According to the August 5 L.A. Times Editorial (“Homeless People on Venice Beach Got Interim Housing. Can’t This Happen All Over the City?”): “Over the course of six weeks, service providers aided by local officials moved 211 homeless people who had camped along the Venice boardwalk for more than a year. Most of them now have interim housing, mainly in hotels and motels. A handful went to the transitional shelter in Venice. Did it cost a lot of money? Yes. Did it take a lot of effort? Yes. In fact, it took a village — of outreach workers and others — to move and temporarily house the scores of people who had made the beach their home.
“What it did not take was a force of 750 Los Angeles police officers, as was the case during the tense showdown at Echo Park Lake in the spring, when a large encampment there was cleared out.”
The Times praised Councilman Mike Bonin for his leadership and his ability to secure $5 million in funding for services and rental vouchers. They noted that the lie of “service resistant was disproved” and the vast majority of the people living on the boardwalk agreed to housing by the end of July.
After citing this editorial in his August 9 newsletter, Bonin wrote: “Can you please contribute to my reelection campaign so I can continue to fight for real solutions to our homeless crisis?”
By contrast, on the Venice Stakeholders Association site (venicestakeholdersassociation.org), one person wrote on August 7 that he had ridden on the bike path from Venice Boulevard to Santa Monica.
“There are now 48 homeless campers (or ‘travelers,’ as the case may be), most scattered on the sand, representing a 20% increase since earlier in the week,” the Venice resident wrote. “There are fewer tents and more tarps, backpacks, bedrolls and sleeping bags. The Boardwalk and adjacent grass areas are relatively clear.”
The site notes that when Councilman Bonin first announced his Encampment-to-Homes project for Venice Beach, a resident was quoted in the LA Times saying that without a return to enforcement of the camping and tent ban, and the overnight curfew, the encampments would return. “Well, that is starting to happen,” the Venice resident wrote. “Or not all the earlier campers were really relocated to housing. And I think it’s the latter.”
During the recent Venice Beach cleanup, CTN learned that seven new transient “travelers” had moved from Venice to Pacific Palisades and that there was an uptick in homeless at Westchester and Mar Vista Parks.
During a reporting visit to the Venice Beach Boardwalk on August 10, we found that the Venice Stakeholders Association observations seemed to be correct. Although the line of tents was no longer along the boardwalk, tents and bedrolls were hidden in nooks and crannies next to buildings. There were tents on the sand—and a loud argument between two individuals, fighting over public benches, was occurring.
Perhaps the most objective take on the current situation is from a local YouTuber (“German in Venice”) who has been documenting Venice: https://youtu.be/NWrx4pvUy1Q. If you go beyond his plea for subscribers and donors, his recorded observations in “Update/New Homeless in Venice every day, Business is dead in Venice/reopen muscle beach” seem accurate.