A presumably very kind Venice resident has apparently worked out an arrangement with several homeless residents in his neighborhood: they help to keep his yard maintained and in return he allows them to spend the night there. Sounds like a win-win. Of course, as CBS Los Angeles reports, it's not a deal that's proving very popular with the neighbors.
In the past week, residents have reportedly called the police nine separate times in regards to the homeless people they've noticed in their neighborhood. Neighbor Michael Betti tell CBS that the people sleeping on the lawn have been taking up space in a nearby alley and claims they're also using it as a bathroom.
Curiously, though, Betti has also spoken out against a proposal to provide storage space and restrooms to homeless residents of the community. "I support low income housing and finding jobs, help, shelter for the homeless," she reportedly said at a recent community meeting hosted by Councilmember Mike Bonin. "I do not support local government abandoning people on the sidewalks and making it a community’s problem to deal with. Supplying band aids, such as opening bathrooms along the beach and turning spaces into storage does nothing for the homeless or the community for the long-term."
Although Betti tells Yo! Venice! that she and her husband decided to raise their children in Venice to expose them to "different types of people...you know, different walks of life," her daughters are apparently not benefitting from the exposure to diversity. "I have a fear of them," says her eldest daughter, while her younger sibling mentions that homeless people she has seen have "dookie faces."
For his part, Bonin says that he understands that residents in Venice are tired and frustrated of struggling with the issues related to homelessness in their community. While the city continues to figure out ways to fund a nearly $2-billion plan to address homelessness, the number of Angelenos without permanent residences has continued to rise. According to a count released by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority last week, homelessness has risen 11 percent in the city since last year.
- Homeowners Claim Venice Neighbor Has Turned His Front Yard Into Homeless Encampment [CBS Los Angeles]
- Homeless Push the Limits of Venice Neighbors [Yo! Venice]
- Homelessness in LA Seems More Common Because It Is [Curbed LA]
- The Plan to Help Venice's Homeless Residents [Curbed LA]