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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Kip Pardue Asks Questions Regarding Bonin’s Proposed Metro Site Use for Bridge Housing

Councilman Mike Bonin will be addressing Venice residents and answering questions regarding his proposal to use the Metro Site for “Bridge Housing” Wednesday, 6 to 8 pm at Westminster Elementary School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Below are the questions Kip Pardue, who lives in the Venice Median where affordable/PSH housing is proposed, has provided.

– Will you GUARANTEE that this will end all street encampments in Venice?

– I think the City should SELL THE METRO YARD with CONDITIONS that allow the City to maintain the property as bridge housing for 3 years. After 3 years, the property is deeded to the new owner who will develop it. This is a stronger guarantee of this being temporary.

– Why not do this in WLA near Bonin’s office (1645 Corinth Ave) where there is ample space as well. This would allow us to further separate those truly in need and those who are “traveling” in Venice.

– The Mayor explicitly said that council districts that provide this type of housing will receive funding for clean ups – any bridge housing in CD 11 should allow funding for street cleaning in Venice.

– Bonin has repeatedly said that this site is the “overwhelming” choice from constituents. Please allow a VOTE on this.

– It is widely believed that spreading poverty around is beneficial to all yet the city continues to consolidate homelessness and homeless services in Venice – near our schools, near our parks, near huge tourist attractions. Why?

– Why do we deserve this? Bonin has still not had one single public meeting to discuss his plans for homelessness in Venice since May of 2016. He laid out plans then and has not spoken about those plans publicly since. Everything is being pushed towards Venice and we have seen an increase in the number of homeless on our streets that is beyond compare.

– The head of the VNC committee on homelessness Will Hawkins recently helped clear up an encampment on Venice Blvd. Of the approximately 20 people he spoke with, not one was from California, not one identified as “homeless,” and not one accepted services – the same services that will be provided at this bridge housing. How does that affect your plans?

– Will Hawkins claims to have helped 40 people off the streets of Venice in the past 18 months. The Wellers reportedly housed 300 in the past 3 years, yet the number of homeless on the streets of Venice is still over 1,000 (though the recent count miraculously shows a decrease). How does that affect your plans? If people are being removed from our streets with very little, if any, change in the actual number, what are we doing wrong?

– How will the bridge housing affect vehicle dwelling? Will you guarantee that you will implement permit parking throughout Venice once this is built? Will you ban all OVO parking on the streets? Will you enforce the no sleeping in vehicles ordinance?

– You recently spent $2 million on 4 crosswalks on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista. How do you justify such spending when, as you say, there is a crisis of “life and death on our streets?”

– Why is the city just now embracing this type of housing? Clearly the PSH units would take time to build. Why are you just now reacting?

– Why should we trust you? You have NEVER shown any sign of actually cleaning up our streets. You don’t listen to Venice residents, you ignore the vast majority of stakeholders, and fail to acknowledge our concerns. Why should we as a community bear another bitter pill?

Comments (32)

  1. Regina Weller

    Billy Bathgate
    I know I should ignore your last remarks. Lol
    However: No, I don’t believe the police should be enforcing this law. I believe LAHSA, who presently has the large amount of H funding at their disposal, should be sending trained LAHSA outreach workers en mass to offer immediate collaborative housing and permanent housing along with hygiene kits, and food vouchers to purchase groceries. LAHSA also has large amounts of HHH funding at their disposal for vacancies, and to build housing from the foundation up. The police should not have to participate – their services should be reserved for the predatory, violating criminal element out there.

    By the way, do you not think it’s hypocritical of yourself to make such remarks when you haven’t taken any homeless into your own car, yard or home? You might examine that – otherwise we just have to assume that you just like to hate. Can you use that energy to be of direct help to somebody on the street? I think only then will you feel better. For real.

    Signing out of Venice Update.
    Regina Weller

    • Billy Bathgate

      I’ve been homeless myself for 10 years Regina so I know a little bit more about this subject than any of you. And I am not looking for help from anybody. I’m not a Democrat or a progressive or a liberal or a Socialist. I’m a life-long Republican who has lived in Los Angeles for 40 years now and you liberals have screwed this city up good. Most of the jobs I’ve had in my life were either in sales or sales management where I always made around a thousand dollars a week. That used to be enough to be able to live pretty good here in L.A. It wasn’t enough to live in Beverly Hills but it was enough to live in the Hollywood Hills or here at the beach. But thanks to the housing shortage that you people have caused with your open borders policy that makes no distinction between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants a thousand bucks a week is no longer enough to rent anything here in L.A. Now you have to make around 1500 a week just to afford a cheap apartment in the ghetto. So I am done. If you people all want to pay way the hell too much for a place to live just to make room for somebody who wasn’t born here and is in this country illegally knock yourselves out. In a city where a thousand dollars a week is now considered to be low income I’d rather just be low income for real. You liberals disgust me. Everything you people touch turns to **** and then you all have the unmitigated gall to blame it on Republicans. We’re not the ones flooding this country with illegal immigrants from all 4 corners of the world. We’re not the ones taxing the hell out of everybody so that the income of people who work for a living can be re-distributed to a bunch of losers who want to sit around on their rear ends 24/7 and do nothing except live off everybody else’s money. And the cost of living in this city is just going to continue to become more and more expensive because all of these illegal immigrants that you are all giving sanctuary to breed like rabbits.

