October 17, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Recovery Center Moves to Westminster Senior Center

New home for Venice 12-Step meetings. 

By Staff Writer 

A vacant city building near Venice Beach will serve as the temporary home for 12-step and other types of meetings serving the recovery community on the Westside, Councilmember Mike Bonin has announced. 

The Westminster Senior Center, which has been vacant for several years, will host a series of Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step meetings organized by the Venice Recovery Center, an all-volunteer organization that recently lost its popular meeting location on Lincoln Boulevard. The Westminster Senior Center is at 1234 Pacific Avenue in Venice, adjacent to the Westminster Dog Park.

 “Venice and the Westside have a thriving recovery community, and I’m glad we can provide a safe and convenient home for meetings,” Bonin said. “The Venice Recovery Center has organized dozens of well-attended 12-step meetings, and we can’t allow that to disappear. Recovery is an important part of the fabric of Venice.”

Venice Recovery Center, a non-profit that was founded in 2007, had been operating out of a storefront on Lincoln Boulevard but was left without a place to host meetings after the building was recently sold. Thanks to Bonin and the City’s Department of Recreation & Parks, which owns the former senior center, the Venice Recovery Center will be able to organize and host meetings at the new location for the next year, and possibly longer.

 “The Venice Recovery Center provides a place for people to come together in fellowship and help each other stay sober,” said Jeff Christensen of the Venice Recovery Center. “We’re grateful to Mike Bonin and the Recreation & Parks Department for allowing us to continue to have a local and convenient place where thousands of friends in this neighborhood can contribute to their own recovery.”

 Many city buildings frequently provide space for 12-step meetings, including the Vera Davis McClendon Youth & Family Center, which is soon to close for several months of renovations. The Westminster Senior Center housed 12-step meetings for several years before it closed in 2013. 

“Many communities, such as Santa Monica and Culver City have spaces that host frequent 12-step meetings, and it’s important that we have that resource in Venice, too,” Bonin said. “VRC has provided that for over a decade, and it is vital that it continues.”

The City of Los Angeles had once considered using the Westminster Senior Center as a place for people who are homeless to store their belongings. That proposal has been withdrawn, Bonin said, because the recently approved temporary bridge housing at the former MTA bus yard on Main Street will allow its residents ample space for their belongings.

The Venice Recovery Center has currently arranged for at least one 12-step meetings every evening, and meetings most mornings. Slots are available for other meetings as well. For more information about the Venice Recovery Center please visit https://venicerecoverycenter.org.

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