LA Mayor Karen Bass administration clears large Venice encampment, houses 92 homeless

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Saturday, January 14, 2023
LA Mayor Bass administration clears large Venice encampment
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In her first 100 days, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass is dealing with the homeless crisis straight on. She was out there when crews started clearing encampments in Venice.

VENICE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- One of the largest homeless encampments in Venice that's occupied Hampton and 3rd avenues at Sunset Avenue for years started getting cleared last week. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass was joined by Councilwoman Traci Park and service providers on the first day that Bass' program, Inside Safe, started clearing the encampment and moving the homeless to a South Los Angeles motel.

Under Inside Safe, 31 people have been housed in Hollywood and 92 in Venice so far.

"I know that the neighbors in Venice are very happy in that one area where we were, but I also know that Venice has many more problems. It is great that we have cleared it out, and we've gotten people housed. But now we need to make sure that that area is not re-populated. So just getting people out of tents and into motels is only step one," said Bass.

Jody Briskin exercises at Gold's Gym next to the encampment.

"It's unsafe for anybody to walk," she said. "I park my car here and I wonder, is someone unstable because they have not been treated. Are they going to jump me?"

Briskin says everything has changed in the last week. Not only does she now feel safe, she believes the unhoused are better off.

"We have to supply all kinds of services. Psychological services. Substance abuse services. Nobody wants to be on the street. It's no life," said Briskin.

But Eyewitness news spoke with Lee Scott, a resident of the encampment, who told us he's been waiting for housing for 19 months.

"Do I think it's going to work? No. It's not going to work because they're only going to provide so many motel vouchers. When the motel vouchers run out, where are the people going to go. Being put in a whole new place, I have to learn everything over again. I have that suspicion in the back of my mind that what happens when they decided to say oh, you don't have another hotel voucher. Then, I have to come back here and do this again," said Scott.

There have been some complaints about the conditions at the temporary shelters in the past. Bass told Eyewitness News if that happens at the motels the city is using for Inside Safe, she would fix that immediately. Bass said she doesn't want anyone being deterred from accepting help because of issues with a temporary shelter.