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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

How is El Pueblo Doing? Seven People Placed; Four Months

El Pueblo the first Bridge Home for Los Angels has found homes for seven people in four months.  El Pueblo, now called El Puente is the poster child for what is proposed for the 15 council districts.  Venice is the only place planned.

This reporter tried to get information from the Mayor’s office , even enlisted the help of Councilman Bonin’s office, regarding the El Pueblo.  Nothing.  It was decided that if I wanted info I would have to go down and try to enlist the CES teams into helping me.  The Mayor at one meeting said El Pueblo was great, that they had placed “x” number of people and then the LA Times said the figure was incorrect.  LA Times has not had an article since regarding the Bridge.

Neighborhoods are reluctant to have a Bridge in their neighborhood.  If it is so great, why hide the fact.  This is the first article written.  Shawn Stern, who lives across the street from the MTA site where a Bridge is proposed found this article.  Hopefully, there will be more.  Hopefully, this reporter will be able to obtain information. Here is the LA’s Downtown News article.

The Venice Stakeholders Association has a law suit pending to request an Environmental Impact Report.

Shawn Stern’s comments about the  Bridge Project at the MTA Site

Here’s an article from L.A. Downtown News about the first “bridge housing” and how it has fared so far. I live directly across the street from the MTA yard. I went to the meeting that Garcetti and Bonin had several months ago at Westminster school. Garcetti gave some details on the thought process for “temporary” part of this plan would work and some of it seemed reasonable. The council member kept trying to repeat specific homeless stories to evoke sympathy that did nothing to explain to residents why they should support plans that he has not discussed with the residents despite his claims to the contrary. I have never been contacted by the city regarding the MTA plan.

What I found interesting is that Garcetti admitted that the city does not have housing for the vast majority of homeless and that it will take years to build it, but went on to describe how the “bridge housing” model was for people to stay between 3-6 months in an effort to get them in to services and then transition to permanent housing. The plan is 150 people at the MTA lot could mean anywhere between 300-600 people a year would “transition” if it works and theoretically that could mean 900-1800 people would be transitioned over the 3 years they propose to use the lot for their plans.  However he ignored his first point about the city not having housing for them to actually transition and without that part of the plan in place how can it work? I realize it’s only been four months that the downtown “bridge housing” has been running, but as the article points out, this is hardly a great start.

Plans are to have people reside in the trailers for three to six months and work with case managers to transition to a more permanent home. Yet four months in, only seven people had been matched with long-term housing. “
That’s a “success” rate of less than 17% so far. What was stated at the meeting with the Mayor and Councilman was that there will be no requirement that anyone accepted into such temporary “bridge housing” be from the encampments in the community, despite the argument made by the plans backers that “the homeless should be housed in the neighborhoods where they are living” because the assumption is that they are from these neighborhoods. This is not true for many homeless people in many neighborhoods including Venice, although it’s not information available in the homeless counts because it’s not a question asked by those gathering information. I think everyone can agree that finding a solution to the lack of affordable housing in this city/county is of the utmost importance. And helping those people living in the streets THAT WANT HELP should be a priority. 
What I have not heard, in any of the meetings and literature and plans, is the problem the advocates and politicians don’t  seem to want to acknowledge, what is the plan for those living in the streets with chronic mental illness, many of whom who self medicate. According to the LAHSA 2018 counts, at least 1/4 to 1/3 of the “estimated” homeless who self report have serious mental illness. The mentally ill living on the street create the largest danger to themselves and the community and unfortunately advocates continue to ask the public to view ALL homeless people as the same. Unfortunately, they are not and when residents have to worry about confrontation and physical altercations with people living in the street and the advocates and politicians don’t want to address this problem, you will continue to have fights by residents against what they see as vague, simplistic, broad plans that make no logical sense in  both short term and long term solutions to the very specific homeless issues in their neighborhoods. 

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