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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Bonin Chooses MTA Lot for “Bridge Housing”

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Councilman Mike Bonin has announced the use of the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) Bus lot on Sunset between Pacific and Main to be used for the “Bridge Housing” program for CD 11.  According to David Graham-Caso, chief of staff, the announcement is official.

May 21, Update printed  a survey as asked by the Council office to what appeared to be a forthcoming announcement that MTA was the spot for “Bridge Housing.”  Today a youtube arrived as well as a few questions and answers from Mike Bonin.  Who or what establishment posed the questions in unknown if there was such.    It was also stated that the VA would be used for the second “Bridge Housing.”  Update asked that Venice be second, VA first in its reply.

Update responded with the following questions that as of publication of this article have not been answered.

Is this the announcement that the MTA lot has been selected for the homeless shelter?

Does this mean that the homeless will be removed from the beach, 3rd and all the rest of the current encampments in Venice?

Will the homeless be told  they can no longer stay any place but the MTA lot?  Will this be enforced?

Does this mean that there will be no more allowed to enter Venice to fill up the areas vacated as a result of the MTA homeless shelter?

Below is the film and the questions and answers.


Q: Why use the former bus yard?
A: The former bus yard is one of the few available locations in Venice, and in a survey conducted by Mike’s office, it was the location suggested most frequently by residents who identified a need for the program in Venice. The site, at 3.15 acres, is sizeable enough to accommodate the program while providing a buffer from nearby residences. While the site is slated for development of permanent housing, the process is expected to take approximately three years – about the length of the bridge housing program — and it is immediately available.

Q: What will it look like? How will the site be designed?
A: The design and specific layout of the temporary shelter facility will be determined through collaboration with neighbors and Venice stakeholders. During the month of June, the mayor and the councilmember will conduct public engagement efforts to reach neighbors, unsheltered people and other Venice stakeholders that will include an open house, focus groups and other outreach activities to gain a better sense of the desires of the collective community. Professionals in the field such as local designers and architects will also be consulted to help incorporate community feedback into attractive, feasible and functional design proposals that highlight the unique attributes of Venice.

While the specific design is still to be determined, Councilmember Bonin feels strongly that this shelter should resemble and reflect the Venice community in which it will located. The Councilmember is proposing to work with local artists, non-profit organizations and other Venice-based resources to create community gardens, public art and other amenities that will help the temporary shelter feel more compatible and integrated with Venice.

Q: How long will bridge housing exist at this location?
A: The City hopes to open bridge housing facilities in late 2018 or early 2019, and to have them remain open for up to three years.

Q: How do we know this will be temporary?
A: The bus yard is owned by LA Metro, which has plans for the property. Metro is going to begin community outreach for their development proposal in July, and the City’s ability to use the site will terminate when Metro’s selected developer eventually begins construction.

Q: How will the Bridge Housing operate?
A: Bridge housing is very different from emergency shelters. Unlike emergency shelters, bridge housing will be open to its residents 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. The facilities will accommodate pets, provide sufficient storage for personal belongings, and allow families and circles of friends to remain together. Bridge housing will include restrooms, showers, food, climate-controlled accommodations, storage and on-site, 24-hour security.

Through funding from Los Angeles County, bridge housing will provide onsite social wrap-around services, case management, and social workers to help find and prepare to transition into long-term housing for residents. 

The goal of the program is to help facilitate the transition of people into housing swiftly, with an intention of having people stay in the bridge housing for no more than 90 days at a time.

Councilmember Bonin hopes local stakeholders and organizations will become partners to the program, offering opportunities for residents to get involved through activities such as operation of  a community garden, creative artwork, or employment and vocational skills development.

Q: Who will operate the bridge housing?
A: Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) will select a service provider and manager for the facility.

Q: Who will live at the bridge housing?
A: Outreach for the bridge housing will be focused exclusively on encampments in Venice, and only people living on the streets of Venice neighborhoods and who have connected with homeless outreach workers in Venice will be eligible to stay in the bridge housing.

Q: What will happen to encampments near the location of the bridge shelter facility once the facility is open and operational?
A: The “A Bridge Home” initiative is designed specifically to match new shelter locations with enhanced cleanup of homeless encampments. Once the shelter is operational and homeless outreach workers have had time to connect with the people living on the streets of Venice, Mayor Garcetti’s 2018-19 budget will provide for additional funds for Bureau of Sanitation teams to conduct cleanups of encampment sites, with extra focus on the sites that had previously been occupied by the new residents at the nearby temporary shelter.  The City will also seek opportunities to repurpose former encampments sites, through landscaping, art, and public activities, such as festivals and farmers’ markets.

Q: Will any other temporary shelter facilities be built in other parts of Los Angeles as part of the Bridget Home initiative?
A: Yes. The A Bridge Home initiative provides funding for 100 shelter beds in each and every council district in Los Angeles. By allowing each Council office to identify at least one shelter location, the initiative is founded in equity and a fair geographic distribution of resources.

Q: What opportunities for engagement are coming up?
A: Now that a location for the Council District 11 A Bridge Home temporary shelter has been identified, Mayor and Councilmember Bonin will convene a series of community open houses and workshops. These events will allow stakeholders to provide input on the design of the facility, as well as the programming and operations at the temporary shelter.  Make sure to sign up below to be notified when the first open house is announced. 




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