulation system, for the indoor chlorinated pool, is frequently faulty. All of which adds up to an environment ripe for the spread of Hepatitis A and Legionnaires’ Disease. And how about the efficacy of advocating having homeless adults mixing it up with high school students?

LAUSD is spending $150 million to modernize Venice High, but that does not include doing anything to modernize the pool. Rec and Parks has offered a bit over $2 million toward consideration of overhauling the pool. LAUSD has offered nothing. If the pool were to be rebuilt to Olympic standards, then we would have the only pool on the Westside of LA where we could train student athletes and participate in the 2028 Olympics.

The homeless require safe housing and supportive services. Children in Venice and Mar Vista deserve a safe swimming pool for their public physical education and afterschool sports. And residents of West Los Angeles, with limited park space, who cannot afford their own pools, deserve a safe place to swim that they can be proud of.

Please do not continue to [perhaps inadvertently] recommend that the Venice pool be used for showers for the homeless.

Many thanks,

LR Grossman

East Venice

Comment (1)

  1. Nick Antonicello

    I guess the next step will be to let them encamp at the high school or just let them sleep in the gym or the classrooms too!

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