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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Rose Ave at Penmar Park Gets Special Motion

The encampment along Rose Ave at Penmar Park got a special motion made by Councilman Mike Bonin that would include the encampment in the Freeway Injunction proposed by Judge David O. Carter.

The question is why is this not part of Parks and Recreation under the control of the US Park Rangers?  Is the easement not part of Penmar Park?

The motion will probably go to the the Homeless and Poverty Committee of the City Council.

MOTION

On Friday, May 16, ​U.S. District Judge David O. Carter issued a preliminary injunction requiring the city and the county to urgently find alternative housing or shelter for 6,000-7,000 unhoused people living near freeway overpasses, underpasses and ramps. It is a major push to force urgency into a homelessness response that has been far too slow and far too ineffective.

The court order holds much promise for quick results, but the city and county must not respond by focusing nearly exclusively on encampments near freeways, and suddenly start to drain resources from already anemic efforts to address encampments in residential areas. We must not close our eyes or turn our backs on the thousands of people living on sidewalks in residential neighborhoods, or ignore the concerns of and impacts to those who live nearby.

Even as the City responds to the court directive regarding homelessness near freeways, it must demonstrate that it is willing and able to address the issue of encampments in residential neighborhoods. It should do so by marshaling resources on a pilot program demonstrating quick action on large encampments in residential areas. One area in dire need of such a pilot program is the neighborhood near Rose and Penmar Avenues in Venice.

In a matter of mere weeks, the encampment, on the south side of Penmar Golf Course, across the street from residences, has grown from zero to more than 80 tents. The location, on the north side of a busy street with fast-moving traffic, is unsafe. Moreover, the scores of new tents and accumulated belongings completely occupy nearly one half-mile of a walking and jogging path that was once popular and heavily used by families that live nearby.

The Rose and Penmar encampment is a perfect example of the city’s failed policies. Many unhoused residents report they have been dispersed from other areas, including Venice Beach and Lincoln Boulevard, showing how the city’s encampment policies push people from neighborhood to neighborhood with few housing resources provided. The encampment, which has effectively taken exclusive use of a path that was once a public resource, shows the failure of city policies to protect the public right-of-way.

While the sheer size of this encampment is larger than most and appeared more quickly than most, it is one of hundreds of examples in Los Angeles neighborhoods, where unhoused people are dying, where public resources are being blocked, and where neighborhoods are being impacted. It is unfair to everyone involved – unhoused and housed alike.

It does not have to be that way. The Encampment to Home pilot project in South Los Angeles demonstrated that intense and focused outreach, dedicated resources, and multi-agency collaboration can eliminate an encampment and restore public space by housing and sheltering people, and not simply pushing them elsewhere.

Under Encampment to Home, coordinated outreach teams were able to focus intensively on engaging unsheltered residents, and workers were able to expedite the housing navigation process. Biweekly coordination meetings between the partner agencies allowed for a nimble streamlining of services. And with committed housing resources, participants were that much more motivated to engage.

Importantly, the approach prioritized intensive supportive services, limiting the need to utilize local law enforcement as a primary strategy for reducing encampments.

By every measure, the Encampment to Home project was a success. The project teams were able to identify, assess, and provide housing resources and services to unhoused residents from street encampments. Of the 106 residents housed by the program, 68 moved into two new apartment buildings at El Segundo Boulevard and the 110 Freeway. A year after completion of the project, nearly 93% of those who moved into a permanent unit remain successfully housed.

A similar approach could work at the Rose-Penmar location, using a combination of housing vouchers, shared housing, Project Roomkey placements, and even — temporarily — safe camping locations that could be established in parking lots or on vacant land with hygiene services, food, and social services.

I THEREFORE MOVE ​that the Los Angeles Homeless Coordinator and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority coordinate with the​ Los Angeles Department of Mental Health, the Los Angeles Department of Health Services, social service providers and philanthropy to develop and implement a Rapid Results Encampment to Home pilot program for the Rose-Penmar area.

I FURTHER MOVE​ that the program utilizes a wide array of tools – long-term housing with services, crisis housing, shared housing, bridge housing, Project Roomkey, and “safe camping” areas with services – to provide an alternative to unsafe and unsanitary sidewalk encampments that restrict access to the public right of way in the Rose-Penmar neighborhood.

I FURTHER MOVE​ that the City Administrative Office identify funds, including HHAPP funds, federal or state COVID-19 emergency funds, or reprogrammed dollars from less effective programs, to fund the program.

 

 

 

Sanitation Sweeps Into Venice and Cleans Three Disastrous Encampments

Bureau of Sanitation worked its magic on three of Venice’s disastrous homeless encampments that Venice Update has been showing pictures of each week.

Wednesday the crew hit Hampton, followed by Penmar Park west and then 7th.  It was late in the afternoon before they finished.  What a difference!

These encampments were worthy of being reported to the County Board of Health.  The alley at Penmar Park was cleaned the week before.

The following videos and photos show the before and after of this cleanup.

Hampton Ave, just north of Rose


Some homeless had spent the night after the cleanup and they were packing up and moving on when photos were taken.   Many of the people who had been camping moved on Wednesday and did not come back. It was being cleaned Thursday morning by the man St. Joseph hired to clean the areas.

Area West of Penmar Park



Area west of Penmar Park has been a disaster for at least three weeks. The alley, which followers should remember, was cleaned last week. Wednesday, Sanitation cleaned the other area thoroughly. All had to put down the tents and walk away while Sanitation did its cleaning of the grounds.

Video was taken Thursday morning after the cleaning.

7th Ave between Machado and Rose, behind Whole Foods


Video was taken Thursday morning after cleanup.

Shot below shows area not shown in video.  Camera ran out of memory.  Two of the homeless on the site had no idea what had happened to the majority of the inhabitants.  They said it was nice and quiet last night.  One man said they will return.

CBS Picks Up Story Of Trash at Penmar Park

CBS, Channel 9 picked up the story about the area west of Penmar Park Thursday evening, 27 December. Their claim is that the Sanitation was out and picked up around the campsite but never picked up the trash in the alley that continues to grow.

Venice Residents Outraged Over Mounting Trash, Blame Growing Homeless Community

This is the photo shown on VeniceUpdate.com Friday, 21 December, and the email blast, 24 December.

It was described as a City disgrace, a sanitation nightmare, a total health hazard with a plea to call the local councilman and the county board of health.

Encampment Update — 10 December

Penmar Park west of golf course is definitely the worst of the encampments if for no other reason than the trash accumulated.  Encampments were observed Thursday in the rain.

This is all trash.

Homeless are living with in this.  Homeowners are next to this.  This is a sanitation nightmare that should be taken care of immediately.

Venice Blvd, north and south, were clear and clean from Abbot Kinney to Pacific.  Lake, Staples (beautiful), Harding were clean and cleared.  Harrison had one person. Carter had one person and then that person was gone. Not allowing solicitation at the highway intersections has deterred many a camper. The Canal encampments are still there. Hampton had several tents but for the most part were ADA compliant.

Ocean Ave between North and South Venice Blvd had one encampment and one encampment that had abandoned the site, leaving his garbage.

Ocean Front Walk from Rose to Navy at the wall with the mosaics was filled with campers. Some on both sides of wall and all were trying to stay dry.

Encampments were found throughout the walk streets between Ocean Front Walk and the Speedway.

Ocean Front Walk, the area between Ocean Front Walk and Speedway, 3rd Ave are not covered by the Encampment Update.