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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Bonin Serves up MTA Bus Yard in Venice — Now 5 New Homeless Facilities Pending; Nothing in Pacific Palisades or Brentwood

By Chris Wrede

Mike Bonin continued his war on working families in Venice today with a proposal calling for the installation of a sprawling homeless shelter at the 3.5-acre MTA Bus Yard on Sunset between Main and Pacific. LA Times Article.

The housing projects and shelters in the pipeline for Venice now include the following:

1. Bonin’s Sprawling Shelter on the 3.5-acre MTA Bus Yard on Main Street.

2. The Monster on the Venice Median with 140 units, two vertical parking structures and no open space on the 2.8-acre Venice Boulevard Median, a block off the beach between Pacific and Dell.

3. The Thatcher Yard project on a 2-acre lot a block off the Marina Green in the strictly residential Oxford Triangle.

4. The Venice Community Housing Corporation’s Rose Apartments on poor Rose Avenue (which already has the massive St. Joseph’s Center and one of the largest permanent encampments outside of Skid Row), which will traverse two lots, exceed the height limits in the Venice Specific Plan by 20 feet, with no parking for 30-plus units.

5. 102 Navy Street where the Venice Community Housing Corporation — one of the most rapacious developers in the history of Venice — has reportedly accepted $500,000 from the Santa Monica City Council to provide housing for Santa Monica homeless in Venice.  SMDP (Santa Monica Daily Press) article.

Also, Bonin has opened restrooms on Ocean Front Walk 24/7 despite the Venice Beach Curfew and is planning (to use his words) a “system of portable public restrooms” on sidewalks and other public rights of way throughout Venice.

And,Will Hawkins of the Venice Neighborhood Council is pushing three motions calling for “Safe Parking in Residential Driveways,” “Safe Camping” and “Adopt-a-Tent” programs that would provide financial compensation from the City to Venice residents who allow homeless to park in their driveways and camp on their sidewalks and in their backyards.

No shelters, housing projects, bathrooms or camping initiatives are planned in Pacific Palisades or Brentwood.

You can’t make this stuff up. It is really happening.

Fight Back Venice and its partners in Venice United are continuing to organize and mobilize. Please register  with us to keep up to date and find out how you can help Fight Back for fair treatment.

Comments (15)

  1. Anonymous

    Billy, poor is poor – These folks are drunk, drugged and/or crazy. That is what makes them “poor.” Once again, anyone who opposes the crap that is going on in Venice either hates the “poor” or is a “racist” for not wanting a dangerous and possibly contagious population of “travelers” living at their door steps. What the eff is wrong with you???

    • Billy Bathgate

      Nothing wrong with me but there is definitely something wrong with all of you who do nothing but complain 24/7 about the homeless and then oppose every move to get them housed so they won’t be homeless anymore. Iflily white Brentwood or Pacific Palisades is your idea of an ideal community MOVE THERE ! Bottom line is what this really all about is people like you moving to a diverse neighborhood and then wanting to sanitize it because you don’t like diversity. Brentwood and Pacific Palisades already exist. Pack your bags and move there! This is Venice. Stop trying to change it into something it isn’t. This is a diverse community where everybody is welcome. If you have a problem with that then get the f out.

  2. Publius

    The community is still waiting for Hollie, and other women, some who promote themselves endlessly here, and other Committee members, to respond to serious, and continuing abuses, they are very aware of…
    …meanwhile Will Hawkins distracts with the usual nonsense, a good water boy for those he chooses to amble up next to, and publically support…

    …and refuses not only meaningful response, but any response or slight interest, in investigating what he’s promoting.

    At this point, it wouldn’t matter. His opinions mean as much as his proposals: nada

  3. Publius

    Hawkins an incompetent show-boat.
    Many neighbors not asking for money have attended those useless meetings, only to face the hopelessness he presents, and represents.

    Will Hawkins is a digital marketer who appreciates the psychological marketing and constant media of the abusers & racketeers he supports in endless foto-ops. Another newcomer publicizing himself, sucking up to the big money, and promoting himself.

