January 15, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Beach Added as Pick-Up Point for City’s Winter Shelter Program

With temperatures plummeting below 40 degrees this past week, Westside’s homeless have pushed winter shelters past capacity as hundreds head indoors for heat and comfort. A boosted program encompassing Venice Beach has helped ease the conditions for some.

The annual Winter Shelter Program began December 1 and will continue through to March 15. A total of 1,521 beds are available across the City and County of Los Angeles at 21 different shelter locations, according to The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).

The program received an assist late 2014 when a formal agreement, proposed by Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, between the City of Los Angeles and People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), was unanimously approved. The contract between the City and PATH allows PATH to focus outreach services on the Venice community, prioritizing help for chronically homeless individuals, as well as transitioning them into housing opportunities.

By working with the County and local service providers such as PATH, and neighbors in Venice, Bonin explained that his goal is to get as many people as possible in a warm bed.

“PATH is an excellent organization with a proven history of getting people off the street and connected with the services they need,” he said. “No one in Los Angeles who is willing to accept help should be forced to rest their head on pavement at night.”

Currently, shuttles carry those in need from a pickup location at Market Street and Ocean Front Walk in Venice and go to the Westside Winter Shelter each evening between 5:00 pm and 7:15 pm. Located at West Los Angeles National Guard Armory in West LA, the shelter is operated by First to Serve Inc. and offers 160 beds for people who would otherwise sleep on the street in Westside communities.

The annual Winter Shelter Program is providing 30 additional beds throughout the County this year, explained Brenda Threatt, LAHSA Winter Shelter Manager, but with demand so great, further spaces are constantly needed.

“Due to the extreme weather conditions, Winter Shelter agencies provided extra beds and we saw the numbers exceed the 1521 capacity up to 1600 persons,” Threatt said.

Winter Shelters provide cover, warmth, food and comfort to homeless individuals during the cold and wet weather season.

For the past 20 years LAHSA has coordinated the Winter Shelter Program in partnership with local non-profit homeless service agencies to administer day-to-day operations of each program site.

The response to the 2014-2015 Winter Shelter Program has been extraordinary, said Threatt.

“Los Angeles County experienced severe weather the very first day of the Winter Shelter Program…and has had several instances of wet and extreme cold days,” she said, adding that all Winter Shelter locations have been filled each evening with clients eager to get in out of the rain and the cold and enjoy warmth and a hot meal.

All receive a warm dry place to sleep, two meals and case management services which can include medical screenings, social service assessments and housing referrals.

“Everybody benefits when we help get those in need off the street and into a bed for the night. Not only does the shelter help connect homeless individuals with longer-term support services, but shelter helps make our communities safe and clean,” Councilmember Bonin added.

The service provides a critical benefit for those in need of a bed at night, particularly during these cold winter months, he said.

“Addressing homelessness and solving the problems facing Venice is not going to be easy, and it is not going to happen quickly,” the councilmember explained. “It will take focus, cooperation, and a multi-pronged strategy involving various government agencies, community organizations, and residents. My staff and I are working with partners every single day to find solutions that work for Venice and I am optimistic about the future of our neighborhoods.”

Without the Winter Shelter Program, there would just be rain, hunger and cold, said Threatt. “Winter Shelter, for some who are homeless, is a winter home.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti also recently urged those without a roof over their heads to seek protection from the chilly weather at the Winter Shelters.

“If you do not have shelter or your residence is not warm enough, call our Winter Shelter hotline or go to a designated pick-up point to be transported to a shelter,” Garcetti said.

LAHSA has administered the Winter Shelter Program since 1994. The City and County of Los Angeles fund the program with the support of the California National Guard providing shelter sites at armories. The 2013-2014 Winter Shelter Program provided emergency shelter and services to more than 7,600 homeless individuals; 355 were placed into emergency, temporary, or permanent housing.

For more information on the Winter Shelter Program, go to: lahsa.org or call the hotline 800.548.6047.

Related Posts

Illegal Marina del Rey Boat Charters

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

The issue of illegal charters brought up at recent County meeting By Toi Creel Officials recently discussed the issue of...

Edify TV: The Westside’s Best Pies

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Here are some of the best pies on the Westside ahead of National Pie Day on January 23. Learn more...

LAPD Arrests Shoreline Crips Gang Member on Suspicion of Murder In Oakwood Park: YO! Venice Show – January, 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * LAPD Arrests Shoreline Crips Gang Member on Suspicion of Murder In...

Popular Coffee Shop Adding New Westside Storefront

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Westside Food Scene January 14, 2021 By Kerry Slater 65-Year-Old Santa Monica Bakery on Verge of Shutting Down  A beloved...

Venice Homeless Encampment Fire Spreads to Boardwalk Building

January 13, 2021

January 13, 2021

Over 100 firefighters respond to Ocean Front Walk fire Tuesday morning By Sam Catanzaro Over 100 firefighters responded this week...

One Hospitalized in Marina del Rey Fire

January 11, 2021

January 11, 2021

Fire breaks out Monday morning at MDR apartment complex By Sam Catanzaro One person was injured in a Monday morning...

Edify TV: Over 1,700 Units Proposed for Westside Neighborhood

January 10, 2021

January 10, 2021

Over 1,700 apartment units are planned for a few block radius in a Westside neighborhood. Learn more in this video...

City Planning Approves Venice Boardwalk Apartment Development

January 8, 2021

January 8, 2021

Los Angeles Planning Department advances nine-unit development By Toi Creel The Los Angeles Planning Department has signed off on a...

RV Along Penmar Golf Course Destroyed in Fire

January 7, 2021

January 7, 2021

Vehicle catches fire earlier this week Another RV went up in flames in Venice recently, the second such fire to...

When Will Outdoor Dining Resume in LA County?

January 7, 2021

January 7, 2021

Appeals court upholds LA County’s outdoor dining ban By Sam Catanzaro A recent court ruling upholding Los Angeles County’s outdoor...

Longtime Venice Italian Restaurant Forced to Close

January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021

After 28 year run, Venice’s C&O Trattoria closing By Toi Creel A Venice restaurant that has been around for nearly...