Start with the Ground Game

Re: “Encouraged and Optimistic” and “Amazed and Disappointed,” Letters, April 21

Last week’s letters to the editor offered two very different takes on the same ongoing and growing problem — both views are valid, and both deserve closer inspection in regard to what’s being accomplished in reducing the number of people sleeping on the streets.

In the meantime, let’s apply available emergency funds to immediately address some on-the-ground strategies to help the homeless — at least until a large-scale plan is in place.

There are different types of people that make up the homeless population and they all need to be identified, particularly the mentally ill, in order to be treated appropriately.

Veterans and those suffering from psychological disorders should be the first groups on the list, followed by the kids who have decided that life here is a step up from their last stop. Somebody somewhere is looking for some of these people, and they deserve to know if one of them is identified.

This is not a job for the LAPD, however. If the resources exist, the team should be comprised of health and welfare personnel and supported by volunteers or those available from different social services groups.

Since people will continue sleeping on the walk streets and alleys intersecting Speedway and Ocean Front Walk — even south of Washington Boulevard (unheard of a few years ago) — why not let them sleep in the parking lots and be ushered out at dawn? It might save a lot of time, money, grief and calls to 877-ASK-LAPD.

Michael Francis Clarke

Storage for the Homeless is OK

Re: “Economics 101 vs. Bonin’s Panic Attack,” Letters, April 14.

Those of us who live in the area know that the homeless problem in and around Venice has been increasing exponentially over the last several years. The city hasn’t been able to do anything about it, but now Councilman Mike Bonin has presented a three-pronged approach to handle some of these issues.

The approaches are not perfect, but they are potential solutions. Bonin’s request to have Chrysalis manage the storage facility is an excellent idea, as Chrysalis has been managing a storage facility in the downtown Los Angeles area since 2008. This facility has received national recognition as a best-in class resource for the homeless in that community, and is one part of the complex set of solutions we need here in Venice.

Michelle Zweig


Re: “Venice Forward Moves in the Right Direction,” Editorial, April 7

Contrary to the nonsense his fans are pushing, Bill Rosendahl was no friend to the homeless. I was at his town hall meeting four years ago regarding overnight camping by the homeless in RVs. It was a well-orchestrated hate fest against the homeless, and nothing that Rosendahl promised ever happened —except for the long arm of the law sending in a task force of LAPD thugs to seize homeless people’s vehicles and make their lives even worse than before. And that of course resulted in the City of Los Angeles being on the losing side of a lawsuit at taxpayer expense when L.A.M.C. 85.02 (which banned sleeping in vehicles) was found to be too constitutionally vague to be enforceable.

Richard Woolworth

Locating a storage facility for homeless people’s belongings at Westminster Senior Center isn’t primarily controversial because of its proximity to residential housing. What makes it controversial is that it’s very close to the elementary school. Over 350 Venice residents signed a petition to make Mr. Bonin aware of their objections. The storage facility on Ocean Front Walk has only exacerbated the problem with encampments there. If storage isn’t needed, couldn’t the city contract with Extra Space Storage?

Angela McGregor

Re: “Life on the List,” Cover Story, April 14

(Editor’s note: This story was about efforts to remove former gang members from the Oakwood gang injunction in Venice.)

I grew up with Anthony and am happy to see the change he made. He went from a boy to a strong, respected man. There is hope to change your life, and Anthony is a perfect example of this.

Jazzmine Valverde