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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Venice Has Nine Cases of Coronavirus; Homeless Do Not Take Isolation Seriously; City Not Providing SEC Zone

Nine cases of Coronavirus reported in Venice as of Thursday, 26 March, according to LA County Department of Public Health. Non homeless residents fear for their health.

A film was recorded of homeless residents not abiding by the isolation regulation established by the state and city.

City has not implemented the SEC (Special Enforcement and Cleaning) zone as promised starting 9 March in spite of it supposedly being implemented. The City brought in toilets and wash stations here and there making it one large encampment.

There are complaints by housed residents of lack of trash cleanup, bulky-item pickup, and OSHA violations regarding the toilets and the wash stations as well as not maintaining the proper distance and isolation requirements established by State and City authorities. Rick Swinger posted on Councilman Mike Bonin’s Facebook page that operator had no face mask and gloves on and was eating near the wash station. His comment was later removed from Facebook page. During the rain people stayed inside their tents and the trash was removed.

The following are pictures by Rick Swinger of what it happening in encampment areas of Hampton and 3rd and Rose.

3rd Ave Homeless Not Observing Coronavirus Guidelines

By Rick Swinger

Homeless group on 3rd Ave not observing Coronavirus guidelines, Wednesday 25 March.

Who would choose such a way to live?

The rain has cleaned the sidewalks and the streets. Sanitation or the Venice BID Clean team has cleaned the trash, except bulky items. There are toilets, cleaning station, fresh water and showers available on 3rd Ave, which is centrally located. The tents are lined up in a row with probably six feet from one opening to the other. One man is out looking thru the trash for cans. Just down the street is the Venice Bridge Home. One can see thru the fence and see that no one there is in the rain.

Allison Wilhite, Venice Deputy for th Bridge Home, said for every one selected for the Bridge Home, there were more than three who also wanted to go. Three backups for everyone selected. Amazing. This writer encounter only one person who said he would go to the Bridge Home. Just goes to show that people really do want help.

Now with the Federal and State working with the Cities to house these people, perhaps, the photos above will go into the history books soon. Who would choose such a way to live? Today the answer looks like no one.

City Opens Emergency Shelters, Works with State, Federal to House Homeless, Priority to Seniors

Oakwood Recreation Center is to open to house those on the street. In addition bathrooms are being distributed to areas of homelessness. Fourth St got an ADA bathroom. Penmar Park has a hand washing station and a fresh water dispenser. It is assumed other facilities are forthcoming.

Third Ave maintains the two bathrooms and hand washing station along with the attendant from 7 am to 7 pm. Showers come twice a week. Third has the fresh water dispenser. Bulky items still prevail.

Only one tenter remains on Lincoln Blvd.

There was only one tenter at the Lincoln encampment that use to wrap from the front to the north side and be filled with tenters. When asked where everyone was, the one tenter said they had all gone to the shelter. It is assumed that is the Bridge Home shelter, which they all said they would not go to.

This from the Office of Councilman Mike Bonin as the City mobilizes to house the homeless,

As part of a continuing effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus, Mayor Eric Garcetti has ordered the use of 42 city facilities to temporarily house people experiencing homelessness. Five of those facilities are on the Westside.

The temporary shelter at the Westwood Recreation Center will open as soon as later today. In the coming days, shelters are expected to open at the Westchester Recreation Center, the Pacific Palisades Recreation Center, the Oakwood Recreation Center, and the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center. All of these sites are designated emergency centers used in the case of natural disasters, such as fires and earthquakes. Additionally, the emergency winter shelter at the West LA Armory will remain open until at least April 20.

These actions are happening while Governor Gavin Newsom works to implement a plan to house the unhoused in hotels and motels across the state. Under the plan, the state would lease the property and local counties would control the operations. According to the governor’s office, they have identified 950 sites in 53 counties.

Mayor Garcetti’s order to use city facilities is part of a broad and multi-faceted effort to protect the public health and prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. Public health officials have warned that people living on the streets are tremendously susceptible to contracting the virus, and have urged local governments to move people inside swiftly.

People designated by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority as most vulnerable and most at-risk, especially people over 55 or suffering from other ailments, will have top priority for the available beds. Beds will be spaced more than 6 feet apart to adhere to social distancing guidelines. City departments will provide the beds, personal hygiene kits, and showers. Government agencies and nonprofits will provide meals. The facilities will provide rigorous health monitoring, be open 24 hours per day, provide storage, and have full-time staff, including social workers and security. LADOT will provide transportation to the shelters.

LAFD Emergency Medical Technicians and other street medicine providers are assigned to each new facility to screen clients upon intake, monitor the health of program participants on an ongoing basis, and escalate health concerns using established protocols to move clients to higher levels of care. If someone tests positive for COVID-19 in one of the new or existing shelter settings, they will be triaged into an isolation unit, where they would be treated by the healthcare system.