      • Regina Weller

        Sorry for your pain, Billy. Would you like housing?

        • Billy Bathgate

          Not looking for free or subsidized housing or sympathy from anybody. Frankly I feel sorry for all of you because regardless of whether it’s Venice or Van Nuys everybody out here is now paying way too much rent for what they’re getting in return. And the housing shortage that is giving the landlords the excuse they use to justify price-gouging all of you is absolutely 100% the fault of open border leftists like Eric Garcetti that have a lock on this city and who do not want to see any of this country’s immigration laws enforced.

  2. Steven Burns

    So it looks like this transitional tent city thing is going down. I just want to remind Councilman Bonin of Mayor Garcetti’s promise that if your community takes a camp, you will receive removal of random camps, enforcement of keeping sidewalks open, extra sanitation services to clean up the mess, etc.
    OK, lets give it a try. BUT remember that the whole city and county will be watching closely. Fail to deliver on your promises, fail to defend the bullsh!t lawsuits against enforcement, fail to help both the homeless and the residents of our community: NO other community will permit these transitional centers.
    Making us among the first means you must fulfill your promises as a shining example to other communities. Failure to do so will shipwreck this plan regionally.
    My neighbors and I will be watching.

  3. Billy Bathgate

    Just think liberals. If you would all get just the hell out of the way the Trump administration would be more than happy to send in ICE to round up the 800,000 or so illegal immigrants that are living illegally in this city and thousands of rental units would open up. And with all those vacancies rents would come down to reasonable levels again and a lot of the people who are living on the streets could once again afford to live in an apartment without any help from any welfare programs. But of course we all know that’s not going to ever happen because you liberals love your illegal immigrants and you love your welfare programs too. Frankly I feel sorry of you. You all think you’re so smart but in reality you’re all just a bunch of Socialist idiots.

    • Anonymous

      Billy boy, You are a racist troll. Imagine calling out “liberals” for supporting the rights of hard working immigrants over a bunch of drunken, druggy, lazy bastards lolling around on Venice streets. Criminals, many hiding from warrants, and sincerely crazy people living among them. You think one of these layabout bums would consider living in a “freed up” apartment in another area? Who cares what you think? You have no credibility.

      • Billy Bathgate


      • Billy Bathgate

        For somebody who has no credibility I sure do seem to have got under your skin. And thanks for showing your true colors. Because at the end of the day what this all comes down to is leftist elitists like you thinking that you’re better than the people on the streets. You’re all living in a bubble. Ever dawn on you that the reason some of these people are on the streets is because whatever it is they once did for a living is now being done by somebody who is in the country illegally for half the price? Of course you haven’t because you elitists never think about the consequences of your actions. The leftist elite is incredibly good at screwing things up for the common man and then putting the blame on everybody but themselves. But the rest of the country has woken up to your scams. We told you people for 8 years that we were going to take this country back from all of you. And we did. That’s because unlike all of you leftists and collectivists who are all hot air our side actually does what it says its going to do.

        • Anonymous

          Bathgate said: For somebody who has no credibility I sure do seem to have got under your skin. Not really, Just another irritating Trumpy Troll. We get them all day long on Facebook and Fox TV. What makes you different is the fact that you don’t move to a more reasonably priced area while insisting in squatting in one of the most expensive areas in the most expensive State in the union. This in itself makes you look foolish. I have many “housed” friends that are leaving LA because they can live much cheaper in Texas or Utah, even with the reduced wages they find in those places. That is why the cost of living is so much less. It has more to do with the the amount of money that many Los Angelinos make, and apparently, it is a bunch of them. You claim to be a Republican? What about the free market and supply and demand? Greed can be a factor, but many landlords bought more recently and are paying huge mortgages. Big cities attract both the well paid and highly motivated people and street dwellers who seem to blame the world for their situation and want the locals to pay, especially emotionally and with a reduced quality of life, for their plight. In the end, you sound more like a communist (not a Socialist) who wants a pound of flesh (and a free beachfront apartment) from the people who you mentally identify as your “enemy.” And if you think the people in Washington right now have your interests in mind, you are delusional.

