VENICE (CBSLA) — Mikal Wood, who has been living in a tent on Venice Beach since October, said Tuesday that he is frustrated that officers with the Los Angeles Police Department were continuing to walk through the encampment and ticket people found inside.
“You’re writing tickets, but telling all of us that we just can’t be here and that we have to go somewhere else,” the 30-year-old said to an officer. “But where do you want us to go?”READ MORE: Woman, 30, Suffering From Depression Goes Missing In Canyon Country
Wood said he has been on a waitlist for housing for months, but has not seen any progress.
“Well, it seems like they have a lot of people that they’ve employed to come out here and tackle the problem and ask people if they want housing,” he said. “But then, by the time you get on the list, it’s just like a bunch of ongoing circles.”
A cleanup was scheduled for Tuesday morning to move some of the unhoused residents from the beachfront, prompting members of the Venice Justice Committee to come out.READ MORE: Person Struck And Killed By Amtrak Train In North Hollywood
“You cannot just remove people from an area because somebody says it doesn’t look good,” Peggy Lee Kennedy, a member of the committee, said.
“The one thing that everyone can agree upon is that the exacerbation of this issue throughout the pandemic has caused a public safety issue,” Ben Decker, who is running for president of the Venice Neighborhood Council, said.
The Los Angeles Fire Department has launched a new fast-response unit for the boardwalk, but fires and fights continue to break out in the encampments.
“Somebody needs to rush and do something,” Bryan Blackmon, owner of Virtual Venice, said. “And I don’t know what that answer is, but it needs help quick.”MORE NEWS: 'We're Ready To Go': Firefighters Warn Of Southern California Fire Danger In Coming Weeks
According to VJC, there was a small cleanup Tuesday at the far end of the boardwalk. They said people’s belongings and a handful of those living in tents were removed from the site.