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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Everything you wanted to know regarding what is available for homeless

Mar Vista Community Council’s Homeless Solutions Committee put out a Homeless Resource Guide in January  that can answer many of the questions people have regarding whom to call for helping the homeless, what are the services provided, where to go to volunteer, contribute etc.

The committee has even gone to the trouble of printing on the guide “Please feel free to copy and distribute this guide.”  Hopefully, the committee will put out an update in January 2018 if there are changes.







3rd–Formerly Lined with Homeless–Shows Signs of Normalcy


(Photos courtesy of Rick Swinger.) North end of 3rd seems very normal.  South end, near Sunset, is starting to repopulate with homeless on the sidewalk.

The infamous 3rd Avenue in Venice is showing signs of possibly evolving as  a normal Venice Street with people parking and women pushing the baby carriages.

Rick Swinger, resident of Rose near 3rd, took an active part and started a Go Fund Me account to help with the costs.  One Friday in mid September, the Sanitation department took the “stuff” lined up on Rose fitting the category of too big for the 60-gallon can in accordance with LAMC 56.11 and stored the items in the downtown storage facility.  People came back from the beach to find that their “stuff” had been put in storage.

Close to this happening, the County Disease Control declared a Hepatitis A outbreak in County and stated that homeless were particularly vulnerable.  At the same time residents and homeless were complaining about produce being dumped on 3rd and creating a rat infestation.

Where did the homeless go?

Couple weeks ago Update ran an article asking where the homeless had gone from 3rd Ave between Sunset and Rose. Suddenly, 3rd was vacant and clean. Sanitation had picked up items for storage in accordance with LAMC 56.11 and as a result, people vacated the area.

It looked like a new street. It got cleaned. … as clean as 3rd could get.

Well, the homeless had scattered to various areas. One went to Ocean/Mildred/Venice, some stayed in area and settled on Sunset and 3rd, which was just around the corner, and some were nestling in overgrown alleys.

This Friday, 20 October —
Sunset at 3rd is totally vacant. The Ocean/Mildred/Venice resident in the pocket park was moved out somewhere by the LAPD Hope Unit enforcing LAMC 56.11 and it is vacant. Overgrown alleys will always have a tenant until homeowners clean the alleys.


3rd is starting to repopulate
Update wanted to take picture of trash that could easily have  been put in trash barrel provided.  Man suddenly appeared from the sidewalk and was irate that someone would take a picture of his trash.  When asked why he did not just put it in barrel, he got really angry and mentioned he did not have a truck and went on and on.  He then stood in front of camera to prevent picture of his trash and continued to yell.

Shockley Asks for Venetians to Write Letters in Opposition to PSH Ordinance

Mark Shockley, president of the Oxford Triangle Association, has prepared a fact sheet regarding the City Permanent Supportive Ordinance PSHO Ord  proposed for Venetians and particularly residents of the Oxford Triangle, to write a letter in opposition to the PSH ordinance.

The Action Network has software that enables the user to enter his info just once and send 39 emails with the click of a button.

This proposed ordinance will affect projects planned for the Thatcher Yard, the Venice Median, and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) lot on Sunset.  All Venetians are asked to get the facts and submit a letter. The City has a PSH Ordinance Summary. and Mark Shockley’s facts are listed below. This is your Venice.  Letters are needed by 5 pm, 30 October.

The City of LA has proposed an ordinance which limits environmental review and due diligence for Permanent Supportive Housing projects Los Angeles.

As noted in the Ordinance details, each qualifying project would need to have either an on-site supportive services or a direct link to offsite supportive services; Offsite services are not likely possible at land-locked Thatcher Yard, so all services would have to be on site.

No parking spaces will be required for PSH occupants.

Miscellaneous additional zoning changes that would reduce setbacks, required lot sizes and minimum unit sizes and increase overall density.

The PSH Public-Private lease agreements will be for 55 years, so it is essential that the City gets it right and follows a more stringent review process, not the fast-track process proposed in the Ordinance.

The Oxford Triangle Association is asking all residents to submit written comments objecting to the Ordinance as currently drafted. All submissions must be delivered on or before 5PM on October 30, 2017.



Where have homeless gone? — Sunset, Alleys, Venice-Ocean


East and West sides of 3rd Avenue show avenue almost devoid of “stuff” and people Thursday, 28 September. There are indications that the area is slowly starting to re-populate.


People remove “stuff” from 3rd to put on Rose for the scheduled cleanup.  Cleanup use to be weekly by Department of Sanitation. Sanitation would clean up trash and steam clean and sanitize portions of the sidewalks. Now cleanup is monthly.  Also new is Sanitation coming by on Thursdays and removing all bulk items in coordination with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and in accordance with LAMC 56.11.

Residents of 3rd stored their stuff on Rose Ave Friday, 8 September so that 3rd could be cleaned.  Department of Sanitation removed items for storage in accordance with LAMC 56.11.  Street was cleaned.