  4. Nick Antonicello

    Another political circus concocted by the PT Barnum of the Los Angeles City Council, Mike Bonin. As usual, nothing accomplished except for Bonin trying to create the illusion that Venice supports his misguided proposal that will decrease home values and create a virtual and permanent slum by the beach in the name of what? Housing for 100 people? Bonin gets his “political accomplishment” he can tout when he seeks higher office as he’s protected within this five and a half-year term of office that will yield him over $1,000,000 in income, pension and free health benefits for life as a member of the highest paid city council in the United States! No questions get answered, those who oppose him are either mocked or marginalized and ignored. Kip, if you care about Venice and your neighborhood help us bring Cityhood to Venice or mount a serious campaign to unseat this asshole come the next election. Bonin will not engage you, you need to seriously engage him. I opted not to attend because I’ve seen this act too many times before…

  5. Stan Becker

    Even the network affiliate reporters were frustrated; there was no way that reporter could break the hot, noisy crowd surrounding Mike. I was interested in who was providing the “other” services noted in the literature.

    200K Va lecia Kellum Adams (40k raise last year) from St. Joseph (formerly ‘Homeless”) Center was there with unresponsive prison-guard VP Courtney Kanagi. They flooded the place with employees and hopeful careerists. Like Will.

  6. Regina Weller

    Sorry everyone: Bridge housing on the MTA grounds sounds lovely, but the problem will be with the time restriction offered to the participants in the Bridge Housing program – a 3-month time limit for each individual? And then what? Kicked out and then where do they go? Then you bring in another bunch for a 3-month stint and then where do they go next? That’s a BRIDGE TO NOWHERE! Everyone knows there are no permanent vacancies available because efforts were not painstakingly underway to allocate or acquire property to build permanent housing, even in the last few years with the availability of HHH funding. The funds primarily should have been used to facilitate vacancies for the homeless, and to acquire property and then build, build, build. The only logical thing to do! Heidi Roberts and John Betz did just that (on their own) by acquiring property and building from the ground up in Los Angeles (in a relatively short time), subsequently housing 28 homeless people. What an example! It obviously can be a reality, it can be done.

    Wake up call: Too much of HHH funds are still being used to categorize and analyze the homeless, and constant meetings held to maintain the oversized bureaucratic CES data entry system, providing a “Cart Before The Horse” outcome. The data system and the personnel required to maintain it, swallow up the funding. This has taken precedence over quick and direct help to the individual in need. The homeless in hopes of acquiring housing, submit to a lengthy CES questionnaire, when the probability of being housed doesn’t even exist because in reality there are no such vacancies ready for them. This causes more distrust. And many of the organizations attending Venice Forward have traditionally pooh-poohed collaborative housing as a viable option in providing immediate housing. This mindset has to change quickly – there are droves of homeless coming in from other states over recent years, most certainly into Venice, motivated by both the fantasy of a bohemian lifestyle, the Jones settlement allowing for sidewalk sleepovers, and by newspaper articles discussing the large amount of funding available for homeless here via HHH funds. Why oh why, did HHH funds have to be grandiosely announced by our L.A. Politicians over and over again? Unforeseen by our leaders, it prompted and partially ushered in the California Homeless Rush. (The large feather untimely placed in ones’ cap, sometimes dismantles the greater good.)

    Additionally, it’s been my observation over many years that 70% of the homeless in Venice are using drugs and alcohol, so that my husband and I were offering placement in rehab facilities if they were willing, even before we provided family reunification, and even screening prior to placement in available housing. On the CES survey, no homeless person ever naturally admits they are using drugs or alcohol, so that the stats register low. Rehab programs are important and its been left out of the equation for problem solving. They have to be WILLING AND WANT A LIFE OFF THE STREETS more than we want it for them. I’m not so sure, that the planned Bridge Housing program will stipulate some kind of sobriety or willingness for sobriety, as a prerequisite to entry. If this is not a requirement, the bridge housing facility will be a climate of chaos, to say the least, for the residents, for the neighborhood, for the police, and for the facility itself. “No Change” to a drug-induced, alcoholic lifestyle, will certainly never change the negative outcomes. And yes I am very aware that some are mentally ill and need more help than others, and that some have just been derailed as a result of the economy and through no fault of their own, and yes some are of the criminal element and need to be incarcerated.

    Furthermore, has anyone raised the question: Why can’t the MTA site be prepared now for PERMANENCY or a longer stay? Go ahead and orchestrate the plan for the MTA grounds, but can leadership consider eliminating the 3-month housing deadline straight away? This is not a cattle drive; these are human beings in crisis. How would any of you like to be treated in this way? Or your sons and daughters handled in this way: told you can move in and then ordered to move out a few months later?! That’s a hopeless and scary revolving door. And what housing options or guarantees are offered by leadership and the homeless service organizations given the large dollar figures through HHH funding that when the 3 month stay comes to term, that other housing accommodations will be made available besides the familiar Venice sidewalk? It’s the time limitation that is the weak link, resembling the typical arrangement with some SRO housing around L.A. Skid Row – 4 months in and then out the door again, and in the street again. Strangely so…the masses grow, and lawlessness prevails.