As federal, state, county and city governments respond to this widening crisis, information is changing rapidly. Some of the designated sites are subject to change. We will do our best to keep you updated with the latest information. For more information about the City of Los Angeles’ response to the novel coronavirus crisis, please visit https://corona-virus.la/.

Thank you for your partnership as we work together to get through this crisis.

LA City Council Says Tents Can Stay Up; Venice Never Enforced Tents Down; Cleanup on 3rd Ave Questionable

This debris has been moved around since 12 March on 3rd Ave. This photo was taken 16 March. Tuesday, 17 March was still there.

Los Angeles City Council voted to allow tents to stay up from 6 am to 9 pm. Tents in Venice have not complied with rule for years.

What is important is that the trash, the hazardous waste, and 56.11 (bulky item) be enforced.

Third Ave was the only street that had planned cleaning once a week and disinfected once a month with the exception of Ocean Front Walk. The SEC zone established for Venice was to have started 9 March. Nothing happened.

After or before the Bridge Home opened everything stopped. The following was what was promised.

All within a certain area.

Toilets have arrived for 7 am to 7 pm daily with an attendant. Showers came Tuesday and were to be there from 9 am to 1 pm.
This clean team bagged all the trash from the trash cans and left the bagged trash on the sidewalk. The Venice BID supposedly would pick it up. Venice BID comes twice a day. Once at 9 am and in the afternoon. The team that bagged the trash and left it on the sidewalk did not pick up hazardous waste.

LA Times article regarding tents down. Remember that tents are allowed up during the rain.

City considers not cleaning encampments; reneges on promise to “especially” clean areas around 154-bed shelter and protect neighbors

Los Angeles City Council considers not cleaning encampments during coronavirus crisis. They have started calling them “sweeps” as does a 30-member anti-clean group of individuals who take food to the encampments and protest the cleanups.

“Sweeps is a term used by a 30-member group,” said Reta Moser, editor of the Venice Update. “Why they would listen to this small, small group is beyond my comprehension. I can’t even remember their name. Even the homeless who move from one area to another to get their area cleaned appreciate the area being cleaned. Ask them.

“Dorothea on Hampton, south of Rose where they don’t clean, made people around her move one day so she could scrub the sidewalk with soap and water. She said ‘It’s one thing to be homeless and another to be dirty.’

“The LA Sanitation uses bleach with water to disinfect the area. It would appear that a group of 30 is more powerful than a neighborhood or the homeless that LA Sanitation protects. This small group should also be stopped from dumping food in encampment areas for feeding the rats.

“The area on Hampton north of Rose is cleaned and sanitized by businesses, daily and weekly, respectively. The homeless who stay there really appreciate having a cleaned area. Ask them. To me, the City Council is endangering both the lives of the homeless and the neighborhoods This is critical. Coronavirus is not the only killer out there. This movement should be stopped immediately.

“There was also an agreement-promise by City officials (SECZ) that a certain area affected by the 154-bed shelter be especially cleaned, enforce tent law, provide bulky item pick up and provide police protection to the neighborhood surrounding this. That supposedly started 9 March; nothing has been done. Three weeks later the City wants to make this area of Venice an unclean encampment. This is not right. Someone higher up should step up.

“The City has initially installed toilets during 7 am to 7 pm and showers at least once a week and now plans to abandon the homeless and the neighborhoods with an empty promise for all.

The Daily Breeze article.

Toilets, Hand Washing Station, and Showers on 3rd Ave

Two Toilets, one ADA compliant, with a hand washing station and showers are on 3rd Ave in Venice courtesy of Urban Alchemy.

Toilets — two– will remain with a hand washing station from 7 am to 7 pm and a cleaner. This morning it is Randall. Showers are there from 9 to 1 pm. It appears the City is using all kinds of services to provide the toilets and showers to 3rd Ave. According to the City the toilets will be there 7 to 7, seven days a week. Today and tomorrow it will be Urban Alchemy serving people.

It is all rather confusing because they call themselves the clean team and are also picking up trash but they are not part of the Venice Bid Clean Team. This team cannot pick up hazardous waste, only trash. Meanwhile, there is no ADA compliance. Bulky item trash is stacked up at the north end of 3rd Ave at Rose and has been there since at least Thursday.

Photo was taken Monday, 16 March and has been this way since Thursday of last week. This is bulky item trash.

Taxpayer Lawsuit Filed to Force Housing of All Homeless in Less Expensive Facilities

Attorney Elizabeth Mitchell of the law firm of Spertus, Landes and Umhofer, representing the homeless, property owners, residents and the disabled, has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court to force the City and County of Los Angeles to house all of its homeless in less expensive facilities as soon as possible.

