Homeless camps, trash and crime have transformed Venice boardwalk, eluding easy solutions
By DOUG SMITH, BENJAMIN ORESKES | LOS ANGELES TIMES EXCLUSIVE.
“The beatings, the murders of senior citizens, the fires, the victimization of housed and unhoused, the black RV terrorizing families in a school zone, the unanswered emails, unreturned phone calls; there is no excuse for your absence and neglect,” one resident wrote as part of what has become a daily barrage of screaming emails directed at city leaders.
But he would not commit to a deadline until he’s confident the resources are available to meet it.
The Los Angeles County Coroner recorded 19 deaths of homeless people in Venice during 2020.
Sheriff’s deputies began what they said will be regular patrols Monday.
Ursua, a member of the Venice Neighborhood Council, has led its activist health and safety committee in pressing Bonin to follow the example of Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who had Echo Park Lake fenced off this year after removing a large homeless camp.
It was done with minimal police support.
Stowell is the founder of Team Venice, a coalition of Venice Beach sports leagues that pressed the city for the handball court cleanup.
After chatting about his plan to go off the grid in Northern California, Smith, a 65-year-old who lost a family business under a crush of health problems, recounted witnessing a gang rape late one night.
“Anybody can see there’s a recipe for real disaster out there,” Stowell said.
A sanitation crew dismantles a homeless encampment in Venice. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)
Brian Averill, founder of a group he calls the Venice Boardwalk Action Committee, stands near a homeless encampment in Venice.(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)
Park Ranger P. Delgadillo, center, instructs Tom Otterbach, 66, left, and Dixie Moore, 47, both homeless, to move their encampments and belongings away from Ocean Front Walk as security officer R. Al-Awar looks on in Venice.(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)
Tom Otterbach, 66, gathers his belongings along Ocean Front Walk in Venice.(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)
Kenny Abby, 72, stands near his belongings and encampment along Ocean Front Walk in Venice, where he lives off his Social Security.(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)
Artist Vernon English IV stands near his encampment where he sells his art along Ocean Front Walk in Venice.(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)
A woman sleeps on a bench against a backdrop of homeless encampments along Ocean Front Walk in Venice.(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)
A homeless man yells at a sanitation crew after they dismantled and cleared a homeless encampment in Venice. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)