    This is my recommendation: that the site be considered for an 18-month stay which would give the individual time to stabilize, allowing for better decision-making and choices without the psychosis imposed on their minds from constant interrupted sleep. It has been my experience from my years of service to the unhoused, that when one does not have the pressure hanging over their head of the possibility of forced exit to the street again, that most thrive and set their sights higher, even to finding employment. For the mental health consumer, making the commitment to take the necessary psych meds prescribed on a regular basis allows for coherent reasoning and dialogue and an enhanced lifestyle. Others even voluntarily return home to the families they miss.

    The absence of a rental term constraint is a good thing and this is what Heidi Roberts and John Betz have decided for Weller House, including the assistance of follow-up care provided by SHARE! Peer Support counselors. On a side note, I must mention THEE UNSUNG HERO IN VENICE, JOHN BETZ: Never there for the argument, stepping away from his leadership post at the Long Beach Port to volunteer his free time to do the right thing for the disenfranchised, toting that refrigerator all by himself into the home he has built for them from the ground up. Did you see that picture in the LA Times? What a man!

    Just my two cents…

    Kip Pardue, thanks for your pertinent questions, and all those whose heart is affected by this dilemma. For the record,Kip, Homeless Task Force placed 416 individuals from 2015 to April 2018. All due respect and credit to the vision and groundwork of the late Reverend Steven Weller.

    Chaplain Regina Weller,
    Executive Director,
    Homeless Task Force

    • KP

      Thank, Regina…I am sorry to have ever underestimated you and your accurate number furthers my point.

      Hope all is well and we miss you. We need you more than ever.

  7. Billy Bathgate

    Since there is no plan in place to house all of the homeless in Los Angeles (and there never will be) I do not get why people who have places to live think that having the police enforce 41.18 and 56.11 is the key to solving homelessness. How exactly does criminalizing people who do not have homes help them in any way, shape or form ? The answer is it doesn’t and you all know it doesn’t. There is absolutely no difference between Will Hawkins and homeless hating demagogues like Mark Ryavec. You all talk out of both sides of your mouths. You claim to have compassion for people on the streets but you don’t. If any of you did you would not be wanting the police to be ticketing people or harassing people or throwing people in jail or pressuring them to move on just because they are homeless in a city which does not (and never will) have the wherewithal to help all of them. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

    • Will

      You’re missing the point…when the city meets the Jones Settlement housing threshold then the suspension of those two municipal codes will be lifted and the laws will go back into effect preventing people from sleeping on the sidewalks. The only reason why is was permitted was because the judge deemed that the city was deficient in housing for the homeless. If the city has the housing then the streets and sidewalks will no longer be an option to dump people on. There will be housing available instead.

      Given that I’ve financed a reunification program that has helped over 40 people get housed I don’t think you can throw me into the category of someone who hates the homeless. There are a lot of mothers who now have their children safe at home that would whole-heartedly disagree with you on that.

      The Jones Settlement prohibits LAPD from keeping the sidewalks clear and allows encampments to thrive. This has also invited people to come from out of state to exploit the permissiveness to sleep on the street and steal services away from those who are in need. This encampments are not safe and are ruled by dangerous and violent people who force vulnerable woman into prostitution and where gang members threaten and intimidate the old and the weak. Taking their money and belongings. Anyone who allows that crap to happen are the ones who should be ashamed. I’m trying to help end this crisis and I’ve put my own money and time into doing that. It’s easy to throw criticism from behind a pseudonym and point fingers. So save your anonymous holier-than-though judgement for someone else. Punk.

      • Billy Bathgate

        Lets do some math here Will. The City of Los Angeles has over 30,000 homeless people. With these new taxes they are talking about housing about 10,000 of them. That leaves 20,000 who are still on the streets. And what is going to happen to them ? Well people like you want them to now be prosecuted for sleeping on the sidewalk. Bottom line is the math doesn’t add up and you all know it doesn’t. There is not going to ever be enough housing built to get all of the homeless off the sidewalks. As far as I’m concerned the only person being honest here is Kip Pardue because it iss obvious from the tone of his questions that he doesn’t like homeless people and would love to see them all thrown in jail. You on the other hand are not being honest here. You are blowing smoke Will. You don’t give a damn about the homeless either. If you did you would not be pushing this agenda of providing housing for a small amount of people that are on the streets and then using that number to push for those who are still out there to now be prosecuted by law enforcement with the nonsensical claim that the city has now provided enough housing when everybody knows it hasn’t. Your numbers do not add up and you sir are no different than people like Mark Ryavec. You’re all a bunch of extremely ugly people pushing a nasty elitist agenda.

        • Will

          It’s hard to take someone seriously that’s complaining about dishonesty when they’re hiding behind a screen name. Anyway.

