The problem isn’t Venice’s homeless residents. It’s L.A. leaders like Mike Bonin
To the editor: The situation of residents in Venice has a great deal in common with many people here in Marina del Rey. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that we’re all represented by Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin. (“Their Venice home feels unsafe. They blame public officials, not homeless Angelenos,” column, June 5)
On some streets, RVs stay for long periods in the same space. “Merchants” offer their wares without taxes or receipts. Items spill onto the streets and block the sidewalks.
Nothing is done about this. The residents of our gated complex have worked long and hard, paid taxes and followed the law only to be unable to walk on our own block. Why is it that my adult children who work for a living can’t afford a house or condo with an ocean view, but Bonin will happily situate the homeless on prime public property?
Think about it. You can house more homeless people on land elsewhere in L.A. County for a fraction of the cost. Too logical? I think so.
My heart goes out to homeless people, many of whom find themselves in untenable situations through no fault of their own. However, those of us who have worked hard all of our lives to spend our “golden years” in peace are also in untenable situations. Bonin has thrown us away and helped create anarchy.
Judy Zimring Pomerantz, Marina Del Rey
To the editor: Steve Lopez’s column about the slow-building frustration among the residents of Venice over homelessness hit very hard.
Over the past several years, it has been increasingly difficult to manage my anger and sadness as I drive around town. My elderly mother, still a Venice resident, was a fierce advocate for homeless people, and it broke her heart to see things deteriorate. Now it breaks mine.
It was my mother who taught me not to refer to “the homeless” but, rather, say “homeless people.” They are people.
Homelessness, a complex problem on so many levels, is now raging out of control. We need smart, capable, powerful people to focus and help solve it. So far, those elected to do so in Los Angeles have failed miserably.
Liz Kinnon, Culver City
To the editor: I recently had another encounter with two able-bodied homeless people in the rear alleyway behind where I live in Venice. One was in his 30s and from Seattle; the other, from Chicago, was in his 40s.
They said they were drawn to the area to share their mutual dream of living near the beach. That city leaders might place temporary housing near the beach for such folks speaks to the government’s incompetence.
Michael Ryan, Venice
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.