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Mike Bonin's proposed plan to offer homeless along the Venice Beach boardwalk permanent housing is currently underway. After months of frustration from residents of Venice, Bonin has FINALLY decided to take the initiative to clear the iconic, Ocean Front Walk in Venice, which is currently taken over by homeless encampments.
Last week, Bonin announced that outreach teams from St. Joseph Center would go around Venice to offer services and a path to permanent housing for the homeless. If the homeless do not accept help from the St. Joseph Center, they would be asked to leave the area by a certain date. How would that be enforced you may be asking? Bonin's office does not even know, as it is not clear how this would be enforced.
In a tweet from Bonin, he stated,
"... We’re offering housing, not handcuffs."
It's interesting that Bonin has finally decided to take initiative as residents have grown absolutely frustrated seeing what their town is becoming. It makes residents think, "what has taken so long?" Behind Los Angeles' Skid Row, Venice has become the second-largest number of homeless in LA County. Bonin's new proposal to house the homeless along the Venice Boardwalk will take an estimated six weeks. As people are given housing and leaving the encampments, the Bureau of Sanitation will come in and clean the area.
In an email, last week from Bonin discussing his plan to clear Venice of the homeless he mentioned,
“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.”
After Sheriff Alex Villanueva of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department took the initiative himself to clear the area, despite Venice not being in his jurisdiction - residents were happy and optimistic someone was finally going to clear the boardwalk. Bonin did not like this and would constantly throw jabs at the approach of Villanueva. At least someone was fixing the issue Bonin let get out of hand.
Residents are optimistic about the future of Venice, but with this initiative not being led by law enforcement, many do not believe Bonin can clear the area in his estimated time frame of six weeks.
Bonin is currently facing a recall because of his complacency to address and take action on certain issues of Venice and surrounding areas represented by Bonin.
You can sign Bonin's recall, right here.