In a massive operation last summer, over 200 homeless campers were removed from Venice Beach. Residents claimed they had seen clean-ups in the area, but encampments still continue to appear – Heidi Roberts founder of HAAVEN Shared Housing calls it “waterbed syndrome.”
Roberts stated, “Like, you press this and it bumps over here, or press here and it bumps over here, etc.” It seems that they are spending millions upon millions to move people to different areas. If they were smarter about this, I mean they could actually solve the problem.
Soledad Ursua, a member of the Venice Neighborhood Council, stated that the city wanted to conceal the crisis from national attention during the Super Bowl.
Ursua, a Venice Beach resident for six years, stated that “the city has always done it this.” “They moved homeless camps last April for Oscars, so that’s their real approach. They want to conceal it. They don’t want tourists seeing this coming in.”
Mike Bonin, a LA City Councilman representing Venice, stated in a Fox News statement that he is fighting for more housing, shelter, and services. “My efforts are continually opposed by obstructionists who claim they oppose encampments but try to block any alternative.
Bonin said, “In the last few months, hundreds of people were unhoused at Venice. We are on track for doing more –even though hundreds more people are being forced into homelessness every day in Los Angeles.” It is ironic, Bonin said that many of those claiming that encampments are moving to other neighborhoods are actually advocating for failed policies.
He stated that housing and services are the only way to end homelessness. This is why he opposed failed policies that criminalize homelessness, push encampments to one neighborhood after the other.”
Ursua stated that despite the city’s best efforts, the crisis was inevitable.
Ursua stated that “for tourists who are coming into the Super Bowl, it is something, which they’re going see,” Fox News reported. “Homelessness has now spread all over L.A. City.”
Chie Lunn, another Venice Neighborhood Council member, stated that the latest encampment was in a dangerous area for children.
Lunn stated that they are standing outside Venice’s only public library.
A December poll by the Los Angeles Business Council, and the Los Angeles Times revealed that nearly four out of 10 voters felt unsafe because there were homeless people living in their area.
Roberts stated, “It’s so frustrating to watch this.”
She continued, “I think that a lot of headlines try to put this as a neighbor against neighbor battle.” “That’s not the case because everyone who lives in this community is very tolerant.”
“We are compassionate. Roberts said that they are nice people. “We moved to a community with some quirkiness. These guys are not my fault. They don’t have any other options.”