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Homelessness in Venice is complicated. But that’s no excuse for inaction

Los Angeles City Council member Mike Bonin Raging storm It is not surprising that many of his members of the West Side are alive over the homeless in his district.

“Anyone who isn’t angry with what they see on the street is just dead inside,” he said. “I walk down the street and the blood boils.”

Recently I wrote about Couple People who have lived on the promenade of Venice for years. They said their neighborhood was becoming more and more dangerous with obvious cases of vast camps, garbage, fires, drugs, violence, and severe untreated mental illness. And like countless others, they couldn’t say much about the city council, so I thought I should give him the opportunity to explain himself.

At the beginning of our conversation, Bonin was criticized by those who thought he was happy to put an unlimited number of homeless people to sleep on beaches, parks and parking lots, saying that no one should live outside. I responded. In a nearly two-hour interview, he admitted that his office wasn’t keeping up with the mass of complaints from angry members. He said he would like to do more about homeless bailouts, especially in the area of ​​master lease hotels and using shared housing.

He also admitted that the bridge housing he pushed got off to a rough start, overcoming fierce opposition from those who said it would only make things worse. But he attributed it to legal constraints and the “perfect storm” of pandemic-related hurdles.

He said he hoped LA’s response to the homeless wouldn’t be so balkanized and ruined, setting benchmarks for judges to show progress and overseeing more focused efforts. He repeatedly sought the consent of the city and county to do so. An excuse for lack of progress.

But is it really necessary if civil servants get together to do the elected job?

“It’s not happening,” he said.

Due to its nature as Venice, Venice has always been attractive to both those with means and those around it. But in recent months, things have gone out of control there. At the border with Santa Monica, I went home due to the fact that many of the tents, suffering, crimes and disabilities that are commonplace in Venice are missing. ..

It’s easy to argue that Bonin could and should have done a better job, and I can see why I was there Fuss About his proposal to temporarily move the camp to a park or beach parking lot, just as summer comes. However, it is not the responsibility of Bonin or his district to resolve this alone.

I say the Venetian tents and people should be taken by bus to the park in the San Fernando Valley district of city councilman John Lee. April, Lee Proposed Yank Fund For a homeless housing project in his own district, despite full congressional approval over a year ago.

That same morning, I spoke with Bonin, city council member Joe Buscaino, and Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. Appeared Venice Beach Walk. Former LAPD officer Buscaino, who is running for mayor, said it was time to crack down on tents in public spaces and make the city safe for everyone. Like a signal, a homeless woman with a knife was arrested and the councilor was driven away. By armed guards.

Villanueva, wearing a cowboy hat, tore local officials and said it was time to “properly regulate public spaces.” Indeed, we need to enforce the law.But this is a man who seems unable to regulate his own department, and the history of his agent is rampant. State probe To the possibility of civil rights infringement.

As Villanueva and Buscaino said, this conversation strengthens the enforcement of existing legislation not only for the detainees, but also for the homeless people themselves, who are the victims of assault on a daily basis. There is a place. But in Bonin’s view, a more important part is to strengthen outreach and create more homes of all types, he said, with further support from Sacramento and Washington on the way.

Last week I checked in their thoughts on two long-time homeless people with mental health problems. Virginia said he was doing well after entering a beach tent and moving to a house on a bridge in Venice. Susanna, A person I wrote in October said she had moved from a temporary housing in Venice to a long-term setup in Baldwin Hills.

They both tell me that the key to coming indoors is a team of outreach workers from PATH, St. Joseph Center, People Concern to contact them, work with them, and stick to them. Told.

As for Bonin, he now has plans As my colleagues Doug Smith and Benjamin Oresquez recently reported, to gradually remove tents from Venice Beach and find a home for everyone. I and many others wait to see if it works.

One of the things Bonin said in particular stuck to me after our conversation. He said he would continue to do what he could, but he did not control the foster care or mental health system and did not cause a stimulant epidemic. He did not dominate the long and terrible history of housing discrimination in Los Angeles, nor did he design a post-industrial LA service economy where wages leveled off while housing costs soared.

He has a point. This problem goes far beyond removing some tents from the beach, but it’s no excuse for laziness. So what can we do?

First, in counties with more than 60,000 homeless people, luxury home development goes through the approval process. Given the shortage of affordable housing for about 500,000 homes, it would be great if elected civil servants could meet their needs with the same level of urgency and efficiency.

Second, a few weeks ago I wrote about a clean team in downtown Los Angeles. Previously homeless people and former scammers cleaned the streets and rebuilt their lives in the process. Given the garbage problem in LA and the number of homeless people available for work, why not put these programs in every city council district?

The answer is that a bill co-sponsored by Buscaino in 2017 to expand such a program is collecting spider webs at the city hall. Yes, I said 2017. Do I have to wait another four years for someone to hit the table with my fist and move it?

Third, almost two years ago, I went to Italy with three dozen local civil servants and non-profit executives to study the acclaimed mental health program with plans to start piloting in Hollywood. Since then, the neighborhood has acted as an outdoor asylum and multiple homeless people die each day, so it’s still in the planning stages and the LA County Oversight Board hasn’t approved it yet.

A Hollywood reader named Murray hit me by not hitting the drums and asking me to know what was going on. I sometimes bristle his constant spines. But Murray is right. If the Trieste model can save lives, it should be up and running.

Pilots are said to be stuck due to changes in priorities during the pandemic and changes in the funding bureaucracy. If it doesn’t get going right away, Murray and I will go to hell together.

But back to Bonin’s point, at the street level, local officials are plunging into the flood and cannot reach enough upstream to turn off the spigot.

California is the world’s fifth-largest economy and the country with the highest poverty rate, but as the housing crisis worsens, state legislators have repeatedly been unable to take legislative remedies. did.

And our people, who are lucky enough to own a house, are also part of the problem. Homeowners benefit from income tax mortgage deductions, despite more than two-thirds of the state being zoned for single-family homes, home prices skyrocketing, and Proposal 13 significantly reducing property taxes. Have received. Still, homeowners hold billions of dollars in stock, so we should be given the option.

As with many communities, stop yelling at dense, affordable homes or pay stock taxes on affordable home funds.

Modifications since Venice are neither easy nor impossible.

Virginia and Susanna know what works and serve to remind you that more is needed.

Whether you live indoors or outdoors, almost the same thing no one wants.

Steve.lopez@



Homelessness in Venice is complicated. But that’s no excuse for inaction Source link Homelessness in Venice is complicated. But that’s no excuse for inaction

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