The suit contains 14 causes of action, including:

The City and County have breached their duty to their citizens to keep their communities’ streets open and available for movement of people and property.

Mandatory Duty
Basic shelter is “medically necessary” insofar as it is “reasonable and necessary to protect life, to prevent significant illness or significant disability, or to alleviate severe pain” and the City and County’s failure to provide the same to its homeless population constitutes a breach of its duty under California Welfare & Institution Code Sections 17000 and 10000.

Public and Private NuisanceThe City and County have caused a substantial and unreasonable interference with the enjoyment of citizens’ property, whether that be a building owned or room rented; each have suffered and continue to be threatened with respect to their health and welfare, by reason of the constant threat of disease and the experience of human waste, trash, and encampments outside their property.

Inverse Condemnation
The actions by the City have limited, damaged, and/or burdened the owners’ property and/or business so substantially they rise to the level of a regulatory taking, yet no compensation has been provided.

Waste of Public Funds and Resources
The City and the County have spent enormous amounts of public funds on the homelessness crisis in ways that have had little or no effect on the crisis, and thereby wasted those public funds.

Violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
umerous acts by the City constitute a “project” under CEQA, including the power-washing scheme which flushes thousands of tons per year of toxic substances into our oceans. The City’s decision to settle Mitchell v. City of Los Angeles is another example of a “project” in the Skid Row area; permitting unlimited property accumulation in the area has caused untold amounts of human waste, trash, debris, and toxic substances to wash into our waterways. Substantial evidence exists that the growing homelessness crisis may have a significant effect on the environment. Yet no review has ever been done, in violation of the CEQA.

Violation of the California Disabled Persons Act and American with Disabilities Act
The City and County are failing to uphold their obligations to maintain clear and accessible sidewalks and public rights-of way for its disabled residents and visitors, resulting in regular violations of the California Disabled Persons Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. These violations are obvious and known to the City and County both through their own inspections and various reports of blocked sidewalks due to encampments through its own reporting mechanisms, such as 311. Defendants and its agents and employees have failed and continue to fail to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled persons using public sidewalks.

Violation of Due Process and Equal Protection
By enforcing the law in some areas and declining to enforce the law in others, and by abdicating their duties under the law, the City has arbitrarily determined where homeless encampments may or may not be located and what communities should be affected, without following their own respective procedures and in violation of both state and federal law. This has placed a disproportionate burden on some persons, communities, and businesses over others.

Violation of State-Created Danger Doctrine
Defendants have affirmatively created or increased the risk that citizens would be exposed to dangerous conditions, which placed these citizens specifically at risk, and these citizens were harmed as a result.

Uncompensated Taking
The actions by the City have limited, damaged, and/or burdened the property owners so substantially they rise to the level of a regulatory taking, yet no compensation has been provided.

Municipal Liability for Unconstitutional Custom or Policy
The City and County acted with deliberate indifference, and conscious and reckless disregard to the safety, security, and constitutional and statutory rights of citizens.

Towards the objective of housing all unsheltered homeless persons as soon as possible, the suit asks for immediate funding and of proven less-costly housing models, including:

1. Large membrane tents capable of housing 100 people that may be constructed in a few months (cost: $10,000 per bed), e.g., the Union Rescue Mission just erected one at that price.
2. Large military-grade inflatable tents (cost: $6,000 per bed).
3. Pallet shelters (cost: $2,000 per bed).
4. Tent “Kits” capable of housing a family of four, with furniture, refrigerator, heater and electrical generator (Cost: $500 per bed, $2,000 per kit).
5. SHARE Collaborative Housing, two persons per bedroom in existing single-family homes and multi-family buildings (Cost: $500 to $700 monthly rent self-financed by each individual’s SSI, General Relief and other benefits; $8,000 cost per annuum per person for management, peer-counseling and other social services).

The suit would also require the City to maintain 36-inch ADA access on all sidewalks all the time.

Mayor Closes Bars, Dine-in Restaurants, Entertainment Venues, Gyms and Fitness

3rd Ave and LA Under 405 at Washington Place to Receive Enhanced, Daily Toilet and Cleaning Services; Hand Washing Stations Forthcoming

Third Ave has been receiving the portable shower-toilet facilities once a week but now will receive them daily as will the area under the 405 at Washington Place, just west of Sepulveda.

Hours of operation will be from 7 am to 7 pm, seven days a week. They will be supervised with a cleaning person and removed at night.

In addition, because of the Coronavirus threat, there will be several “hand wash” stations throughout CD11. Press release is due out Monday.