Where are the homeless now?
One resident who stays on 3rd in his vehicle said “they were all taken to jail.”  When asked what really happened,  he calmed down and said “half went to jail and rest scattered, probably on Hampton.”  When checking Hampton, Update found few remnants of homeless belongings on Hampton either direction of Rose. Meanwhile, Public Storage steam cleaned their portion on the east side of 3rd.

Rick Swinger and his effort to clean the alleys and stop dumping on 3rd has been a major part of this cleanup and movement.  The Hepatitis A outbreak declaration by the County Health Department also encouraged the homeless, who looked for comraderie,  to find other places.

On Sunset
Some were found on north side of Sunset between 3rd and 4th.  There were belongings indicating they were moving to south side too.

In the alleys

Update received two emails asking for information regarding homeless in their alleys.  Clean the alleys of debris! This alley presents a covered, sheltered area for homeless.  One alley had campout cooking facilities.   Get neighbors together and clean up those alleys.  Call LA311.  Alleys should be cleared sufficiently for a firetruck access.

Encampment at Mildred, Ocean, Venice Blvd
Well, this one, originally designed with mounds and balls by Robin Murez to make a City corner area beautiful and desirable, has turned into an encampment that just keeps growing with things, and perhaps, people.





Lava Mae on 3rd Ave Can Do 30 Showers; Hard for Criminals to Get A Job

Lava Mae

Lava Mae is now doing about 30 showers a day each Thursday on 3rd. They had been doing 20 – 25.  Jerry, a Lava Mae worker, said it was just that we got more efficient.  People are coming from all over Venice to take a shower.  A team from St. Joseph and LAHSA was there to provide services for those needing services.

A man at the other end of the block told Update he had been in prison for 26 years and could not get a job because of that.  He was told when he was in Skid Row, Los Angeles that he could collect social security but he did not “stick around” as he said.  He said he was from Toledo and indicated he was not going to be around too long on 3rd.

His predicament was mentioned to the C-3 team at Lava Mae and they said they would talk to him.  He apparently has to sign into the services before someone can help him.  I asked him what his name was and he said “I’m the second book.”  I told him it was nice to meet a Mark out here.  Gave him my name and told him I had a  nephew who was number one book.  He proceeded to give me all the abbreviations for Matthew and we laughed.  I told him it was hard to do that to a Mark.


Bonin Calls for More Pubic Restrooms to Combat Hepatitis A Outbreak

(Photo courtesy of Rick Swinger.) This photo was taken of an alley near 3rd Ave in Venice. It has since been cleaned.

LOS ANGELES–Councilmember Mike Bonin today called for the City of Los Angeles to dramatically expand access to allow round-the-clock public restrooms in an effort to curb and combat an outbreak of Hepatitis A among the city’s homeless population.

Days after County officials declared a Hepatitis A outbreak and social service agencies and homeless advocates called for public health measures, Bonin submitted a motion asking City officials to identify funding for emergency portable restrooms with attendants, and to explore creation of a mobile toilet program similar to one operating in San Francisco.

“This is a public health crisis, and we need to act with urgency,” Bonin said. “It is inhumane and unsafe to deny people access to restrooms. It endangers people living on the street, and it endangers neighbors who find human feces in their alleys and on their sidewalks.”

Bonin’s motion’s cited the success of San Francisco’s “Pit Stop” program, which provides mobile bathrooms and sinks at more than a dozen locations. It is modeled after a similar program, Lava Mae, which provides mobile showers for people who are homeless. Lava Mae also started in San Francisco, and Bonin led the effort to bring the program to Los Angeles, where it operates in Venice, Westchester and downtown Los Angeles.

Bonin’s motion also asked City officials to identify funding to open existing and emergency portable toilets 24-7, staffed by attendants. Bonin said that staffing public restrooms with attendants to keep them clean and free of crime is a “best practice” that should be replicated here.

Bonin also urged Department of Recreation and Parks officials to move swiftly to open restrooms at Venice Beach around the clock. Bonin secured funds for the 24-7 restrooms during budget deliberations earlier this year, but the department has yet to start the expanded access.

“Providing clean and safe restroom access is a matter of basic decency–and smart public health policy,” said Bonin. “The recent public health crisis is another frightening reminder of the real costs of continued inaction. We cannot allow red tape to prolong suffering–we must act now to offer people safe places to use the restroom and get cleaned up. This is a solvable problem.”

Many of LA’s estimated 25,000 unsheltered homeless individuals lack access to restroom facilities in the evening. This lack of access has created adverse conditions for the homeless population, service providers and the general public. Without access to the basic right of a restroom, people living on the streets are at a significantly increased risk of contracting diseases like Hepatitis A that are spread through human feces. According to a recent report, there are only nine public restrooms available at night for the individuals living on the streets of Skid Row. Venice Beach faces an even more dire shortage with funding for only one set of beach restrooms. A June report by a group of homeless service providers, advocates and residents found that the conditions do not even meet the standards the United Nations sets for refugee camps.

