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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

DCRC Site Approved for Feasibility Study for PSH Homeless

Last week the Los Angeles City Council Homeless and Poverty Committee approved a motion made by Councilman Mike Bonin in October to have a feasibility study for permanent supportive housing at 12901 Venice Blvd, Mar Vista.

The building is a Disability Community Rights Center (DCRC) and is used to assist persons with disabilities and seniors to achieve and/or maintain self-directed independent lives in the community. It was known as the Westside Center for Independent Living. The site is 13000 square feet and is 89 percent owned by the City of LA and 11 percent by DCRC.

The motion states “to evaluate the property to determine its suitability for development as permanent supportive housing and continued use as a DCRC headquarters and independent living center.”

This was presented to the West Mar Vista Residents Association in November by Field Deputy Hanna Levien as a possible additional building on the site to provide permanent supportive (PSH) housing for the homeless with the continued operation of the DCRC.

The minutes of the meeting recorded their concerns:

a) The safety of many schoolchildren who walk to and from school past the facility is a concern. Will it be a secure facility? Who will the service provider be?

b) Homeless people just hanging out. This would be a concern to the businesses nearby that are run by women. Also, there aren’t that many publicly owned facilities in MV, so this plan may bring an influx of homeless here rather than helping to curb homelessness in MV. How does a homeless shelter fit with the idea of a “Great Street”? What services will be provided, so that during the day people won’t just be hanging out?

c) It’s a busy intersection, and the safety of pedestrians is already a concern (since kids aren’t always careful at this intersection). Will traffic police be present to insure pedestrian safety, especially at peak hours?

d) People feel a lack of confidence in the City’s ability to control the behavior of possible residents of this facility. It is only fair that we be notified of what population will be served there. The fear was expressed that people who need help can’t be categorized, and therefore this facility won’t be selective but will take any type of homeless person. Some residents might object to long-term housing, not transitional housing, and to certain kinds of homeless individuals. Will it be a sober living facility? A positive example – for battered women – is the homeless center nat Beethoven and Washington for women with children. This could be a model for the facility at Beethoven and Venice, since it has posed no problems for nearby residents.

e) There is a lot of apprehension about this plan, and there should be an open dialog and residents should be permitted to hear the City’s plans before things start happening. Ms. Levien stated that we need to keep listening to each other. There are excellent service providers, excellent models, excellent neighbors. MV is the only area where nothing is being done for homeless. Ms. Levien will be talking with Allison (?) about LAUSD’s view of this matter, and she will also be talked with Metro.  President Ali asked that we be given an update at our next meeting January.

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