June 16, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Letter to Editor: Traci Park’s Zoomer Offered No Concrete Solutions to Venice’s Homeless Problem

Traci Park’s Zoomer on Homelessness Was Not Time Well Spent, VNC Member Says

By Clark Brown, Venice Neighborhood Council Community Officer and Board Member

On July 6 Councilmember, Traci Park, held a 1 ½ hour zoomer entitled “State of Homelessness” in CD11. Her guests were Mayor Bass, Va Lecia Adams Kellum, the CEO of LAHSA and Paul Rubenstein, another LAHSA officer.

Most of the zoomer was their discussion of statistics showing the growing homelessness problem in the City, especially in CD 11. This was time not well spent because everyone knows about that problem. As Bob Dylan said, “You don’t need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows.” Most of the remaining time was spent discussing funding and vague programs to aid the homeless.

Notably absent was any discussion of specific plans to find places in CD11 where safe camping, tiny homes, RV parking and interim housing facilities can be quickly developed for the unhoused. Without such facilities, the homeless populations on our streets cannot be remedied because in the Boise decision, the Federal Court of Appeal for the West held that cities cannot cite homeless persons camping in public places unless it can offer shelter to them within the city.

Councilmember Park stated she does not know of such places in CD 11 and pleaded with her audience to inform her of any such places anyone knows about. Her statement was astonishing, because on March 2 and pursuant to Mayor Bass’ Directive # 3, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), which manages LAX for the City, delivered to the City Administrative Officer (CAO) a fifty page, single space spreadsheet which identified City owned, vacant parcels within LAX which could be used for homeless shelter.

Thus, it appears Councilmember Park does not intend to take advantage of the LAX Parcels identified in LAWA’s spread sheet to the CAO. Therefor, the Venice, Del Rey and Westchester Neighborhood Councils should establish a citizen task force to investigate the suitability of using these parcels for interim housing and RV services for the growing unhoused population in CD11 and pressure the City to use them.

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