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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Jones Settlement Talley, Citywide Homeless Reunification Office Featured at Homeless Committee

Venetians who attended the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) Homeless Committee meeting Monday night at the Venice Public Library.

By Angela McGregor

The Monday evening meeting of the VNC’s Homeless Committee opened with a presentation by Taylor Bazley from Mike Bonin’s office on Mayor Garcetti’s Homeless Shelter Initiative, dubbed “A Bridge Home”.

This proposal would incentivize neighborhoods to create emergency shelters on vacant city parcels. These 24/7, year-round shelters would facilitate the homeless in getting off the streets by offering them services and entering them into the Coordinated Entry System (CES). The incentive would be extra sanitation dollars in an amount Bazley stated could be “transformative”. A future meeting will be held in order to gather input as to possible locations for such a program in Venice.

Beginning of Bazley’s talk was not recorded. New camera.

The first motion of the evening was a statement of support for a council file titled “Family Reunification through Service Providers”, which would create a citywide program based on Venice’s pilot program, which last year reunited 30 homeless individuals with supportive family members. This motion passed, 8-0, and will move onto the VNC Board for final approval.

The second motion was a letter in support of the West LA Veteran’s Administration Master Plan to provide housing for homeless vets on their campus. The letter includes the following: “The West L.A. campus of the Veterans’ Association was donated specially to serve the veterans who are now living on the street…If all 5,000 beds that the facility was designed to hold were to be made available we would be able to house and care for almost every homeless veteran on the streets of Los Angeles County. It is imperative that we immediately fund and execute this reclamation project and serve each and every veteran that seeks help and assistance.” This measure also passed unanimously.

The final three motions on the agenda all began with the phrase, “Whereas the City of Los Angeles has been handcuffed by the terms of the Jones Settlement to enforce laws that provide safe, clean and clear sidewalks for residents, businesses, and visitors.”

Committee Chairman Will Hawkins explained to the attendees that, in 2005, the City came to an agreement — titled the Jones Settlement — with attorney Carol Sobel which mandated that the City not enforce LAMC 41.18(d) (no sleeping, sitting or camping on sidewalks) between the hours of 9 pm and 6 am until the City had created 1250 units of Permanent Supportive Housing, at least half of which were to be in the greater downtown area. (the full settlement can be viewed here: http://wetnostril.homestead.com/JonesSettlement.html).

In the intervening 13 years, the City has not provided an update on how many units have been constructed or if the terms of the Settlement have been met. In addition, the lack of enforcement has manifested, in some parts of Venice, as a lack of law enforcement generally. Motion #3 on the agenda requested “updated stats and figures that show whether or not the terms of the Jones Settlement have been satisfied”. A similar motion, passed last year, was ignored by the City, but as Hawkins put it, the City needs to show “either their shameful lack of progress on this issue, or their equally shameless lack of transparency”. The motion passed, 7-1.

Motion #4 — to create a safe camping program in Venice — met with more resistance from both attendees and the Committee itself. The proposal was to allow individuals who had registered with the CES to specify and reserved spots on the sidewalk between the hours of 9 pm and 6 am, with the approval of 2/3 of homeowners on the block. Discussion centered around the liability this would create (the original language of the motion was changed to replace “neighbors” with “homeowners”, since property owners would ultimately be liability for any damages this might create), as well as the appearance of condoning sidewalk camping of any kind, which creates a mobility hazard, especially among the disabled. After much discussion, the Committee decided to table this motion until their next meeting.

Motion #5 — which would create a program whereby homeowners would allow homeless individuals to put a tent on their property — and Motion #6, which would create a program to financially subsidize homeowners who wish to allow homeless individuals to park on their properties and make use of their bathrooms — were both tabled for the next meeting due to a lack of time.

Motions 4,5, and 6 will all be considered at the next meeting.

Comments (4)

  1. Venice guy

    These bums need to be driven out of Venice and into Bonins Brentwood supporters.

  2. Alia

    A Bridge Home does not end encampments in our neighborhood, but rather makes them permanent by insisting that housing be built where encampments already are or funds will not be available at all. The homeless have been intentionally concentrated in certain areas of Los Angeles for years, kicked out of the palisades, for example, but allowed to grow in Venice. To now use this as a theoretically legitimate basis to build temporary then permanent housing is disingenuous.

    This plan attempts to make Venice residents complicit in the sacrificing of our town, so the other Los Angeles enclaves can remain pristine. Solving homelessness must be shared. Venice has always been a welcoming neighborhood, but this is really egregious.

