Photos: Getty Images
After months of frustrations from residents of Venice about the impending and growing homeless issue - Mike Bonin finally has a solution... but its a few months too late. Starting next week, homeless living along Ocean Front Walk in Venice will be offered services, as well as a path to find permanent housing, according to Bonin. After LA Sheriff Alex Villanueva took the initiative himself to clear the homeless from the iconic boardwalk, residents were happy and hopeful he was going to finally fix this issue. Mike Bonin was not happy about Villanueva coming into Venice to fix the issue that Bonin has greatly contributed to.
In a tweet from Bonin,
“We’re launching a major effort to confront the homelessness crisis at Venice Beach, address the safety needs of the housed and the unhoused, and fully reopen the park and beach for general public use. How? We’re offering housing, not handcuffs"
Though Venice is not in Sheriff Villanueva's jurisdiction, he saw the complacency of Bonin and decided to do something about the issue. Behind Los Angeles' Skid Row, Venice has the second largest number of homeless in LA County.
According to Bonin, starting this Monday, St, Joseph Center outreach teams will come to Venice to offer housing, services, and shelter to an estimated 200 homeless people living in encampments. The individuals who do not accept the help that's offered will be asked to leave by a certain date. When asked about how this would be enforced, Bonin's office said, it was not clear how this would be enforced. Interesting.
Bonin's new proposal to house the homeless along the Venice Boardwalk will take an estimated six weeks and funding for this will be considered by the City Council on Wednesday, June 23rd. As people are given housing and leaving the encampments, the Bureau of Sanitation will come in and clean the area.
In an email discussing his proposed plan, Bonin said,
“The ‘Venice Beach Encampment to Home’ program will not be led by law enforcement, nor driven by threats of arrest or incarceration. We will offer what works: housing, with counseling, or mental health services, substance abuse recovery services, and anything else needed to successfully transition people into housing.”
Ken of "John and Ken" spoke to Venice Stakeholders Association President Mark Ryavec about Bonin's proposal and how Bonin's proposal is being viewed by residents of Venice. The interview is linked below.
Discussing Bonin's plan, Ryavec said
“[the plan is] tragically many years late and ultimately worthless unless (Bonin) allows the LAPD and Rec and Parks to strictly enforce the city’s law against camping and tents in any beach park after the homeless are placed in shelter.”
We will see if this will be just a photo-op for Bonin.
Bonin was elected into office in 2013 and is currently on the path to get recalled.