VENICE (CBSLA) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti got an earful Wednesday at the the latest community showdown over a citywide project to house homeless people.

Overwhemingly, the sentiment was once again, “Not here.”

This time, it was in Venice, where one of the planned A Bridge Home shelters for the homeless is slated for development on an unused, 3-acre Metro lot on Sunset and Main. Opponents of the proposed shelter held red placards reading, “STOP DUMPING ON VENICE,” despite the fact one such facility is planned for each of L.A.’s 15 council districts.

They seemed to criticize the mayor, as well as Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore and Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents the area.

Extra police were on hand, as the discussions about this temporary shelter have become tense in the past.

“Are you planning to do anything to stop, you know, the increase in homelessness, or is this just a welcome sign for the rest of the country?” asked one woman.

“Look for a more appropriate site,” resident Mark Ryaveck told CBS2 News. “We are the only site out of all the ones that the city is looking at that’s surrounded on four sides by residences. We already have a problem with break-ins and assaults and harassment and public defecation and urination.”

Rendering of the A Bridge Home shelter planned for Venice, Oct. 17, 2018

Ryaveck added he did not have any objection to housing the homeless, but that this “experiment” should not take place there.

“You don’t put homeless shelters near elementary schools, you know? You don’t put the most volatile next to our most vulnerable, our kids,” said another man.

Not everyone present at the town hall was against the project, however. Outside, homeless advocates held a candlelit vigil with signs reading “BEDS NOT SIDEWALKS.”

“This has to work for everybody. Whether you’re for it or against it, if it fails, our community fails,” said one man.

“If you read about the project, there will be security, there will be people who take care. There are going to be social workers,” one woman told CBS2.

Garcetti pointed the success of the recently opened El Pueblo facility near Placita Olvera in Downtown L.A. as an example of what could be done.

Vocal opposition to the shelters has been fairly successful in other neighborhoods. In May, hundreds of people crowded Wilshire Boulevard to protest the site proposed for Koreatown. City Council President Herb Wesson, who represents the area, subsequently gave an impassioned speech about the need for a shelter at a new location, saying, “We are driving past homeless people, and we’re not seeing them! When that happens, that is the end of our humanity, the end of our humanity, and that we cannot do.”

  1. Everyone “wants to help the homeless” until the part about the “help” being in their neighborhood comes up. The problem (or, one of them?) is that people are sympathetic to the “poster” homeless folks – the abused woman who had to flee her abuser with her 2 kids and nothing else; the family who had big medical bills and lost their apartment. But there’s increasing recognition that a large part of the homeless population are also mentally ill but cannot be medicated or placed into protective environments because of legislation that had the unintended consequence of putting these people into the streets. Those who have co-morbidities of alcoholism and drug abuse are sometimes dangerous to those who encounter them. And if not dangerous, then unable to control their behaviors, and sorry – but except for Mother Theresa and a few others, most people don’t want mentally ill people uncontrolled in their neighborhoods. Thus the very general “we want to help the homeless” and the very specific “No mentally people homeless people shooting up and defecating in my front yard.”

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