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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

LA Philharmonic Celebrates 100th by Giving 100 Tickets Free

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is collaborating with the LA Philharmonic to make performances accessible to everyone in the County. The innovative “100 for the 100th: Be Our Guest” program wants to ensure that the wonderful performances at the Walt Disney Concert Hall for the Phil’s 100th birthday will be a celebration available to all of LA.

Note: This is from Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s newsletter. It implies that all supervisors are offering the free tickets but then it does narrow it to 3rd District. Not all of Venice is in the 3rd District.

The program is distributing 10,000 free tickets to performances during the LA Phil’s anniversary season, including concerts conducted by Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, major guest artists, youth concerts, world, jazz, songbook programs, and more.

If you live in the Third District and would like to “Be Our Guest” — fill out this online ticket request form today!

City, County Phone Numbers

The following is a list of City and County phone numbers prepared by the LAPD and provided here for your reference. The 2-1-1 number for the County should be 211 as the City number is 311.


C3 Team at St. Joseph’s is Moving Homeless into Housing

Solimar Ferguson of LAHSA (Los Angeles Housing Services Authority) and Tia Drayton, registered nurse with County Department of Public Health are shown returning to St. Joseph Center after visiting homeless on 3rd Ave. They are part of the C3 team assigned to Venice.


Venice’s C3 Team is starting to move homeless into housing.  After just five months in operations, they have some numbers.

C3 is a county, city, community team headquartered at St. Joseph Center to help the homeless in Venice, specifically the area from Dewey to Washington Blvd, Lincoln to Main. Their purpose is to engage, assist, and house. Head of the group is Stephen Butler, assistant vice president of programs at St. Joseph Center.

This writer met with Tia, Solimar, and Steve in December of last year. This writer wanted to observe the team in action on 3rd. Steve briefly explained the operation before departing.

Immediately, after leaving St. Joseph’s to Hampton Dr, we saw two women across the street. Tia and Solimar immediately crossed the street toward them.

Here were two well-dressed, diminutive women rolling up a tent that they had used for the night. This writer would loved to have been able to take a picture of these two because they were the “poster children” for “get rid of homelessness in Los Angels today, not tomorrow.” They expressed a seldom seen extreme of  homelessness and they did it with humility and dignity. They were not the stereotype homeless that are seen on the streets or beach of Venice. They looked like semi-professionals, and without the tent, one would never have guessed they were homeless.

This writer walked with the three on 3rd as they talked with the homeless and asked them how they were. Tia re-bandaged a cut on one arm. Tia was equipped with a first-aid kit, and when asked about it being part of the equipment, she said “Oh, yah,” like it was a given for what she did. They had to return, so that day, other than the bandage, it was a meet and “what can we do for you.”

Trust, for the homeless, takes time and engagement. There is an enormous amount of paper work involved after one gains trust to get to the place when one is handed a key to his own apartment.

Stephen said “the team has a lot of different responsibilities when it comes to best serving our unhoused neighbors, which includes coordinating medical and mental health care; re-connecting to past service providers; facilitating connection to income; procuring key documents for housing; navigating the coordinated entry system; and transportation to different types of bridge and permanent housing.

“They assist is the process of getting folks connected to resources like bridge housing, substance use services, medical assessment and treatment, as well as linkage to other resources that lead to health, harm reduction, and housing.”

This writer met Stephen at a Homeless Committee meeting the other night and Stephen was happy to report that the one lady, and he knew immediately that this writer knew who he was talking about, had her own apartment now. That day neither lady wanted to give any particulars. But apparently, one did and now has her own place.

When one hears news like that, one feels both immediate happiness and relief and the thought plays often in one’s head. Cannot imagine the joy the workers must feel when they place someone.

The walk was done in December and there were no figures at the time. They started 24 October. Now they have the follwing figures for the five months in operation, ending 31 March.

People Engaged: 269 (12-month Goal: 300)

People Assisted: 111 (12-month Goal: 150)

Interim Housing Placements: 41 (12-month Goal: n/a)

Assigned to Permanent Housing: 28 (12-month Goal: n/a)

Moved into Permanent Housing: 5 (12-month Goal: 75)

“We have 28 people ‘assigned to housing,’” wrote Stephen. “This means that the person has been connected to some type of voucher or rental assistance, and has a case worker helping him navigate the housing process. The 41 people in interim housing are no longer on the streets of Venice!”

… and now the money for the homeless

Looks like County will have nothing on the ballot to alleviate homelessness in LA this year. Perhaps in March they will put the quarter cent sales tax measure on the ballot. They have until 9 August to decide for November. This is all according to an editorial in LA Times Tuesday http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-homeless-taxes-20160726-snap-story.html

July 26 LA Times had article about the City, Mike Bonin proposing a 1.5 billion housing bond or a 1.1 billion bond and a parcel tax. All of the initiatives would increase property taxes and require two-third approval by voters. Decision to be made in August.

