(Venice, CA.) Today leading Venice organizations announced their support for Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s initiative along Venice Beach to assist the over 200 homeless campers here to connect with services and shelter.
The Venice Stakeholders Association (VSA) and Venice United, representing residents, and the Venice Chamber of Commerce and Venice Beach Merchants Association, joined together to welcome the Sheriff’s Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST), which has been interviewing all the homeless individuals living along the Boardwalk and beach.
“The Venice community has longed for just this kind intervention for several years,” said Mark Ryavec, VSA president and member of the Venice Neighborhood Council.
“The City of Los Angeles has abandoned us and ignored our repeated calls for enforcement of the city ordinance that bans tents and camping in city parks and beaches,” Ryavec said. “It’s enforced at Will Rogers Beach and in San Pedro’s beach parks, but oddly not enforced in Venice.”
George Francisco, the president of the Venice Chamber of Commerce, said, “The city’s failure to help those living on the beach to find shelter has hurt the homeless…and has hurt hundreds of our businesses. Sadly, it has made the public scared to visit Venice.”
“We applaud the Sheriff’s decision to assign the highly-experienced HOST team to help this population link to services and shelter,” the Venice leader said.