Homeless and Street People Aren’t the Same

In Mar Vista we have very few homeless. We have a lot of Drug Addicted Street People the city thinks of and labels as homeless, but there is a huge difference, and the city just doesn’t get it.

When you offer help every week and they turn you down, these are Street People.

When you are out with your family and you have to step around people who are out cold on the sidewalk with a needle stuck in their arm, these are Drug Addicted Street People.

When every major encampment appears to operate like a bicycle chop shop and the city looking away as the garages of lawabiding taxpayers are repeatedly robbed, these are Lawless Street People.

When there are two shootings and a stabbing within eight months at the same encampment, where drug deals are common, this is a City out of Control.

Instead of confronting public safety problems, the city is spending your hard-earned tax dollars to bring comfort to those who want to live lawless on the streets and refuse help, enabling them to continue harming quality of life for those who’ve worked hard to invest in property and raise a family.

The current priorities of our elected officials do not represent the priorities of the voters who put them in office.

Steve Wallace, Mar Vista

Missing Old Venice, Leaving the New One

The editorial states that “housed residents are starting to believe that the city cares more about the rights of the homeless to do as they please than the rights of the housed to feel safe in their neighborhoods.” I think it would have been safe to say it is “readily apparent.”

It is patently obvious that there are many people who want to live at the beach, in Venice, for free. For me, it’s about time to leave. I’ve lived in Venice since graduating from Santa Monica College in 1975. I’ll miss how it was, not how it is.

Jeff Radin, Venice

Empathy Spirals into the Abyss of Indifference

I agree that the homeless have more rights than the housed. You need a permit for a curbside planter, but no permit is required to set up a tent wherever you like on anyone’s property. In fact I’m starting to think Los Angeles taxpayers will provide a tent for you!

The encampment on Venice Boulevard under the 405 Freeway is pathetic. The satellite vagabond homestead on Venice between Wasatch and Centinela avenues is just pitiful. It’s been cleaned out twice on Thursdays by city employees in the last few weeks but returns the following Friday. Tents, shopping carts filled with dumpster-worthy objects, and a hoard of useless bicycle parts litter the area. You have to walk in the street to pass through.

The people without residences always appear to have enough money and resources for tobacco (or whatever fits in a pipe), alcohol, hypodermic needles and tattoos — plus they urinate and defecate wherever they like. The balance between compassion and apathy is leaning towards the latter. My sense of empathy has spiraled into the abyss of indifference.

Glenn Zweifel, Mar Vista