Venice Town Hall Discusses Proposal on Homelessness

Approximately a hundred people gathered to discuss a proposed ‘bridge home’ plan in an attempt to tackle the homeless issue Los Angeles is currently facing, at a town hall held in Westminster Elementary School in Venice, California, on Wednesday, June 13.

A former Metro Bus lot located on Main St. and Sunset Ave. would be the location of a temporary homeless housing facility, according to the Argonaut. The resources of the facility would include 24/7 shelter, food, water, security, and showers, which would be able to house 100 people.

Local residents and other Los Angeles residents attended the event to voice their concerns and opinions on a proposed plan that's meant to tackle the homeless issue in Venice, made by Los Angeles city councilman, Mike Bonin.

Varying opinions of the “Bridge Home” plan and the event itself filled the audience. Joan Wrede, a Venice resident, said, “This is not what anyone expected, it allows a couple of people to voice pros or cons.” What was supposed to be a town hall formatted event turned into a large group of people debating on their stance on the issue, with the majority of the attention going to Bonin and the people speaking to him.

Another Venice resident, Pia A., said she attended the event to learn more about the proposed plan. “I don’t know enough about it and I’m here to learn about it, but Bonin has not been transparent… We as Venice residents don’t know what the rules are going to be for those homeless facilities,” said Pia.

Not all Venice residents are opposed to the plan, such as Jeremy White. “I think there are people living on side walks, living in their cars who need a safe place to stay… this is a place that is highly impacted by people experiencing homelessness… it’s crucial to get people off the street as soon as possible.”

Jeannie White, a Venice resident, proved to be against homeless people staying in the city. “The prison system dumps 1,500 people a day off in Los Angeles and they come from all over the United States because the services here especially in Venice, are capable of handing out food, water, and thats why they come running down to Venice.” White said, “There is 40 percent vacancy of beds down at the mission in downtown L.A. because they don’t let the homeless bring in their drugs so they don’t want to go in.”

It is unknown when or how local residents will be able to have their say as to whether or not they feel this project should be built, because no motion regarding Venice Bridge Housing was passed at the most recent VNC Homeless Committee Meeting.