The Westchester Neighborhood Council sent a June 20 letter to Councilman Mike Bonin asking him to clear the parking lot by the public library and the senior center. His office is located in the same area, but Bonin has a private security company to ensure his staffer are safe from some homeless individuals that can be threatening.
NCWP President Paula Gerez wrote, “The senior community has been severely impacted by the pandemic and inflation, and is quickly becoming one of the larger demographics in our homeless population. Many of these people are isolated with very little opportunity to connect with their peers.
“The Westchester Senior Center is an invaluable resource for social connections as well as for obtaining information about the various city and other services available to them through city employees at the center, and their peers,” Gerez said and told Bonin that a May 12 meeting, members of the senior community said they did not feel safe going to the Senior Center because of the vehicle encampments.
“The NCWP therefore requests that (temporary) housing be offered to those living in their vehicles in the parking lot, if it hasn’t already been offered, and have sanitation clean up the parking lot so it is clean and available for parking so that our seniors feel safe going to the Senior Center,” Gerez wrote. “If the vehicle dwellers do not want to accept housing, we ask that you enforce the no overnight parking in the Senior Center parking lot.”
She noted that the moratorium on “no overnight” parking had been lifted and that it was time to ensure seniors had safe access.
That same lot is also used by those going to the Westchester Park and the swimming pool, so Sony Young Jimenez, the Recreation and Parks Superintendent of Venice Beach and the West Region, was also sent a copy of the request.