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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Homeless Count Shows Improvement, Still Work to be Done

paulMembers of the Venice C3 team in talking with individual in Venice. (Photo courtesy of St. Joseph Center.)

By Paul Rubenstein, VP, Development & Communications, St. Joseph Center

The Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority has released the results of its 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. Overall, the Count shows a reduction in homelessness of 3% across the County compared to last year. This year is the first time in four years that the number of people experiencing homelessness across Los Angeles did not rise. Upon hearing the Count results, St. Joseph Center President & CEO Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum said, “These numbers give me hope. They’re an important reminder that homelessness responds when we increase resources to address it. St. Joseph Center is doing seven times more outreach than we did two years ago, so it’s encouraging to see results like this.”

The numbers this year show promising trends in how strategic efforts and collaboration across the City and the County are paying off, but challenges remain. Housing affordability in LA County is a major concern, with median rents increasing by 32% since 2000 even as the median income has decreased by 3% over the same time period. Perhaps related to that decreasing affordability, more than 9,000 new people become homeless for the first time last year, which represents a 25% increase from the year before. Meanwhile, in LA Council District 11 (which contains Venice, Westchester, Mar Vista, and other nearby neighborhoods) 94% of homeless people remain completely unsheltered, compared with 73% across the County. Kenny Clipper, an outreach Case Manager at St. Joseph Center, said “I’ve worked with people on the Westside who have been on the street for years and are doing great now. This work takes time, but I’ve seen that the results are lasting and worth it. This year’s Count results tell me that we need to keep doing whatever it takes and not slow down one bit.”

When they passed Measure H last year, Angelinos responded strongly to the region’s humanitarian crisis. That funding is starting to show results, but we know much work remains. Motique Alston, a St. Joseph Center Outreach Worker who is formerly homeless herself, responded to the new numbers with resolve, saying, “To me the homeless count is a reminder of our 4,670 Westside neighbors we still need to bring home. For those of us who are dedicating our lives to ending homelessness—especially those of us who have experienced homelessness personally—this year’s count reinforces why we do what we do every day.”

About St. Joseph Center
St. Joseph Center encourages everyone to support policies that aim to increase construction of affordable housing in our neighborhoods and to back elected leaders who are advocating for those policies. State and federal partners need to follow the lead of LA voters and devote more resources toward services and affordable housing. It is critically important to have conversations in our neighborhoods and communities about bringing our everyone who is living on the streets into housing in our local neighborhoods. St. Joseph Center supports the EVERYONE IN campaign; visit the website everyoneinla.org to get involved and get more information.

St. Joseph Center is an independent, non-profit 501 (c)(3), community-based organization whose mission is “to provide working poor families, as well as homeless men, women, and children of all ages, with the inner resources and tools to become productive, stable and self-supporting members of the community.” The Center does not provide religious services or instruction and assists people regardless of their religious affiliation or lack thereof. The Center assists more than 7,000 individuals annually across the Westside and in South Los Angeles through a variety of integrated programs. To learn more about St. Joseph Center’s comprehensive services, please visit www.stjosephctr.org.

Homeless Count Shows City, County, CD11, Venice Numbers Have Decreased

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.19.04 PM

For the first time in four years, both the City and County 2018 homeless counts show decreases as shown. Council District 11 and Venice also show decreases. Venice is down -18 percent and CD11 is down -25 percent. These figures are according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).

Both county and city figures were changed this previous week for 2017 (decreasing the numbers); therefore, Update will rely on the percentages and figures provided by LAHSA. Without the changes to 2017, the City would have been down -7.8 percent and the County down -7.96.

The following charts list the data for the County, the City, Venice, and CD11.





“Homeless” is the headline in Venice news

There is no doubt that “homeless, homelessness” is the major story in Venice news.

