VENICE BEACH, CA. – We have seen the reports about once proud cities in California such as San Francisco and Los Angeles turning into literal crap-holes right before our eyes.
Last summer, the city of Los Angeles was being almost literally over-run by rats, including City Hall. California, run by Democrats for decades, slides into the abyss while its legislators and district attorneys worry about welcoming illegal immigrants through sanctuary programs, letting criminals run rampant through criminal justice “reform.”
The latest outrage is occurring in the Venice Beach area of LA, in a homeless facility that is part of the “A Bridge Home” initiative.
At a town hall on a proposed homeless shelter in Venice Beach tonight, residents shout "lies" when LA mayor says homelessness went down last year. pic.twitter.com/dEhxKCZpkc
— Curbed LA (@CurbedLA) October 18, 2018
When the program started, LA mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Mike Bonin said that the program would bring “vulnerable people indoors while providing relief to communities from street crime, drug use, and public endangerment.”
The initiative is being funded through two sources: Measure H which is an additional sales tax expected to raise $355 million dollars annually, and which was passed by voters; and Proposition HHH which will give the city $1.2 billion to build thousands of supportive housing units over the next 10 years.
Unfortunately, in Venice it is not working out too well. The facility has been open for roughly just over a week and is located at the old Metro bus maintenance facility in Venice, which is in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
Since it opened, residents have been reporting and documenting dozens of crimes and public disturbances, at all hours of the day or night.
— John and Ken (@johnandkenshow) March 6, 2020
Incidents such as assaults, fights, vandalism, graffiti, illegal camping, public defecation, drug use and disturbing the peace. Residents have been sharing their experiences including videos and pictures among some 60 neighbors and the councilman’s Venice Bridge Home Deputy, Allison Wilhite.
Many of the horror stories are coming from single women and mothers who live in the neighborhood. They are confirming their neighbors’ worst fears about the shelter, while also expressing concerns about their personal safety, as well as their lives. They are extremely concerned at what they believe is out of control lawlessness.
Examples of some of the issues reported to Wilhite:
On March 3 at 8:20 p.m. (names withheld)- I was just on a nightly walk with my dog which I do at the same hour every night. There were three male youths coming from Bridge Housing walking toward me and they asked if they could get a cigarette off me. I said no, and as they passed, they started yelling things they wish they could do to me and that I was a bitch for not talking to them, and to keep my head down and keep pretending to talk to my dog. Something similar happened last night as well.” (This equates to a sexual assault).
On March 4- I am a single woman 2 blocks away. It’s now unsafe for me to step out of my house without my dog and mace. And I’ve been here for 20 years and never experienced this before.” Within minutes, another person echoed the experience, I too am a single woman living across the street and I don’t feel safe. I have already been followed twice. I can’t enjoy my life in Venice anymore.”
An hour later, another woman still wrote I am starting to feel like a prisoner in my own home while these vagrants harass and assault people, shoot up on our doorsteps, vandalize our homes, start fires and invade our properties! I have had several incidents when I am afraid to leave my home, another incident with someone very high and mentally unstable on my driveway when I came home from grocery shopping that I was afraid to get out of my car and unload my groceries into my OWN HOME. I fear for my life. I have had vagrants ring my doorbell at 2:45 am and 12:15 am.”
Every day since the facility opened, there have been multiple incidents, including the following in a three-hour span on March 4:
-At around 4pm Venice resident [name withheld] called police to report two men smashing car windows and threatening to kill her. The incident took place across the street from the Bridge facility’s entrance. Ms. [name withheld] said that one of the men is a resident of Safe Place for Youth (SPY), one of two nonprofits that provide services for residents. LAPD arrested both men for vandalism.
-An hour later another woman reported that her 14-pound dog was attacked by a resident’s much larger dog as they walked past the shelter entrance. The dog was fortunately uninjured.
-An hour after that, yet another woman reported a man defecating in her front yard.