          Unfortunately….not everyone living on the street wants housing. Especially here in Venice. So, it’s hard to do the math that you’re trying to do when there are exponents that don’t wanna be (and shouldn’t be) counted. There are a lot of travelers passing through and there are others who’ve chosen to live off the grid. Many don’t even define themselves as homeless. So maybe LAHSA shouldn’t either. The way the homeless count is executed is problematic and incomplete and doesn’t allow for an accurate picture of who is living on our streets. So I don’t think you can use that 30,000 number to decern who needs and wants housing.But it is definitely more than 10,000 for sure…we have to start somewhere and chip away at the numbers best we can.

          This bridge housing plan is designed to help those who want to help themselves and are registered in the Coordinated Entry System to get that help. It gets them off the streets while waiting for permanent housing. The Jones Settlement was an emergency measure instituted to give people a place to stay while housing was being built…once the housing is built the measure expires and the law goes back into place. That’s not cruel or nasty…that’s just the law we all have to live by.

          One of the unexpected consequences of the Jones Settlement is that it attracted people from outside LA to take advantage of the suspended laws to live on the streets without being hassled. There are over 15,000 people (25% of total) living on the streets from outside Los Angeles County. That’s a lot of resources for the city and stakeholders to spend on people not from here.

          What is shameful is that almost 40% of those living on the street are mentally ill. They have not made that choice and they deserve all the help they can get. What do we do about that Billy?

          For now…Bridge housing, shared housing and reunification are all viable solutions to help people get off the street. I dint see how any of that is cruel or dishonest.

          • Billy Bathgate

            Here’s the thing Will. You are defining homeless people who are enrolled in the Coordinated Entry System as people are doing the “right thing.” What about those that aren’t ? Are you implying that they’re doing the wrong thing because they’re not involved in your big government program ? Do you actually think that you or anybody else around here has the power to force anybody into your big government program or “else” ? The answer is you don’t. There are a lot of people on these streets who are not interested in any help from the government. And as far as I’m concerned as long as they are not engaging in any kind of criminal activity or trashing the neighborhood that if they want to be left alone by people like you then they should be. You and your kind don’t. You want to pressure people into enrolling in your big government program with the threat that if they don’t they will dealing with an officer of the law instead who will not hesitate to shoot and kill them if they don’t submit to the power of the government. I have news for you Will. Big government programs are the problem. And people like you who want to force people into them should check your moral compasses. Who are you and your committee that you think you have power to decide what’s best for somebody who is homeless ? You’re all a bunch of private citizens who have no right or power to decide what’s best for anybody except yourselves.

        • Regina Weller

          There is a difference: Hawkins does have a heart, but he’s a bull in a china store.

          • Will

            I have no issues with that assessment Regina…you can take the boy out of New York but you can’t take New York out of the boy. I hope Hawaii is treating you well luv. Thanks for weighing in. We all miss ya.

      • Regina Weller

        What exactly does “the Jones Settlement Housing THRESHOLD“ mean? Is it a numerical value, a percentage of the homeless count for the year following the time period in which the Judge made the ruling? What the heck is the THRESHOLD? Can someone please take the time to give an accurate description of the intent of the Court in terms of this word. With all the bantering back and forth, and the most witty and clever trite remarks from the Venice community, and no one can decipher or speak to the issue of the Judges ruling on the Jones Settlement Housing THRESHOLD?

        Just a revelation that we may have collectively already met the requirements of the Court’s ruling and the evidence thereof by way of our combined homeless placement counts. It has just occurred to me that, unbeknownst to all, we may have already met the criteria regarding the threshold. The Homeless Task Force placed 417 from 2015 to present. We can provide evidence to the interest of the Court, of all data and documentation for the validity of our numbers. VNC placed 40 from Venice and I am aure, Will, that you can present documentation in support of your numbers as well. I am assured that if the other organizations servicing the Venice area would not remain mute (as they usually do) as to their placement count, we might find (dog gone it) that we have cumulatively already exceeded the blistering THRESHOLD requirements, sufficient to meet the conditions of the ruling. and thereby lift the burdensome suspension restrictions of the Jones Settlement law on this community.

        Can someone please explore the matter?

        Regina Weller
        Homeless Task Force

        • mary

          The magic number is 1250. Here is a link to a fact sheet produced by Mayor Garcetti’s office in 2015. http://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/files/jones_settlement_factsheet_6_10_15.pdf
          As of that date in 2015, the city of L.A. stated that they ONLY needed to create 111 MORE units of housing to meet the threshold. Since that time they have not released any new numbers. They refuse. Now why would that be… Well let’s look at what they’ve done instead… Instead… Garrett and Bonin have insisted that they need TONS of money from tax payers, so that they can build more PSH units. Gosh, something seems a bit fishy here… By their own count they only needed 111 more units 3 years ago. Did they not build any PSH in the last three years? And don’t the proposed PSH projects in Venice alone far exceed the 111 number. It is CLEAR that Bonin and Garcetti are not being honest with voters. In fact they are manipulating and ENLARGING the homeless crisis in order to take advantage of it . And the reason — like it almost always is in politics — is money. Let’s just re-cap: We have a huge homeless crisis in Venice because we can’t enforce the laws. We can’t enforce the laws because of the Jones Settlement. BUT… If you announce that you’ve met the threshold of the Jones Settlement then you CAN to enforce the laws. BUT if you start enforcing the laws, the crisis goes away. And if the crisis goes away then you can’t go to the public with GIAGANTIC bond measures and scoop up billions of dollars. I’d love to get Will’s thoughts on this bit of deceit from his good friends Bonin and Garcetti.