Today  (May 30) the LA Times had three stories, one of which talks of the lawsuits Jamie Hall has filed for both Fight Back Venice (Venice Median project) and the Oxford Triangle Association (OTA), which is the Thatcher Yard project.   Mark Ryavec, Venice Activist and president of Venice Stakeholders Association, had an article both in the Argonaut and the Venice Update.

Note: The links were lost for the last two stories.

LA Times editorial talking about the lawsuits.

Lawmakers have power  to deny funding for homeless projects.

And a defense of Orange County NIMBYism.


Ryavec Says City’s Homeless Housing Math Will Short-Change Residents and Homeless

Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders Association and local activist, has written an article claiming that the City’s math of building large apartments for homeless plus the cost of building will short-change both the voter for Measure HHH and the homeless on the streets of Los Angeles.


By Mark Ryavec

Despite the heartfelt support of Los Angeles residents to house the homeless through their votes for Proposition HHH and Measure H, the math and housing model underpinning the city’s plans will leave over 20,000 people on Los Angeles’ streets for the next 10 years.

Even though there are roughly 25,000 people on the street every night in the city of Los Angeles, Proposition HHH never purported to produce more than 10,000 units of permanent supportive units (i.e., with services) and affordable housing over 10 years, at a cost of $1.9 billion, counting the interest. On its face, HHH alone would have left 15,000 people on the street for 10 years. And this does not account for the thousands already in temporary shelters or living in vehicles who also need permanent housing.

Since its passage, HHH’s purchasing power has been reduced dramatically by increases in construction costs and other factors. Reports show that the $247 million in HHH funds allocated so far will produce about 1,466 permanent supportive units. Extrapolating this data over the life of Prop. HHH shows the city can only produce about 5,686 units from HHH, not 10,000.

This assumes, however, that tax credits, which account for 20% to 70% of each project’s budget, will be bought by corporate investors. As reported in the LA Times several months ago, corporate investors are walking away from tax credits due to their much lower tax burden under the recent $1.5 trillion federal tax reduction act. They simply don’t need the credits to improve their bottom line. If tax credit underwriting diminishes or disappears as expected, the city will see even those 1,466 approved units at risk of not being built, which is already starting to happen in other states.

To the extent that affordable housing developers and city leaders have to double tap the only local source available, Prop. HHH, the total build out would drop below 5,686 units. For example, using 50% as the average percentage of project funding derived from tax credits, the loss of half of the previously anticipated tax credit funds would lower the total units that could be built by HHH to 4,264.

There are two alternatives to address these gaps. The first is for the state of California to ride to the rescue and provide the funds to cover increased construction costs and to replace all lost tax credit funds. While there is talk in Sacramento of directing some of the state’s current budget surplus to fund homeless housing, it is highly unlikely that these funds, after being spread statewide, will allow Los Angeles to build the full complement of 10,000 units.

The second option is previewed in a recent report by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. It assumes thousands more permanent placements in market-rate housing using local and federal rent subsidies and an expansion of rapid re-housing — i.e., quickly identifying newly homeless individuals through the Coordinated Entry System and marshalling their own resources along with any needed temporary vouchers or rent subsidies to get them off the street as soon as possible. This approach faces two obstacles: a dearth of market-rate housing and the fact that Los Angeles’ attractive weather and now very public commitment to house the homeless has produced an in-flow from other parts of the state and the nation. (For example, the former director of the Teen Project in Venice told me that over 70% of the young people his agency counseled were from out-of-state.)

In any event, if the city continues to largely pursue efficiency units with kitchens and bathrooms (56% of funded units to date under HHH) or 500- to 600-square-foot one-bedroom apartments (32% of funded units), I expect that roughly 20,000 people will be left on the street for the next 10 years. This is not what the voters thought they were getting.

