October 24, 2020 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Parking Lot Identified by Councilmember Bonin as Affordable Housing Possiblity

City Councilman Mike Bonin has identified a city parking lot in Venice, between North and South Venice boulevards and Pacific and Dell avenues, that could serve as the site of an affordable housing project catering to those who are trying to get off the streets.

He unveiled a proposal today that asks the Department of Transportation to put together a request for developers to submit proposals for a project.

Bonin is also looking to use the Westminster Senior Center, at 1234 Pacific Avenue, as a storage site for as many as 160 homeless individuals to keep their belongings. Under his proposal, the facility would be run by the nonprofit Chrysalis, which already operates storage sites in downtown Los Angeles.

He is also asking the Department of Recreation and Parks to identify public restrooms, particularly in the beach areas, that could remain open for 24 hours. Homeless individuals often need to use restrooms during late hours, and residents have complained of both tourists and the homeless defecating and urinating in public, Bonin said.

Bonin’s proposal also asks for the allocation of $50,000 to fund outreach work by Los Angeles Police Department chaplains Regina and Steve Weller, who have previously worked to help homeless individuals find housing.

The Venice area has more than 1,000 homeless individuals who have set up encampments on the sidewalks, according to Bonin.

“It’s unjust and wrong for everyone and it demands we find solutions and create alternatives,” he said. “In response, we are creating needed housing for the homeless, expanding storage space so people don’t need to leave their belongings on the sidewalks and public areas, supporting the work of outreach workers who are helping get people off the street by connecting them to services, and providing 24-hour access to restrooms to provide people living on the street an alternative to using public areas or private property as a toilet.”

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