In addition to funding concerns, there is often a lack of adequate space in dense neighborhoods to place restrooms without encroaching into the public right-of-way. Bonin’s motion directs City departments to evaluate how to permit portable restroom facilities, especially those managed by a social service agency.

Third Avenue Status …

Rose Ave, Friday, 22 September

Third Ave East side, Saturday morning, 23 September.

east side
Third Ave, West Side, Saturday morning, 23 September

Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 10.15.00 AM
Friday, 15 September, “stuff” was lined up on Rose so that Sanitation could clean 3rd Ave. This the residents do each Friday morning so that 3rd can be cleaned and sanitized.

September 15th, Sanitation roped off Rose from Hampton to 3rd and took all the belongings to be stored downtown in accordance with Ordinance 56.11. They will be kept 90 days or until redeemed. In addition, Sanitation cleaned and sanitized 3rd Ave.

So, is that why 3rd, both sides, looks deserted with little less than debris on the sidewalks and the street? One chap has set up camp on east side and has his umbrella shading himself.

Sunset, between 3rd and 4th, on the other hand looks like 3rd use to look.

Housing Bills Passed by California Legislature

Both Marie Hammond and Barbara Gibson provided this list of housing bills passed by the California Legislature this session. The list was produced by the California Association of Realtors.

Legislature Passes Bill Package to Address Housing Crisis
As the first year of the 2017-18 legislative session drew to a close, the Legislature passed a package of bills to address the California Housing Crisis. The bills that passed are intended to streamline new housing developments, enforce the Housing Accountability Act, and provide a permanent source of funding for affordable housing projects. Each of the bills listed below were part of the housing package, were supported by C.A.R., and have passed both houses of the legislature awaiting final approval by the Governor.

AB 72 (Santiago and Chiu) Enforcement of California Housing Laws – The Housing Accountability Act (HAA) only permits a local government to deny a proposed housing development that complies with general plan and zoning standards if the project would adversely impact public health or safety. AB 72 grants the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) the authority to find a local government’s housing element out of substantial compliance and requires the HCD to refer those violations to the attorney general. AB 72 would allow for greater enforcement of the HAA.

AB 73 (Chiu) Housing Sustainability Districts – AB 73 would permit developers to voluntarily use an alternate project approval process in a housing sustainability district. Local governments would be incentivized to create these districts and to approve developments “by-right” if 20% of the units are reserved for affordable housing.

AB 678 (Bocanegra) and SB 167 (Skinner) Housing Accountability Act (HAA) Expansion and Enforcement – These bills would ensure that local agencies cannot disapprove housing projects without a preponderance of evidence proving that the project adversely impacts public health or safety. Local governments that fail to comply with the HAA would be subject to fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 per unit. AB 678 and SB 167 seek to strengthen the HAA and bring much needed housing relief to the state’s working families.

AB 879 (Grayson) Housing Element: Developers – The Planning and Zoning Law requires a city or county to adopt a general plan for land use development within its boundaries that includes, among other things, a housing element. This bill would require the housing element to include an analysis of potential and actual nongovernmental constraints upon housing development. AB 879 seeks to identify solutions to the state’s housing crisis using the housing element planning process.

SB 2 (Atkins) Recording Tax – SB 2 seeks to fund affordable housing by imposing a flat $75 per document recording fee on every real estate instrument not part of a sales transaction. The fee would be capped at $225 per transaction and coordinated with other revenue sources. SB 2 would ensure that the fee will not burden home purchase transactions and dedicates 20% of the funds generated to affordable workforce ownership. SB 2 was amended to direct 70% of revenues to local governments using the block grant formula used by HUD.

SB 35 (Wiener) Streamlining Affordable Housing Production – SB 35 would create a streamlined “by-right” approval process for infill projects with two or more residential units or Accessory Dwelling Units in localities that have failed to produce sufficient housing to meet their Regional Housing Needs Assessment goals, provided that the project: 1) is not located in a hazard zone (e.g., flood, fire, earthquake, etc.); 2) dedicates 10% of the units to households making at or below 80% of the area median income, and 3) pays prevailing wage to projects over 10 units.

SB 540 (Roth) Workforce Housing Opportunity Zones – This bill would authorize local governments to establish Workforce Housing Opportunity Zones by preparing an Environmental Impact Report pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act. SB 540 would prohibit local governments from denying developments proposed within that zone for 5 years, provided that the developments contain affordable housing (i.e., 30% for moderate-income households, 15% for lower-income households and 5% for very low-income households) and meet all other specified requirements. Finally, SB 540 would require local governments to approve, or disapprove, a housing development located within the zone within 60 days of the submission of a completed development application. SB 540 would limit unnecessary regulatory costs while speeding up the development process and increasing the enforcement of state housing laws.

Homeless Committee to Discuss Mobile Health Kiosks

Homeless Committee of Venice Neighborhood Council will discuss having mobile kiosks to dispense vaccinations and provide medical care for homeless on a weekly basis at their next meeting Monday (25 September) at 6:30 pm at the Venice Library, 501 Venice Blvd.