          • Regina Weller

            Dearest Mary
            Thank you so much for your quick reply! So interesting. I will read it over carefully, and I suggest that others do so as well. I will respond shortly…

          • Regina Weller

            I’m not here to name call leadership, and I would appreciate that this would stop. However, we all have questions that should be answered by our political leaders now, because anyone can see with their own eyes that Venice is a mess.
            Here are some points I would like addressed:

            1. In 2015, a fact sheet produced by Mayor Garcetti’s office regarding the Jones Settlement reported in part:
            It states that in 2015, only 111 units citywide were needed to satisfy the 1,250 target to meet the Jones Settlement threshold and lift the restriction. Also in 2015, there were 206 units that were in pre-development and construction phase. Here we are 3 years later – I’d be interested to know if those units are now completed. Is there a more current 2018 chart available to see if the goal of 1,250 Permanent housing units has been satisfied?

            2. Also, the Mayor’s Fact sheet further states that only those identified as “Chronic” homeless are eligible to be placed in these new Permanent housing units. It is my understanding that “Chronic” eligibility here is set by CES data base standards, whereby for the most part, the CES system is centered on giving priority to homeless individuals who have submitted to the CES questionnaire, and based on their own answers, have tallied up a “high acuity” score classified as Chronic – in more simple terms, those individuals with a “worst case scenario.” Their answers provide a view, a degree or level of homelessness including specifics such as current health status, disabilities, drug or alcohol use, diseases, jail time, years living on the street, military service, number of ambulance trips, mental hospital stays, attendance at mental health clinics, medications, etc., and even from observations from the person conducting the questionnaire. A high score means the person has lived a very troubled existence and definitely will need in-house supportive services. I am familiar with this CES survey, having administered this survey to 48 people during my paid assistance in 2015 to a non-profit organization. The CES survey (also known as a V-Spidat), with its multitude of questions, takes about an hour to complete with the client (if you’re lucky). This policy of giving priority to this Chronic group is based on the idea of bestowing compassion on the most vulnerable in our society.

            So now, if the MTA grounds is to be used for the temporary “bridge housing” of those from the Venice homeless camps who have undergone the CES survey, than those with the highest “Chronic“ ratings would most likely be given first priority. Remember that CES policy is set to give those that are “Most Vulnerable” a place at the top of the list for housing, and CES has spent an enormous amount of funding to establish their database system. So keep in mind, it’s not likely that CES would change its policy just for Venice! Inherently, only the most chronic will have priority in bridge housing.

            Will Hawkins has stated that the bridge housing tenants will be selected from the CES database, and has also alluded that these people will not be problematic in any way. Certainly, no one is able to predict that, but supportive services will certainly be necessary to assist should problems arise. However, it is my speculation that not even ½ of those living in the Venice homeless camps have participated in the CES questionnaire, so will they be left out? And those without the Chronic rating, will they also be left out? Hey, maybe those going into bridge housing won’t even have to take the survey? Dunno. Only the chosen few can answer these questions.

            At this juncture, we have so many sleeping on the Venice streets, that less stringent measures need to be factored in for Venice, if we hope to reduce the misery on the streets, and decrease the homeless count. And after all, people cannot be forced into taking any survey. Some basic questions should suffice, along with a WILLINGNESS to leave the streets.

            3. Now this is the closing: The Mayor’s office fact sheet of 2015 also states that only 111 more PERMANENT units would be needed to satisfy the threshhold of the Jones law ruling, so why wouldn’t our leaders desire to designate the MTA lot for units of PERMANENT housing (as opposed to temporary bridge) in furtherance of meeting the Jones Law quota? After all, bridge temporary housing does not count here for the Courts. This is an enigma and one that, again, can only be answered by the chosen few. Preparing the MTA site for PERMANENT housing, in this case, is more advantageous and foremost in alleviating the stress and violence imposed on both residents and homeless by the Jones Law ruling.
            It would be cautionary to not vote in support of Bridge housing in Venice until these questions are clearly answered.
            The people of Venice, both residents and homeless, deserve better.

            (On a personal note: I have taken a break, resting for several months with friends after the passing of my dear husband, and having to quickly move from my living and work quarters due to sale of the building, and after placing a host of dear folks into housing on my own, a scheduled neck surgery, and so on and so forth. My heart remains in the homeless cause.)

