Bonin Offers Options to Venice Homeless

St. Joseph Center teams will reach out to 200 people who live in encampments on the Boardwalk starting June 28

By Jack Simon

People living in homeless encampments on the Venice Beach boardwalk will be offered permanent housing and shelter starting next week, Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin has announced.

Beginning Monday, June 28, Bonin said, "we are launching the next phase of an ambitious and unprecedented program that will humanely address the homelessness crisis at Venice Beach, respond to the urgent safety needs of the housed and the unhoused, and fully reopen the park and beach for general public use."

Bonin says teams from St. Joseph Center will reach out to the approximately 200 people who live in encampments.

The six-week initiative, which runs till August, will offer homeless people a pathway to permanent housing and appropriate services to help them succeed, Bonin said. Each week, St. Joseph Center outreach teams will focus on a different geographic section of Ocean Front Walk.

"It's a housing, not handcuffs approach," Bonin says about his plan on Tuesday. "What we're trying to do is offer permanent housing services and interim shelter to everyone who is currently living on the boardwalk."

Bonin has pushed for a series of homeless housing solutions, proposing in March "safe camping" and temporary sites, including locations in Marina del Rey and Pacific Palisades.

"The Venice Beach Encampment to Home program will not be led by law enforcement, nor driven by threats of arrest or incarceration," said Bonin in a statement. "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."

Earlier this month, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva sent deputies to Venice in an effort to clear the encampments, citing a lack of urgency from local leaders to develop an action plan. Venice is outside the sheriff's department's jurisdiction and is patrolled by officers from the Los Angeles Police Department Pacific Division.

Bonin said Los Angeles City Council will take up on July 1 final consideration of the $5 million in initial funding for this Encampment to Home program for Venice Beach.


Reader Comments(2)

NickelsDime291 writes:

So, that's good for the people on the beach, but what about those of us just up Venice Blvd? The ones with compromised immune systems, disabilities, women, like myself, with PTSD that have been raped or attacked at least once while living on the street? All that have been promised by St Joseph's Center, LAHSA, PATH that we were next to get a room with PHK, and now, you're basing who gets in on cosmetics instead of medical necessity. Sound fair or right? No. Because it isn't.

Recallbonin2021 writes:

Mike Bonin is a complete hack that somehow weaseled his way into public office only to systematically destroy CD11 over 8 years and ruin the quality of life for millions.