VENICE (CBSLA) – Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents Los Angeles’ 11th District, which includes parts of Venice, presented a $5 million proposal to the homeless and poverty committee Thursday that, he says, will help address the growing issue of homelessness.
The proposal, called the Encampment To Home program involves providing immediate funds for bridge housing, local hotel rooms and even vacant apartments in the Venice area for the more than 100 unhoused people camping on the beach. Councilman Bonin is also looking for landlords willing to help with the program.
“The thing that’s important to note, given current events, is this is a program that we are trying to do without any law enforcement at all. We are trying to do this from a housing and services first perspective,” Bonin told CBSLA’s Joy Benedict.
When asked his thoughts on Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who has been moving some homeless off the boardwalk despite the fact that area is under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Police Department, he said that ongoing homeless outreach in area has been disrupted by Villanueva, calling it a “carnival sideshow.”
“The only beds the sheriff has are jails. He hasn’t used them yet, but he’s certainly been threatening to use them,” Bonin said when asked where Villanueva was taking homeless individuals. “He has provided a very nice, but very expensive taxi service over the last couple of days and has driven people to some of the housing resources that government agencies and the social service agencies already offer.”
The $5 million proposal was moved out of the committee Thursday and will head to the finance committee on Monday where it is expected to pass.