At one time there were 15,000 single room occupancy (SRO) units in hotels in downtown Los Angeles. These were 80- to 120-square-foot apartments that did not have attached bathrooms — shared toilets and showers were down the hall. These SROs were built between 1890 and 1930 to house railroad employees and itinerant workers, only later in the last century becoming the housing of last resort for the indigent. The SRO Housing Corp., a nonprofit set up years ago to restore and operate these buildings, estimates there are 5,500 SRO units left today in and around Skid Row. (The rest were lost years ago when owners decided to demolish them instead of laying out the funds to meet then-new city structural, safety and health codes.)

Another model that is successful in generating far more beds than the model favored by traditional housing providers is the collaborative housing developed by SHARE!, a nonprofit that typically houses four former homeless people at a time in two-bedroom apartments, dormitory-style.

While some city council members engage in surreal proposals to shelter all the homeless by December of this year, I believe the city should redirect the bulk of HHH funds to replace the roughly 10,000 SRO that have been lost. It is clear that the city can house many thousands more in SROs than with the traditional one-bedroom, 600-square-foot model or even 350-square-foot efficiency apartments.

The city should also set a limit on what it will pay for land so that the most efficient use is made of every HHH dollar. For example, city officials should abandon plans to put 136 apartments — of which more than half would be 600 square feet or larger — on city-owned land one block from Venice Beach, some of the priciest land in Los Angeles. This land at Venice and Pacific avenues, currently an expansive city parking lot for beach visitors, could fetch maybe $50 million to $90 million if sold, depending on the building entitlements the city allowed a developer. Nonprofits granted these funds could build six times as many SRO units on less-expensive land elsewhere in the city, which would house 816 people instead of just 136.

To honor both those who are languishing on the street and homeowners who voted in good faith to tax themselves in order to house the homeless, city leaders should make an immediate course correction and downsize the footprints of affordable housing units in order to increase the number of homeless who can be housed.





Metro 6 Lot — Will it be for the homeless? What type?

Metro 6 — that 3.5-acre parcel on Sunset between Main and Pacific owned by the Metropolitan Transportation District … Will it be used for “Bridge” housing? Will it be a 100-percent permanent supportive homeless package? Will it be affordable housing?

Darryl DuFay has questions and comments after reading LA Times article that appeared Friday.

By Darryl DuFay

Let’s change from “Read and Weep” to “Read and Scream.”

We speculated in what might happen. Seems it may very well occur. Change the original intent right now and use the METRO 6 lot on Main St for homeless services and “temporary” housing!

In 2016 Councilman Mike Bonin proposed a number of projects to deal with homelessness (see photo below). You’re most familiar with two of the major proposed projects in Venice–The Venice Median and the Thatcher Yard. However, there is a third one. The Metro District 6 lot project where they use to service the Metro buses at Sunset Ave between Pacific Ave. and Main Street (map below).

Of crucial importance in this discussion is ownership, political influence. and money.. The first two properties are owned by the City of Los Angeles. The third one is owned by Metropolitan Transportation Authority aka Metro.

Mike Bonin is Chair of the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee but is also a member of the METRO Board of Directors along with Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Bonin formally directed the LA Metro to begin the “joint development process” at a board meeting January 28, 2016. LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl co-sponsered the motion.” Bonin’s other connections with the City Council Committees are the Homeless and Poverty, Budget and Finance, and Trade Travel and Tourism.

For the past two to three years the Metro property in Venice has been undergoing environmental rehab. The focus as we have been informed in their quarterly reports was for construction of homeless and affordable housing, which is in the METRO charter.

Now, this 3.5 acre parcel is being touted for homeless service and temporary housing. Garcetti’s LA City woefully underfunded “Bridge to Home” political gambit is mentioned as an example of what is being proposing.

Please read the article. Many questions and concerned are asked. But always keep in mind that something this big would not have been just proposed by some officials without first going up the political ladder for approval.

LA Times article.

Metro Lot 6 2016

Metro 6 map

Jones Settlement Talley, Citywide Homeless Reunification Office Featured at Homeless Committee

Venetians who attended the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) Homeless Committee meeting Monday night at the Venice Public Library.

