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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Forced to Accept Shelter?

By Darryl DuFay

In the article, see below, is another homeless wrinkle with a statement from Governor Newsom that “there is compassion fatigue out there.” His current “right-to-shelter” problem is in the second paragraph below from the article. It is called “forced to accept shelter.” This appears to be a variation on the LA City “Jones” settlement in 2007, where 1,250 homeless units, half in Skid Row, were to be built so that LAPD police could remove homeless living on the streets/sidewalks because the units would provide an alternate for them to go into.

Unfortunately, no one paid much attention. Didn’t keep track of how many units were built. So, the LAPD could not enforce the LAMC against sleeping on the streets. In twelve years the homeless situation has overwhelmed Los Angeles. No one knows how many units would satisfy the “Jones” settlement today.

A wonderful climate coupled with the beach and non-existent enforcement draws people to Venice and compounds the crisis. Cost is also a concern. Mayor Gil Garcetti’s transitional “Bridge to Home” sheltered program was sold as a cost of $13,333 per bed. Currently, it costs $53,000 a bed. There is not enough money.

Not to worry. The politicians are “ruminating” on solutions that include more money.


Encampment Update — 1 August 2019

Ocean Ave between North and South Venice Blvd is back to its “Welcome to Venice” scene. Maybe there were two days of it being clear. North Venice has not improved and there are two tent areas on South Venice Blvd, one with a barbecue close by.

City ran wires in the Farmers’ Market area cutting off the ground electricity that the homeless were using to charge scooters. Jim Murez, manager of Farmers’ Market, was concerned about trimming the trees for the wires. It looks like a temporary situation.

North Venice Blvd

The two wooden tents at the Westminster Senior Center were still there. There was another possible tent area on the south side of the park. Looked like there was one motor home and a van parked at the park.

The elementary school across the street had a couple of vans and whether there were live-ins in it or not was not known.

Hampton, south of Rose, is about the same. Hampton, north of Rose, is the same and is the poster child for taking care of the homeless and the streets.

A video was done of both sides of 3rd Ave.
East side of 3rd Ave.

West side of 3rd Ave.

Fourth Ave, south of Sunset, had fewer tenters. Fourth Ave, south of Rose, had two tenters. They had none last time.

Lincoln Blvd had fewer tenters. One tenter left and left a mess. Three guys who were there said they would clean it up after tonight. One spokesman said the people came back last night and took some stuff so they want to wait another night before removing it all.

Left to right: Josh, Jay and the Beast.

Had the opportunity to talk to three young men on Lincoln. While we were talking a car drove up and diver was looking to buy heron. The kids didn’t have any and weren’t into selling drugs, they said, so guy moved on. Beast, the spokesman for the three, told me he had several physical problems, such as epilepsy and neuropsy. He had been a gymnast at one time. Josh was from Iowa and Jay was from Texas. The Beast was from Hawaii but had lived in California before.

They first settled at the beach but living on the sand could cost them a $1200 dollar ticket so they moved off the sand and ended up on Lincoln, after moving from Ralph’s on Lincoln. They call the police “Baby Blue.”

People are continuing the individual camping. Staples on the Lincoln side looked like it had one or two tenters. Harding had stuff stowed next to the planters. Coeur d’Alene had stuff dropped off at the planter boxes. A guy is still camped out on Thatcher at the yard. Carter comes and goes with people hanging. Assume this is a drug contact point.

“Safe Parking” Program Does Exist and Is Growing

(29 July 2019) Safe Parking program does exist to provide safe, overnight parking for needy individuals and families in West Los Angeles from 8:30 pm to 6:30 am.

Little has been written about the “Safe Parking” program other than it is or will be provided. The program has been kept quiet so that those using the program will not be subject to “drive bys” who harass the needy or so that the press does not show up and embarrass anyone. Some clients are subject to domestic violence also.

Scott Sale, executive director,  who is in charge of the Safe Parking for Los Angeles,  says there will be 17 lots, 200 spaces by 1 October. Right now West Los Angeles has three spots totaling 70 spaces. Each spot has a bathroom provided.

Each person is checked before being given a permit for a space. For example they must have insurance and a driver’s license. The program is designed to get them out of their vehicles and into housing so they must be willing to accept services and benefits.

The program has been in existence for 16 months and statistics for housing the individuals is not available at this time.

BID Shows Needle Hot Spots in their Coverage Area

(27 July 2019)Rick Swinger picked up a flyer the Business Improvement District (BID) office put out showing the needle hot spots in the areas they clean.

Flyer shows the number of needles found and counted from January to June of this year. Rose and 3rd Ave take the number one position. Lot 701 is where the Farmers’ Market is on Fridays.

Venice Resident, 81 Years Old, Attack by Homeless Man

(27 July 2019) Richard Spurlin, 81-year-old, long-time resident of Venice was attacked by a homeless man when walking to his home Saturday morning around 11 am. The incident occurred on 1100 block of Harrison Ave.

He asked the man, who had belongings spread across the sidewalk, to please move so he could get by on the sidewalk. Words were spoken and a fight ensued.

Police arrived and a report was taken. The homeless person had disappeared by that time. Spurlin was taken to the hospital.

“The attack left Richard with contusions and gashes on arms and head along with a split lip. He made it home to Van Buren with blood dripping from several body parts,” wrote his wife Diane Spurlin. “Very scary!!! Police came within 20 mins and we made a report but by then the guy had fled.

“Our son drove us to Kaiser Urgent care where wounds were cleaned and wrapped, stitches in lip and C.T. scan done on head. Also a base line hepatitis test taken and tetanus shot administered. He’s now on antibiotics and pain meds. Unfortunately no witnesses to this attack. He’s 81 years old for heaven’s sake. A sad state of affairs.”

Man found dead in alley near 5th and Rose

(22 July 2019) Man found dead Sunday evening in alley near 5th Ave and Rose. It was later found to be gang related.

Flyer Says March to Mayor Garcetti’s House 31 August

Nothing is known about this other than the facts stated on the flyer.

Fountain on 3rd Ave Continues to Spring Forth, Flowing with Stories

(All photos courtesy of Rick Swinger.)

(17 July 2019) The drinking fountain that appeared on 3rd Ave in Venice recently just does not stop flowing with stories.

First the fountain just appeared — in the heart of Venice’s Skid Row called 3rd Ave. Second trash gathered in front of it. Third and recent was a guy taking a “mini” bath. Most recent was a man cleaning his shaving equipment or shaving, Rick Swinger, resident and activist, doesn’t know which.

Rick Swinger also took a trip down 3rd with NBC reporter Angie Crouch Wednesday morning close to noon. He took pictures of the man with his mini bath the day before and the man shaving or cleaning his gear earlier in the morning. By the time for the walk with NBC, it had all been cleaned. It is rumored that Ms Crouch contacted the Mayor who called BID to clean up around the fountain.

Trash Snuggles Next to Fountain on 3rd

(Photo courtesy of Rick Swinger.)

(15 July 2019) No one knows why the fountain is bordered by trash. Of course, no one knew why the fountain appeared on 3rd Ave.

Rick Swinger Passes Out Flea Collars for Dogs on 3rd Because of Fleas Rats Have

(Photo courtesy of Rick Swinger.)

(14 July 2019) Rick Swinger buys and passes out flea collars for all the dogs on 3rd. Along with the flea collars he gives out a flyer showing the rat holes next to the fence on the west side of the street. So far he has passed out more than two dozen collars.