    He’s been taken to task by Regina Weller, after hogging credit inappropriately, in the weeks after the community lost Chaplain Weller, and the church forever.

    Hawkins is an empty suit.

    • Will

      One cannot compare the work done by a faith-based group working full time with city funds with a bunch of elected volunteers working part time with community donations. The work done by the Venice Homeless Committee is unprecedented and has gone well beyond its duties to this community in housing the unhoused. Those who hide behind anonymous usernames and criticize from a distance are the ones who are empty and bring nothing to the table.

      ..homeless committee has Only one agenda..to end homelessness.

      And the homeless committee’s reunification program has done just that. For thenlastv18 months we’ve reduced homelessness by helping people off the streets and back home to their families. Since it was created in fall of 2016 over 40 people have been housed by our volunteer, donation based program that hasn’t cost the tax payers one single dime and in the process has saved the city millions in costs for services and housing.

      Compare that to the numbers of local organizations like SPY and St Joseph who get millions in funding. And there isn’t other neighborhood council in the city has done 1/8 of what we’ve accomplished in reducing homelessness. Our little volunteer reunification campaign is now up for approval for the first ever in th nation city wide family reunification program. That’s your local government at work.

      • Publius

        not gonna read your press release for yourself Hawkins; it’s a calculated distraction, responds to nothing; you’ve intentionally missed opportunities to observe what others have now had to multiply document, and that documentation is as stunning as your WILLful (ignorance) Hawkins.
        You and do not merit a response to your press release and excuses for dropping a ball, and enabling horrors you could have prevented; instead of being a self promoting water boy.

        Back in where you came from; they’d kill 100% of what you’ve already co-signed publically.

  4. Will

    Chris attacks me and the homeless committee. Take everything he says with a grain of salt and do your own research to find the truth in what’s happening here in our community. He and his group are not a trusted resource for facts and manipulate them to push their agenda. After showing up to disrupt the last Homeless Committee Meeting Chris now continues his war on facts to undermine innovative and effective programs that would help reduce homelessness and clean up our sidewalks.

    There are a lot of people on both sides of this issue manipulating the facts for their own agenda. And all of them are asking you for money. Please go get your facts from reliable sources and educate yourself on what causes homelessness and what the many solutions that can solve it are. There are many people who have jobs and families who are homeless as well as seniors and people who suffer from mental illness and physical disabilities. I believe we have a moral obligation to serve those who are most vulnerable and provide help for those who need it and want it. I also believe that the city has a responsibility to stakeholders and business owners to create a safe and clean environment to raise families and support commerce. As an elected official I have to find a way to serve both. The homeless committee is your volunteer elected body that serves the entire community and has only one agenda…to find ways to reduce homelessness.

    Our next meeting is Monday June 4th at the Venice Public Library at 6pm. I invite the community to come down and find out for themselves what we propose to solve these issues and get involved as the committee discusses motions that we feel will make a positive difference. Safe Camping, Adopt-a-Tent and Residential Safe Parking are a few of the motions that will be on the agenda.

    And Chris…if you decide to show up to another meeting I would respectfully ask that you follow the rules and procedures of public meetings. As an experienced attorney I would expect that you would know better than to be as disruptive as you were at last months meeting.


    • What are you talking about, Will? As to your Homeless Committee, my article states the following — and only the following:

      “And Will Hawkins of the Venice Neighborhood Council is pushing three motions calling for “Safe Parking in Residential Driveways,” “Safe Camping” and “Adopt-a-Tent” programs that would provide financial compensation from the City to Venice residents who allow homeless to park in their driveways and camp on their sidewalks and in their backyards.”

      Then, in the very post in which you accuse me of being a liar, you admit:

      “Safe Camping, Adopt-a-Tent and Residential Safe Parking are a few of the motions that will be on the agenda” at the next meeting of your Committee.

      Your public assertion that I am spreading “misinformation with the intent to create fear amongst neighbors to raise money for his organization” is false. You should retract it.

