Local Michael Betti is unhappy with the Venice homeless crisis.
On Friday, June 3rd the neighborhood came out, loud and proud. The Venice sign turned rainbow to celebrate the first ever Venice PRIDE.
Venice local and event organizer, Grant Turck, said Pride events are an important way to remind people not to take for granted the victories fought for and won by the LGBTQ community.
“As far as we’ve come in terms of equality — and marriage equality was a big one — the fight continues. There are still people within the community, from transgender workers in the workplace to bisexual homeless youth on the boardwalk, who are still facing oppression and discrimination,” says Turck.
With that in mind, Venice Pride supported and aimed to raise awareness for The Trevor Project. A leading national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.
However, all was not entirely rainbows and unicorns for Venice in June.
The June 5th Venice Neighborhood Council 2016 elections saw accusations fly; fear-mongering, carpetbagging, a disgruntled legal observer…you could say it was politics as usual.
What was not in dispute, this year the VNC election saw a record number of candidates and a record turnout on election day. Another certainty, homelessness in Venice would be a big issue for the new neighborhood council.
Months before, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) released results of the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count that took place in January 2016. Results revealed what many in Venice already believed, homelessness in the city and county of Los Angeles had risen again. The count found that nearly 47,000 people were living without a home, in the streets and shelters.
Venice local Michael Betti took Yo! Venice and CBS 2 News on a tour of her walk street to show us a growing homeless encampment in the yard of an elderly neighbor. Unhappy with the media poking around, one camper attacked CBS reporter Jeff Nguyen and his photographer. While the homeless group ended up clearing out, it was evident the homeless crisis was here to stay.