            My love to Venice,

            Chaplain Regina Weller
            Executive Director
            Homeless Task Force

          • Regina Weller


        • Nick Antonicello

          Do you live in Hawaii? Why are you weighing in on something that does not concern you?

          • Regina Weller

            Good question! Thanks for asking, Nick. It’s not like me to openly engage this way as you may have noticed. I expected to be back in Venice late July, and I’m questioning even that – resting here with friends since my move in April from the sale of the Venice building where I lived. Just placed 3 people from Venice into housing – the phone calls keep coming.

            Have you ever helped a homeless person, Nick, out of danger? We did. We are credentialed Crisis Chaplains, my husband and I – a very long-term vocation. I can’t even count the number of people we assisted, because we didn’t start counting until 2015 when I sat at Venice Forward Meetings. We placed 417 from Venice into permanent housing since 2015. Been doing this work in Venice for 22 years, so there were many more we encountered. My husband gave his life to the homeless situation believing every human being was somehow precious. That means listening to rape victims, calling ambulances for those that went to lay at the Church front door, wrapping bandages around arms and legs, holding recovery meetings in the building, helping prostitutes to give up their degrading lifestyle and regain their dignity and gifting, placing people with D.T’s in my car and taking them to rehab facilities which we paid for, harboring displaced families in the building (against the policies of the church), walking the streets into homeless camps with my husband at 6am, driving people to Rose Clinic with staph infection and lice breakout, calming the mentally ill down enough to escort them to psychiatric urgent care, helping families and homeless get into immediate housing, and begging landlords to help us and take a chance on somebody moving in, and paying the first months rent. And I don’t mean to bore you. That’s why “I weighed in”, Nick.

            And all that time in the trenches, so to speak, I realized only this week, that it didn’t have to be so much that way. The Jones Law Settlement ruling unleashed the floods of homeless in the streets of Venice and there was more harm than I’d ever seen before, to both homeless and residents. I believe the legal system believed they were doing the right thing, and forcing the hand of organizations and political leaders to put their feet to the plow to create more housing availability so people could live inside, not out on an unprotected dangerous street. At the time, it seemed the best option for everybody, both residents and homeless.

            Sorry, Nick, it does concern me. I got sad this week even from across the ocean – there is the strong possibility that the Jones Settlement threshold had already been met sometime ago that could’ve alleviated the situation even sooner and provided protection for people that had lost their way, those that could not climb back up the hole they had either non-voluntarily or voluntarily entered. Venice residents are traumatized by lawlessness outside their door. The homeless are traumatized. The whole Venice area is traumatized! And now, the Jones Settlement ruling and the status of compliance has still not been revealed, maybe covered up. There is silence in the matter – and all those people suffered more than they had to.

            There are a few organizations I am aware of, including Homeless Task Force, including respective collaborative housing available, who could easily, and I mean easily, place a hundred people a short freeway distance away into housing in a year’s time for a fraction of the cost in contrast to the millions for the proposed Bridge housing to temporarily house 100 people at that MTA site. They know there are other more immediate options out there, but ignore them. What do our political leaders want – a Most Expensive Feather In Their Cap? At what cost to humanity, for God’s sake…

            Regina Weller
            Homeless Task Force

          • Billy Bathgate

            I have to say that I’m getting a really big kick out of Regina Weller actually believing that allowing the police to once again harass people for sleeping on the sidewalk when she knows damned well that it is the only place for them to sleep is some how going to help them. Then to top it off she even throws in the homeless haters talking points where they would have you believe that the Jones Settlement has invited homeless people to Los Angeles. What a bunch of fools and hypocrites you people all are.

  8. Will

    We always have to be working towards getting people housed and creating programs that help people get off the streets. Whether that’s here in Venice or in other areas of CD 11. If there’s a viable location for housing than it should be explored. And yes.. the city should answer the questions and concerns from the neighbors it effects before implementing anything. But let’s be sure to ask the right questions.

    One of the most important questions that hasn’t even been asked is…what is the city planning to do to keep people from becoming homeless? Because in order for homeless numbers to really be reduced we not only need yo house people, we also need to stop people from becoming homeless in the first place.

    Looking at the LAHSA numbers we see that over 35% are mentally ill, another 25% physically disabled, and in embarrassingly high amount are victims of domestic violence. These people deserve their fate? They want to be homeless? Then you have people who are losing their homes bc they lost their jobs or were hit with medical expenses and can’t pay the rent. How can we support them while they get back on their feet and before they lose everything and become homeless?

    To put it simply…If you want empty out the sink you must first turn off the tap. So…how do we effectively do that here so these housing programs are effective as they should be?

    Without sufficient health care and mental health care systems in place for everyone both rich and poor we will always be playing from behind the eight ball. And the most vulnerable will always the ones who are falling through the cracks and onto the streets. Homelessness is about so much more than just housing. We need to be providing housing and health/mental services with equal efforts.