By Angela McGregor

The Monday evening meeting of the VNC’s Homeless Committee opened with a presentation by Taylor Bazley from Mike Bonin’s office on Mayor Garcetti’s Homeless Shelter Initiative, dubbed “A Bridge Home”.

This proposal would incentivize neighborhoods to create emergency shelters on vacant city parcels. These 24/7, year-round shelters would facilitate the homeless in getting off the streets by offering them services and entering them into the Coordinated Entry System (CES). The incentive would be extra sanitation dollars in an amount Bazley stated could be “transformative”. A future meeting will be held in order to gather input as to possible locations for such a program in Venice.

Beginning of Bazley’s talk was not recorded. New camera.

The first motion of the evening was a statement of support for a council file titled “Family Reunification through Service Providers”, which would create a citywide program based on Venice’s pilot program, which last year reunited 30 homeless individuals with supportive family members. This motion passed, 8-0, and will move onto the VNC Board for final approval.

The second motion was a letter in support of the West LA Veteran’s Administration Master Plan to provide housing for homeless vets on their campus. The letter includes the following: “The West L.A. campus of the Veterans’ Association was donated specially to serve the veterans who are now living on the street…If all 5,000 beds that the facility was designed to hold were to be made available we would be able to house and care for almost every homeless veteran on the streets of Los Angeles County. It is imperative that we immediately fund and execute this reclamation project and serve each and every veteran that seeks help and assistance.” This measure also passed unanimously.

The final three motions on the agenda all began with the phrase, “Whereas the City of Los Angeles has been handcuffed by the terms of the Jones Settlement to enforce laws that provide safe, clean and clear sidewalks for residents, businesses, and visitors.”

Committee Chairman Will Hawkins explained to the attendees that, in 2005, the City came to an agreement — titled the Jones Settlement — with attorney Carol Sobel which mandated that the City not enforce LAMC 41.18(d) (no sleeping, sitting or camping on sidewalks) between the hours of 9 pm and 6 am until the City had created 1250 units of Permanent Supportive Housing, at least half of which were to be in the greater downtown area. (the full settlement can be viewed here: http://wetnostril.homestead.com/JonesSettlement.html).

In the intervening 13 years, the City has not provided an update on how many units have been constructed or if the terms of the Settlement have been met. In addition, the lack of enforcement has manifested, in some parts of Venice, as a lack of law enforcement generally. Motion #3 on the agenda requested “updated stats and figures that show whether or not the terms of the Jones Settlement have been satisfied”. A similar motion, passed last year, was ignored by the City, but as Hawkins put it, the City needs to show “either their shameful lack of progress on this issue, or their equally shameless lack of transparency”. The motion passed, 7-1.

Motion #4 — to create a safe camping program in Venice — met with more resistance from both attendees and the Committee itself. The proposal was to allow individuals who had registered with the CES to specify and reserved spots on the sidewalk between the hours of 9 pm and 6 am, with the approval of 2/3 of homeowners on the block. Discussion centered around the liability this would create (the original language of the motion was changed to replace “neighbors” with “homeowners”, since property owners would ultimately be liability for any damages this might create), as well as the appearance of condoning sidewalk camping of any kind, which creates a mobility hazard, especially among the disabled. After much discussion, the Committee decided to table this motion until their next meeting.

Motion #5 — which would create a program whereby homeowners would allow homeless individuals to put a tent on their property — and Motion #6, which would create a program to financially subsidize homeowners who wish to allow homeless individuals to park on their properties and make use of their bathrooms — were both tabled for the next meeting due to a lack of time.

Motions 4,5, and 6 will all be considered at the next meeting.

Venice has 43.5 Percent of CD11 Homeless; 66.7 Percent of CD11 Youth

Darryl DuFay,  after finding some more figures for the homeless sheltered, unsheltered, has come up with some revealing statistics for CD11.

