Venice boardwalk now a huge homeless encampment

Carlos Granda Image
Friday, May 7, 2021
Venice boardwalk now a huge homeless encampment
Once prime beachfront property, parts of Venice have transformed into a homeless hotbed.

VENICE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Venice boardwalk is now a huge homeless encampment. There are fights, fires and even shootings.

Isabel Storey was walking her dogs and saw the line of tents.

"I'm so sad I'm just feeling like our public officials aren't doing their jobs."

There are counselors here almost every day trying to find shelter for these folks, but the counselors say many simply don't want to leave. Robert is one of those.

"Shelters are just prisoner of war camps for the homeless. I'd rather be free than have all that. I get up when I want, go in when I want, no no curfews or anything like that," he said.

Residents say they don't feel safe and want something done.

Another tiny homes village has opened up in North Hollywood. It's the second such community built by the city of L.A. to help people experiencing homelessness.

"We can no longer use our town. Most of us have spent a lot of money on cameras, on fencing, on new locks. I've had two attempted home invasions, my life has been threatened once," said Vicki Halliday.

This is Councilmember Mike Bonin's district. He says the solution is more housing.

"We need to be doing everything we can to get as many people housed as quickly as possible," says Bonin.

But residents like Halliday feel that hasn't worked.

"You promised us a cleanup when bridge housing went in, which I live very near. It's a disaster zone. We no longer believe anything he says," says Halliday.

Bonin says he is open to finding any solution.

"We can't be at a place anymore where we're saying no to alternatives to homelessness," he said. "If we say no to an alternative to homelessness, we need to say yes to something else."