See Mark Ryavec’s article stating that the County is the governing body responsible for taking care of incompetent, poor, indigent and incapacitated people. https://veniceupdate.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=12640&action=edit&message=6

Keep Streets, Sidewalks Clean

healthy streets

Homeless Figures for County, City, but not CD11, Venice

Homelessness for Los Angeles County increased 5.7 percent to almost 47,000 and Los Angeles City increase was 10.8 percent to almost 29,000 according to the Los Angeles Housing Service Agency (LAHSA) figures released this week.

2016 City, County Figures
Figures in parenthesis are 2015 figures.

Last year the Los Angeles Housing Service Agency (LAHSA) showed Los Angeles homeless with a 12 percent increase and Venice with a 16.6 percent increase. Unfortunately, the Venice Update covering the story 19 May 2015 referenced a link to the LAHSA website which is no longer valid.

There is no breakdown by council districts or Venice for 2016 yet. Council district 11 did show an increase of 70 percent from 2013 to 2015. The 2013 homeless count was 1390, and 2015 it was 2359. The following charts are for 2015 Homeless in Council District 11.

2015cd 11


Councilman Speaks of Safe Havens, Not Sidewalks

Park Avenue, off Ocean Front Walk, just past 6 am Saturday.

Market Avenue, off Ocean Front Walk, just past 6 am Saturday.

3rd Avenue at Rose, just past 6 am Saturday.

Court Rejects City and County Motions for Summary Judgement; Venice Beach Public Nuisance Case Heads to Trial

(Venice, CA/10/21/15) This morning Superior Court Judge Gregory Alarcon denied motions by the City and County of Los Angeles to dismiss the Venice Stakeholders Association lawsuit which alleges that the City and County have maintained a public nuisance on their park land, parking lots and the Boardwalk at Venice Beach.

In the decision the Court cited legal authority which included:

“Government liability under Government Code section 815 et seq. may be nuisances per se,… Such an action would not force the City to prosecute others for nuisance on private property, but rather require the City to take action as is necessary so that it no longer suffers a nuisance on its own property.”

Today’s Court decision was applauded by the Venice Stakeholders group:

“We are heartened by the Court’s support of our position that the City and County have a legal responsibility to abate the nuisance which they are allowing to exist in the Venice Beach Recreation Area (VBRA),” said Mark Ryavec, president of the Stakeholders. “Just like all other owners who are responsible for their property, the City and County need to be held responsible to residents for the harm we experience.”

Ryavec noted that an award of monetary damages could even be used to allow residents to hire private security to protect themselves and their families from assaults, break-ins, trespass and defecation and urination on their private property which result from people illegally living in or storing their possessions on public land.

LAHSA Closed

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) on Wilshire has closed its doors and notification says it will remain closed until further notice. Apparently, the closure is due to a fire in the building last week. No one was hurt.

Linda Lucks, of Venice Community Housing, reported that there had been a fire in the basement causing an evacuation and that the building would be closed during an investigation. No one was reported injured.

Notification below from LAHSA gave info to get to website but Update could not get there.

Jed Pauker, a computer techie from the Venice Neighborhood Council, stated the relevant site could be reached here:

“It appears to be a login page for account-holders,” he wrote. A Microsoft web application called Silverlight may ask for permission to use space on the visitor’s computer. Update uses an Apple computer and site Silverlight available for download.

NOTE: All updated information will be on VeniceUpdate.com as new information becomes available.

Notification states:
All LAHSA emails and servers are still down, however, the following temporary email addresses have been created to allow communications to the public until all functions are restored:
Finance – Finlahsa@gmail.com
Homeless Services – HSDlahsa@gmail.com
HR – HRlahsa811@gmail.com
IT – itLahsa@gmail.com
HMIS – HMISlahsa@gmail.com
Training – trainingLahsa@gmail.com
Policy & Planning – lahsaPolicyplanning@gmail.com
Programs – LahsaPrograms@gmail.com
A timeline of resolution is yet to be determined, however, we will continue to send updates as we gather more information.

Providers who need access to HMIS, go to
lahsahmis.esserver.com. (Update could not connect to the address or the link given.)

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
811 Wilshire Blvd, 6th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Neighbor Effects Drug Arrest

All Photos and Story by David Thomas




Early this Saturday about 11:15 am, while taking a walk, I spotted two individuals loitering between bike path at Oxford Basin and Oxford Triangle wall. The wall is the border between the City and County.

I discretely watched both subjects prepare heroin and shoot it into their arms with syringes. Knowing the goings on of BFMV (burglary from motor vehicle) and residential burglaries in the Oxford Triangle, as well as the bona-fide link between drug users and crime, I called and directed LAPD officers to the subjects. By then they had made their way to the Del Taco on Lincoln Blvd near Washington Blvd.

LAPD detained and ultimately arrested the two for possession. The guy in the orange shirt tried to run and ultimately discarded tar heroin and syringes from his backpack while being pursued by the officer. The orange shirt guy also spit out a baggie of tar heroin from his mouth upon arrest, which was also recovered. I found out that the guy in the black shirt is on probation for robbery. Officers also found burglary tools (e.g., screwdrivers, etc.) in their backpacks.