By Darryl DuFay

The 2017 Homeless data does not have a community break out for the Youth Count, probably because it was so small.  In CD11 is was only 171.  However, a different summary count just for Venice showed the separate Youth Count of 114.  Venice has 66.7% of the Youth Count in CD11. In total Venice has 43.5% of the homeless in our Council District 11.  See the Summary below.

The data for Skid Row was added to show the comparison.

Homeless Data for Council District 11 Communities and Skid Row 2016/2017

Screen Shot 2018-04-21 at 8.36.10 AMhttps://www.lahsa.org/dashboards?id=13-greater-los-angeles-homeless-count-by-city-community Population and Square Miles from Internet. Community Names from CD11 website. August 29, 2017

Comments — 9 April 2018

Gordana Perlof
Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it. Thanks. Forwarded as received.
Hold your finger down on the message. At the bottom in the middle it will say forward. Hit that then click on the names of those in your list and it will send to them.

Darryl DuFay
LAHSA (Los Angeles Housing Services Authority) is in the political sights of the LA County Board of Supervisors (see LA Times article below).  In their title LA means both LA County and LA City.  The County has 10 million people.  Four million of those people live in the City of Los Angeles.

LAHSA has control/oversight over Prop. H money for County wide Homeless Services.  That was $355 million per year for 10 years generated by an increased sales tax.  Total $3.55 billion over ten years.

LAHSA  DOES NOT have control of HHH money, which was a City of Los Angeles homeless construction bond issue of $1.2 billion over 10 years.  That money is controlled by HCIDLA (Los Angeles Housing Community Investment Department).  The County provides the services for those building projects.

LAHSA also runs the Annual Homeless Count for the County and City of Los Angeles.  Another enterprise that is questionable in its validity.


The rental picture gets bleaker and bleaker.

The 15th in the series “Without a Home” and deals with homeless on trains and Metro’s strategy of social workers on subways.

LA Times Editorial dealing with Senate Bill 827, which  LA City Council has voted against.

Yolanda Gonzalez
Garcetti, Wesson drop 1.6 billion pension bill on Angelenos

Heather Beeman-Kahler
LOVE the Hamlet story!
Thank you for your observant and caring heart Kristin!

Same thing happened to a neighbors cat in the Oxford triangle some 25-30 years ago.
‘Imax’ was found  about 30 miles from home!
I cannot remember how she found him eventually, months later, but technology was far less advanced or available!
But Imax made it home eventually and lived a long happy life!

Carolyn Rios
Sorry to,hear about Jay Cole
Enjoyed his chili after canal parades,
and he did great work on the VNC neoghborhood committee while I was on it

Thank you for Ivan’s update. Was thinking he was traveling now. Glad he is having a good time.
He deserves some food, R & R.

Reta Moser
Los Angeles City Council Planning and Land Use Committee (PLUM) will vote on the Short Term Rentals Ordinance Tuesday, April 10, 2:30 pm, LA City Hall, 200 North Spring, Room 340.  The proposed ordinance will then move to the full City Council for a vote.

The proposed ordinance would legalize short-term rentals with the following restrictions:
Only a primary residence could be rented short-term
Hosts would be required to register with the city (or face steep fines)
Prohibition of short-term rentals in rent-stabilized (RSO) homes
Cap limit on number of days a host can rent their primary residence annually.
In addition to the proposed citywide regulations which would allow home sharing as a limited accessory use in one’s non-RSO designated primary residence, PLUM will consider a process by which hosts who meet specific stringent criteria have the ability to apply for approvals that allow for home-sharing above and beyond the citywide cap on days.

El Mercado owners sue to stop the homeless project in Boyle Heights.  This is the project Councilman Jose Huizar has been on and off with his approval.  They want a full environmental report.

Palisades News (palisadesnews.com) has an interesting article, page 5 under Current Edition, regarding “Parking Sought for Homeless in  Cars.”

A neighbor mentioned that the homeless in Baltimore, MD are given bus tickets to California.

