LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Outreach teams and Los Angeles police continued the effort Friday to clear homeless encampments from the Venice Boardwalk.
The city of Los Angeles had set a deadline of Friday morning to clear encampments from along Ocean Front Walk between Navy Street and Rose Avenue, a section known as Zone 5.
However, that deadline has now been extended to next Friday, July 16.
According to L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin, so far 104 of the approximately 200 homeless people who live on the boardwalk have been moved into shelters with the promise of a pathway to more permanent housing.
All this is part of Bonin’s “Encampment to Home” program, which began on June 28 with the goal of clearing the Venice Boardwalk of homeless encampments. Bonin said it may take time to place the unhoused residents into the permanent housing options, particularly through the voucher program, as the city must identify willing landlords and available units.
In the interim, temporary housing has been given, including up to six months of motel placements, which is the most commonly requested form of temporary housing, Bonin said.
The L.A. City Council has set aside $5 million for Bonin’s project.
Zone 4, between Rose and Dudley avenues, is also slated to be cleared by July 16. Zone 3, between Dudley and Sunset avenues, will be cleared by July 23, while Zone 2, between Sunset and Park avenues, will be cleared by July 30.
The program’s partners include People Assisting the Homeless, Safe Place for Youth, Venice Family Clinic, Self Help and Recovery Exchange and CLARE Matrix. Participating government agencies include the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the Public Health, Mental Health and Recreation & Parks departments, and the Bureau of Sanitation.
Bonin has been at odds with L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva after the sheriff sent deputies to Venice Beach last month to clear some of the homeless off the boardwalk, despite the fact that Venice Beach is not in LASD’s jurisdiction.
“The only beds the sheriff has are jails, he hasn’t used them yet, but he’s certainly been threatening to use them,” Bonin said June 10 when asked where Villanueva was taking the homeless individuals. “He has provided a very nice, but very expensive taxi service over the last couple of days and has driven people to some of the housing resources that government agencies and the social service agencies already offer.”
The homeless crisis has continued to dominate the political landscape. Last week, the L.A. City Council tentatively approved an ordinance that would ban homeless encampments from sidewalks and many other parts of the city.
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