(Editor’s note: the following January 27, 2022, Viewpoint “Many of Santa Monica’s Homeless Are Armed,” by John Alle was printed in the Santa Monica Daily Press and reprinted on the Culver City Observer.
Santa Monica and Culver City are separate cities from Los Angeles, but homeless issues are common. Alle’s article was also on Nextdoor—and CTN is reprinting it for our readers as a way to open up a discussion of where Los Angeles City needs to center resources.
If what Alle writes is true, there needs to be greater drug enforcement on the suppliers who prey on the homeless.
Alle, who is a property owner, is also suing Santa Monica over maintenance of the Promenade. A year ago, Alle was quoted in a story “Property Owners Takes Issue with Homelessness on Promenade” that “How can we as owners and brokers attract good tenants and entice shoppers and walkers who see and smell these conditions as they come to the Promenade and other events, including the Farmers Market?” Alle asked. “This is such a basic day-to-day management issue that has gotten way out of hand. I can send you worse pictures of people having sex in the elevators, and in the parking lot. I sent those (Wednesday) and there was no response.” As a disclosure, this editor used to park in a SM structure to attend an early morning yoga class—but after being threatened in the structure, street parking is now used instead.)
Early Friday morning I met an unhoused person charging his phone on the 3rd level of Garage 4. He gave me his permission to record our conversation. We spoke for 40 minutes, sitting between one filthy water drain and a phone charging outlet. His answers and information corroborate my other interviews with the homeless in our garages.
The following is information he volunteered (that we already know) – –
1) Garages 3, 4 and 6 are the places to charge one’s phone. Garage 6 is best because all the stairwells have doors they can hide behind
2) The Dumpster Room of Garage 6 is the destination of choice for gay sex
3) Wilshire Blvd, from the Promenade to 6th Street (at 7-11), and along Broadway, from 2nd to 5th Streets, is where female sex workers find most of their business.
4) 90% of the homeless he sees have made their way to the Garages from Reed Park or Douglas Park
5) Fentanyl is the drug of choice. It can be purchased within 10 minutes for between $2 and $10. There is no need to keep much on hand since it is so readily accessible
6) Meth is the second most popular drug, followed by weed. Some combine with a canister of nitrous oxide, which can lead to a deadly overdose
7) There are ‘suppliers’ who arrive nightly, then sell it to the homeless
9) He had not showered in 5 months. He thought the average for most was 3 to 8 months. (This verifies information provided me directly from others in the Garages
10) Floor drains in the Garages are used most of the time to urinate (and end up in our oceans), and Garage stairwells, elevators and alleyways are places used to defecate.
11) Almost every male and female he knows in the Garages is currently suffering from some type of STD
12) (Again, in his words. . .) most of the Safety Ambassadors will ask them to move away from storefronts, then walk away and let them stay for 6 or 7 hours.