Someone asked for Venice Median apartment square footage and thought it should be published for all … square footage for the Venice Median property apartments as supplied by Becky Dennison will be:

Studio: 281-405 sq ft
Art Loft: 350-480 sq ft
1 BR: 502-687 sq ft
2 BR: 755-902 sq ft

Bonin Takes Giant Step to Get All LA Homeless Off Streets by December 2018

Councilman Mike Bonin took one giant step forward Tuesday with a motion – emergency response to homelessness he set forth for the City Council members to approve.  He wants emergency action taken to get all the homeless off the streets of Los Angeles by the end of this year.   Note this motion was coauthored with Marqueece Harris-Dawson, councilman of CD8.

Bonin said he wanted Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) to prepare within 14 days the framework for an Emergency Response to Homelessness Plan. He wants to know what steps and what funds would be required to get all the homeless off the streets of Los Angeles  by 31 December 2018.

He wants the Los Angeles Homeless Coordinator, with the assistance of the Chief Legislative Analyst and City Administrative Officer, and other departments and agencies as appropriate,  prepare within 14 days a comprehensive list of every public facility in the City of Los Angeles legally eligible to be used to provide shelter, temporary housing, or safe parking.

How many people and what percentage of Los Angeles’ homeless population are currently being provided shelter or housing, and what number and what percentage of our homeless population LAHSA aims to shelter or house by the end of the current fiscal year, and the next three years?  The report should include the number and types of shelter beds available during the past two fiscal years and during the current fiscal year.

What steps have been taken to replace barracks-style emergency shelters with low-barrier, 24-hour crisis housing and bridge housing beds that provide a genuine first step from the streets to long-term housing, as called for in Strategy 7A or the Comprehensive Homeless Strategy?  The report should include the number of beds, number of facilities, and percentage of the homeless population in Los Angeles being served.

This is a different tact than previously taken by the City. Before, it was you must put these people in permanent housing, you must build. The homeless populations is increasing.  It was stated recently that one billion had been expended but nothing has been built.

Yet another initiative for building, one City and many for County
Well, as this writer writes another initiative was made at the City Council and that was for each council district to provide 222 units built with HHH money by 1 July 2020 for a total of 3330 supporting housing units. If they are talking permanent supportive housing (PSH) that means the supply will be greater because usually only half the project is PSH with the rest being affordable housing.

The LA County board of supervisors passed a motion Tuesday to draft four ordinances to preserve and increase the number of affordable units.

Judge Carter in Orange County with innovative steps  forced the County to take action
Judge David O. Carter  of Orange County took the limelight with the Santa Ana encampments. Evictions were ordered for the homeless people and Carter initiated a temporary restraining order. He said movement had to be humane. Departments got together.  The results of the County and others has been quick and effective.

Since 14 February, 244 homeless have been moved to motels, according to Susan Price, the county homeless czar. Price said they were totally committed to those who wanted help. Yesterday, Judge Carter lifted the temporary restraining order.

The motel vouchers are for 30 days.  The county also gave those leaving the encampment with the vouchers, a $75 gift card for each of the four weeks to help with food and other necessities.

County officials also made 200 “recuperative” beds available for those with serious medical problems.

Demographics for Homeless Shows 38 Percent are Mentally Ill in Venice

Breakdown for Venice Homeless.

Council District 11 Breakdown of Homeless.

By Darryl DuFay

A step in the right direction. Article from LA Times article.
In 2017, 16,000 of the 58,000 homeless in LA County suffer from “serious mental issues.” That is 28%. In our Council District 11 it was 34%. In Venice it was 38%.

Councilmember Jose Huizar said he would introduce a resolution to support the County’s effort. Huizar is a member of the City council’s Homeless and Poverty Committee along with Coouncilman Mike Bonin. Huizar is also Chair of the Planning and Land Use Committee.

Our County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Council District 3, was the dissenting vote. She was concerned about the homeless’ pets, who would take care of their stuff, and 72-hour hospital holds.