There have been incidents inside the shelter as well. Someone posted, “Around 10:30 on Monday, March 2, at least five LAPD patrol cars were spotted responding to an apparent fight inside the shelter. Later that same night a man filmed several apparently intoxicated individuals waking down his street having a screaming fight.”
When the facility was proposed, Councilman Bonin’s Bridge Home Venice webpage had the promise, “RESIDENTS WILL BE GOOD NEIGHBORS—Each temporary housing facility built as part of the Bridge Home initiative will be required to abide by rules that protect neighbors from any nuisance. There will be on-site management and on-site security, and opportunities for neighbors to discuss other operational rules before the facility is opened.
At an opening ceremony at the facility on February 25, Garcetti said:
“Today’s opening is a reminder that people across Los Angeles are saying ‘yes’ to delivering the housing, healing, and hope our unhoused neighbors need and deserve.”
You see this is how politicians work. You can pretty much guarantee that Garcetti doesn’t live in Venice and more likely than not lives in a place like Malibu. He can act like he’s some knight in shining armor social justice warrior while dumping something like this on residents while he drives to his safe neighborhood with walls, gates and security.
It’s so typical of the elite. They don’t want the rest of us to have guns as long as THEY have armed security. They don’t want walls to protect our borders as long as THEY have walls and fences around THEIR property. That’s how liberals operate. Do as I say, not as I do.
When the city proposed this shelter, they sold the residents who live in the area a bill of goods. Surely, it’s safe to say that the residents of Venice probably did not believe that they were welcoming something like THIS into their neighborhood.
Venice Beach, worth $3 million per acre, will build a homeless shelter for $100 million that holds a couple hundred people. In north LA, you can do it for a million or so. Where is the sense in that?? Californians are complete idiots. No wonder so many want out.
— The Eagle Has Landed–to Clean The Swamp (@2020_Bury_Them) October 11, 2019
Other incidents that have happened? Individuals passed out on sidewalks, in driveways, carports and front yards. Individuals pounding on front doors and ringing doorbells in the middle of the night. On opening night, a resident filmed traffic, including a Metro bus stopped in front of the shelter while a group of people presumed to be residents staged their version of Friday night fights in the middle of the road.
City officials have promised that things will improve once the LAPD sets ups a Special Enforcement and Cleaning Zone (SECZ) in the area; dedicated LAPD foot patrols, four days a week of bulky item pick-up, dedicated cleaning weekly and additional outreach by personnel from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)—guess that’s a thing out there…another government job. And we wonder why California is broke and its taxes are so high.
The zone was not scheduled to start up until March 9, two weeks after the shelter opened. Wilhite told residents that experience with opening these shelters and instituting the SECZ at the same time caused issues including “movement and frustration among unhoused people.” Unhoused people? Guess it sounds better than “homeless.”
Meanwhile, she said that neighbors should continue to call 911 for emergencies and the routine LAPD number for non-emergencies, along with a neighborhood services line.
It is even questioned by some if, once the new SECZ services start if it will have an impact. California has something called Prop 47, which reduced penalties for so-called “minor” crimes, as well as restorative justice initiatives in the state.
These initiatives make many of the crimes going on related to this shelter low priorities for police, as well as prosecutors. They question what the police can do when politicians have virtually tied their hands.
Los Angeles, as well as much of California has made it so police, in many cases, just look the other way when they see people engage in lawless behavior because there are no consequences anyway; and when the police do make arrests, the criminals are back on the street in a matter of days, if not hours.
Finally, last weekend a resident wrote in an email, “All weekend, shelter residents hung out and smoked weed or did their meth doses. A dealer is conveniently located in an RV on Main Street across from the Google building.” The writer added, “LAPD has had a problem dealing with the dealer for some reason even though many of them have witnessed the exchanges.”
Despite the obvious failure of this shelter, dozens more are being built throughout the city. Clearly officials don’t care about the residents in the neighborhood these are being put in, nor do they apparently care about the homeless and solving their issues. One must think that it’s about taking care of the unions and creating more public sector jobs.
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