    The other piece of the puzzle is enforcement…we need to be able to keep the streets safe and clean for everyone and that means getting to the point where LAPD can start enforcing LA 41.18 and 56.11. But to do that we need to meet the housing threshold of the Jones Settlement. We need this housing so we can get enforcement. And yes..know some of you believe we’ve met that threshold. We need the city to definitively provide that information so we know how to move forward. The Jones Settlement is the Linch-Pin to solving homelessness in LA.

    In this case of bridge housing…this program will help those already registered in the CES system and who are waiting for permeant housing. These are not the criminals or the arsonist, the drug addicts, nor are they travelers who steal your bikes and break into your homes. These people have been proactive in helping themselves and doing the right thing by working within the system to get off the streets. And that’s exactly who we need to be helping do that.

    The city has definitely not been doing its best work and they need to take a lot of the blame for the crisis we’ve all been forced to deal with. But we do have to start looking at innovative solutions like Garcetti’s Bridge Housing plan to start getting something done. We can’t just keep saying no to everything because of ignorance and fear.

    Kip is an good hearted, informed, insightful and passionate member of this community that I know pretty well. I also know that he wants to see positive change here in Venice. These are good questions he’s asked and I hope that he and everyone else in Venice gets the opportunity to ask the questions that are important to them when they attend the Open House tomorrow night.

    • KP

      Thanks, Will. While the is certainly not the best place to be having such a nuanced conversation, I will try and respond a bit to your comments…What you say IS true on a lot of levels, but when points like yours are brought up right now, it deflects from the current state of Venice. You and I both know – beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Venice’s homeless population is not like the rest of LA’s. I joined your homeless committee with the goal of helping to identify those who want help versus those who do not. You, Bonin, Garcetti, and others continue to make policy based on the invisible – families who are homeless need and deserve help, those suffering form mental illness need and deserve help, those on the brink of homelessness need and deserve help, etc. But we the residents of Venice see a different reality and have a hard time believing these lines after all these years. Your reply is yet another moving target that is impossible to determine, difficult to see, and seems to only provide a new justification for why things aren’t being done now. It will also surely be a rallying cry for a new revenue stream.

      Something is terribly broken in the way LA- and especially Venice- is handling homelessness. You have heard me say it before and I will say it now more publicly – until city officials start approving and allowing collaborative housing (SRO, dorm-style, shared facilities) and start working with private developers (who can build faster and cheaper and often have land they’re willing to leverage), I will have a hard time believing the officials.

      I support this type of bridge housing and do feel it’s necessary – it should have been built 5 minutes after the Jones decision was announced, but I don’t know why it has to be here first (or maybe at all). If this type of facility were built anywhere else in CD11 (and in other CD’s nearby that have lower homeless populations), the population would seek these services and the population in Venice would become likely become more manageable. If for no other reason, the CCC troubles and the likely neighborhood pushback should make officials look for other locations. This type of housing is, after all, temporary and mobile, so theoretically any location could provide this service.

      Now we – a community that has seen a shocking increase in homelessness in the past 4 years along with a tremendous increase in crime, is being told we have to bear more. I have heard these promises over and over and over…yet nothing is ever done and the problems persist. They worsen. The City and Bonin continue to take from us – public land, lack of infrastructure, inconsistent services, insufficient policing, etc. What do we get in return? IF we do something like this – and that is a big IF, how does Venice improve? The promise of cleaning encampments in an “as yet undetermined” radius from the project is not enough. We need hard guarantees that things will get better. Hard guarantees that we will not have to suffer the lawless conditions we have had for 4 years now. Hard promises that OUR VOICES are being heard and understood. We are not making this stuff up. We are dealing with too much. And we deserve better. All of us.

      • Will

        I hear you Kip…but this housing is for those homeless you don’t see. They live in the shadows and are not the ones living in their car in front of your house, or getting high on OFW. They are out there and they bought into the system and are following the rules, registering in CES and working with their caseworkers to save their lives. Just because there are travelers and vagrants passing through Venice that cause most of the problems we’re supposed to turn our backs on those who are doing the right thing?

        You’ve made that clear more than a few times why you don’t trust Bonin and I know you think that he’s earned that reputation. But based on what I’ve learned I think that this is the best plan that been offered and it will reduce the number of people living on the streets and will help control the number of encampments. The other option is that we continue to do nothing. I can’t live with that choice. We already have these people living here…let’s to the right thing and get them off the street while they’re wait for permanent housing. It just makes sense.

        I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Kip for serving as guest member of the Venice Homeless Committee. We have a guest seat that we rotate new members in-and-out of every few months to allow new voices and new perspectives. Kip brought a lot of himself to our team and the community owes him a debt of gratitude for his hard work and we hope to see you again at a meeting soon.

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