    • Will

      There is more to this homeless issue than meets the eye and there are a lot of people who would be greatly served by a program like this.

      What you fail to mention is that there are many different kinds of people who are living on our streets. A good number of those who live in these Venice encampments have turned down the assistance that would lead them to housing. They are travelers passing through and they are the ones stealing bikes, breaking into homes and responsible for the shootings and stabbings we’ve witnessed ver the last few months. They are not registered in LAHSA’s Coordinated Entry System (CES) and are not seeking help to get off the streets. And these are not the people who would be housed in the bridge housing you mentioned.

      So who would be living in that housing. They would need to be registered in the CES program and working along with service providers and caseworkers to answer their specific needs. What you fail to mention is that there are many people who are homeless that have jobs and families that just need a little help to get back other feet. The bridge housing that you find so egregious not only helps people like this get off the street and back into permanent housing it also helps reduce the number of overall homeless. And that’s what we all should be working towards…reducing the homeless population any way we can.

      And we need to look for more creative and innovative solutions to do that. We also need to start better defining who is living on our streets and deal with each segment appropriately. Not everyone of those 38,000 counted in the LAHSA Homeless Count are truly homeless. We have a moral obligation to serve, protect and house the people who are incapable of doing that for themselves. But if you’re here to refuse services and housing and only interested in creating chaos and engage in criminal behavior then we must demand that the city and LAPD to properly enforce the laws that provide safety for everyone…both housed and unhoused deserves.

      You wanna see an end to encampments? Then we all need to come together and DEMAND that the city provides an updated report of where we stand with the housing terms of the Jones Settlement. And if we’ve met the housing threshold we need to start allowing LAPD to do their job enforcing LAMC 41.18 and keep our sidewalks clear.

      Here is a breakdown of what the Jones Settlement is…

      As far as what’s going on here in our community there are facts and there is conjecture. I suggest you find out the facts before you make such egregious statements like you have here.

  3. Stan Becker

    I attended that meeting, and appreciated meeting more neighbors, including dedicated people on the Committee. I’ve been here almost 40 years, but my personal service efforts are neither public nor political historically, tho they are particularly vast these last years due to geographical location and overwhelming conditions in every direction.

    I don’t imagine this Committee an easy job of service, but rather, a demanding one in the face of what seems to be the absence of Mike’s leadership; other than to futher empower and approve major developments here, costing ongoing unaccountable millions forever into the future, into one private owner, without public input at all, in league with ‘service providers’ that provide consistent, serial, documented danger and damage, and not the advertised and contracted PSH ‘Wrap Around Services,’ b ut rather create and enforce slumlord conditions, serial violence, while ensuring protection for stalkers, assaulters and abusers in their ‘professional’ staffing.
    This is what occured during discussions of a Motion that was tabled, against the wishes of Mr. Hawkins, until further investigation, discussion and input was considered.

    This following brief remarks ocurred along the way:

    “…excuse me William, those services are really just media;
    i mean they don’t really exist;
    and your funneling people to unaccoutable with no oversight…(sic)
    …hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate equity is privately owned by one of these ‘non profits’ and Twenty Million Dollars went to two of theses ‘non profits.’
    Theres no Oversight or Accountability. Before you recommend just putting people into a ‘”control system,” lets have some fair investigation into
    who’s controlling it and what the Billing Codes and Service Units are,
    because that’s the real game; that funds an industry that makes a fortune out of attracting the homeless here and Not,providing services, William.
    The disease is not the cure. I have to stop commenting?
    ok well thank you for this opportunity to speak.”


    “…you’re so far off it’s really sad. You’re not even close.
    (their) case managers are the most unsafe people in town;
    There’s a lot of abuses inherent in that system, William,.
    And you know about it.
    And you should come check it out, since it’s the show-case premier supportive housing…”

    Will knows of major disturbances by those he promotes, and does not follow-through or want to know, like Taylor from Mike’s office, and Linda Lucks, the VCH PR person, subsidized many years, even while holding local VNC political position. Her boss a major real estate Developer.

    Hawkins in a half-dozen or more foto-op media PR elements with these Developers and “providers.” Holding signs for Props that will funnel millions, apparently beyond his understanding, directly to highly dysfunctional, at best, St. Joseph Center senior administration for distribution.

    I’m not sure if Linda Lucks was still living in 90291 when she had that position.

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