Mike sent the following letter to neighbors on June 28.
Last week I announced a six-week program to offer housing to every unhoused resident on Ocean Front Walk (OFW) in Venice. Even before the program’s formal launch today, the St. Joseph Center has already helped move 19 unhoused people indoors.
Those 19 people are the first of up to 200 people we intend to house. That’s nineteen individuals—someone’s mother, father, brother, or sister—who had fallen into homelessness for a variety of reasons, and now are safely under a roof on a path to permanent housing. This is what addressing our crisis of homelessness in Los Angeles looks like, getting one unhoused resident at a time back on their feet and into housing.
Here’s how the “Venice Beach Encampments to Homes” initiative works: the City, County and St. Joseph Center have secured permanent housing for the people living in encampments along OFW and the beach. To move urgently and help people get off the streets immediately, outreach workers are offering people interim housing or shelter, where caseworkers will match each individual with an existing permanent housing resource, so they can stay off the streets, in a home, and begin to rebuild their lives.
This week, outreach workers will begin work to house the unhoused residents in Zone 1, the area from the boardwalk to the shore, between Park Avenue and Windward Avenue. Each unhoused resident in that area will be offered immediate, temporary housing and commitment of permanent housing. At the end of the week, city crews will clean the area and return it to general public use.
Homlessness is the biggest crisis of our time. There are no easy solutions, and we are working against a deeply flawed and broken system that lets vulnerable people fall through the cracks and onto our streets. The only way to address it is through hard, on-the-ground, person-to-person work to match unhoused residents with the housing resources they need, and that work best for each of them. I know we can do this, with your help and support.
If you would like to volunteer to help support this effort, if you would like to donate materials or supplies to people moving indoors, or if you own rental units and would be interested in accepting a tenant with a housing voucher, please fill out this form and let us know.
Together, we can lift people out of homelessness, move Los Angeles forward, and get this done.
Councilmember, 11th District