      • Anonymous

        You misrepresent what the motions are Chris. None of them offer anyone compensation for sidewalk camping and it’s not meant to be executed in front of people’s homes. That’s not what the motion is about at all. And all of these motions work towards reducing the number of people living on the street and will create a bridge to housing for qualified people. The motions are posted on the VNC website for anyone who wants to read them.

        All we’re trying to do is reduce homelessness any way we can. We have to think out of the box to solve this problem.

        • Anonymous

          Above post is from Will Hawkins. Not sure why it posted anonymously.

        • Will, your “Adopt-a-Tent” Motion states: “Therefore we ask that the city create a pilot program that financially assists homeowners who allow homeless individuals to set up tents in backyards ….”

          And your “RV Camping in Residential Driveways” Motion states: “Therefore we ask that the city create a pilot program that financially assists homeowners who allow homeless individuals to park in their driveways …”

          I acknowledge that, unlike your “Adopt-a-Tent” Program and “RVs in Residential Driveways” Program, your “Safe Camping” Program does not provide financial compensation directly to homeowners because it applies to sidewalk camping throughout Venice, and not just in front of people’s homes, but the formal legitimization of sidewalk camping your propose Venice-wide would be even more disastrous than your other plans.


          Through misguided motions “Adopt-a-Tent,” “RVs in Residential Driveways,” and “Safe Camping,” you are accelerating Venice’s irreversible transformation into Skid Row West — the designated homeless hub for the entire Westside — and every day we are getting closer to the point of no return.

          The Venice Homeless Committee is yet another tool for Bonin to use in advancing his disastrous containment policy at the expense of our community. I am not sure if you are deliberately aiding him, but regardless, you should disband.

          • Will

            Chris, I do understand that you and other residents are frustrated. I am too, which is why I ran for a seat on the VNC so I could try to do something about it.

            The issue I have with you is that you misrepresent exaggerate and conflate facts to serve the purpose of raising money to promote your agenda and aggressively shut down any reasonable solution to reduce homelessness. And you do that by purposefully by creating fear in the hearts and minds of nervous residents who fail to seek out the facts themselves.

            The sad part is that given how bad things are you don’t need to exaggerate anything to get your point across. But when you do misrepresent the facts all you do is undermine the trust that anyone can have in your message. And that’s where you lose me.

            I have one agenda….to find innovative, creative and effective ways to reduce homelessness in Venice. And over the last two years this Venice Homeless Committee that you want to disband has reduced homelessness in Venice by 40+ souls at no expense to the city or her taxpaying citizens. That is a documented and irrefutable fact and there isn’t another neighborhood council or homeless committee in all of Los Angeles that can say that they’ve done what we’ve done. It’s not our job to do any of that…yet we do. For no cost to you or the city. And you’ve gotta a problem with that?

            I’m a volunteer and don’t get paid for this work. In no way do I profit off of it and since taking office I’ve donated hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to specifically reduce homelessness. And that work has helped do just that. The latest homeless count shows a 18% reduction over the last year.

            It’s impossible to please everyone, but given my personality I do try. And because I approach my work in the community with hard work, integrity and transparency I have no issues looking at myself in the mirror and I sleep soundly at night.

            It’s a shame you can’t see past your anger and frustration to see the solutions that are available to us right now. But maybe I didn’t communicate myself well enough…so moving forward I will try to be better at explaining myself and the solutions that I see as answers for this problem better. I’m only two years into serving Venice as an elected official and I’m learning as I go. Thanks everyone who has been so generous in your support. I’m also aiming to do better.

  5. john ryan

    I did not vote for Bonin or Rosendahl. Unfortunately I live in a community that now realizes what happens when you support a socialist

  6. Billy Bathgate

    Yo Chris, Why don’t you move to Brentwood or Pacific Palisades yourself if you find it so offensive to have to live in the same neighborhood as people who are poor ? You’re obviously not happy here so why stay ? It makes no sense.

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