August 2008 – 38 Recommendations for Addressing Problems of Homelessness

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Homeless Taskforce Recommendations

to the Venice Neighborhood Council – May 20, 2008
(Instead of responding to the Taskforce, it was dissolved by the VNC)

General

1: That the VNC work regionally with other neighborhood councils on the problem of homelessness.

2: That the VNC work with the CD11 office and other Westside Neighborhood councils to advocate for regional solutions to homelessness including encouraging adoption of any VNC recommended Venice solutions by other Westside neighborhoods.

3: That the VNC encourage the formation of a committee of homeless people that would encourage responsible behavior by homeless people in Venice.

Housing

4: That the VNC Identify and publicize all of the shelter and transitional housing resources in and around Venice.

5: That the VNC advocate for more homeless Section 8 vouchers for St. Joseph Center and other westside homeless services providers.

6: That the VNC conduct outreach and education efforts to identify landlords (including owner-occupants of single family dwellings) in Venice who will consider accepting tenants with homeless Section 8 vouchers.

7: That the VNC advocate for an increase of the Fair Market Rent for homeless Section 8 vouchers provided by St. Joseph Center and other westside homeless services providers.

8: That the VNC request the addresses and other identifying information and encumbrances including lease terms of all city-owned property in CD 11.

9: That the VNC advocate that the City not sell or otherwise dispose of any city-owned property in CD 11 that could be developed as housing for extremely low- very low or low income people and that the VNC notify other neighborhood councils in CD 11 of that demand and encourage them to take similar action.

10: That the VNC advocate that a significant portion of the apartment units to be built at 3631 Centinela Avenue (the old Firehouse) be set aside for homeless people.

11: That the VNC advocate transforming existing public parking lots into parking structures that incorporate SRO housing and supportive services for senior and/or disabled homeless people in a manner that preserves and/or enhances existing public parking and enhances the surrounding neighborhood.

12: That the VNC identify specific sites in Venice where shelters, transitional housing and permanent housing with supportive services can be located.

13: That the VNC identify a location or locations in CD11 where homeless people may lawfully park and sleep in their vehicles.

14: That the VNC consider the development of a permanent supportive housing project without resident parking requirements for homeless people who do not own or have access to a vehicle and on condition that they do not acquire such transportation during their tenancy.

15: That in response to the housing crisis, the VNC propose a pilot project city-wide that would enable a property owner to apply for a suspension of zoning and building codes for a period of two years (renewable) that would otherwise render an existing rental unit illegal on condition that those premises be made safe and habitable, that the premises be occupied by very low income people at affordable rents and, in the event that parking is insufficient, that the premises be rented to people who do not own a vehicle – the program to be administered by the Los Angeles Housing Department.

16: That the VNC obtain an inventory of affordable housing in Venice including all shelter beds, transitional and permanent housing and further, that the VNC request that other neighborhood councils in CD 11 obtain the same information for their neighborhoods.

17: That the VNC recommend that City of Los Angeles consider acquisition of failed condominium projects for conversion to affordable rental housing.

18: That the VNC periodically conduct a survey to determine the inventory of low and moderate income housing in Venice. 

19: That the VNC advocate that the Los Angeles Housing Department create a program to assist in the acquisition of small apartment buildings, units to be made affordable to low income people.

Supportive Services

20: That the VNC identify locations in Venice where restroom facilities are provided 24/7 and where security is provided.

21: That the VNC advocate to keep the bathrooms on Venice beach open 24/7 and provide security sufficient to allow people to utilize the facilities safely; and further, to provide Automated Flush Toilets (APTs) at other locations in Venice including on Lincoln Blvd., Abbot Kinney Blvd. and selected city parking lots. 

22: That the VNC identify (or advocate for in the event that none can be found) facilities nearby where vehicle holding tanks can be flushed.

23: That the VNC advocate that a survey be conducted of homeless people in CD 11 to ascertain important demographic information and to obtain information concerning their needs and that other neighborhood councils in CD 11 be encouraged to support this action. 

24: That resources be made available to undertake a comprehensive survey to identify those homeless people in Venice most “at risk” according to an established vulnerability scale.

25: That the VNC advocate that the LAPD provide a locker facility on the westside to avoid trips across town following arrests and to adequately secure people’s possessions.

26: That the VNC advocate for more drug treatment, mental health and job training programs in Venice for homeless populations.

27: That the VNC support the effort of Councilman Rosendahl to expand services provided to veterans at the Veterans Administration Center.

28: That the VNC design a survey to determine “customer satisfaction” for services provided by government, churches and other nonprofit organizations to homeless people in Venice.

29: That the VNC work with the Venice Chamber of Commerce to provide more trash cans in Venice.

Education and Outreach

30: That the VNC host a series of town hall meetings to continue the dialogue between housed and unhoused residents in a safe place for everyone.

31: That one of the town hall meetings focus on a demographic overview of homelessness both regionally and locally and include experts to be determined and that this overview be coupled with personal experiences of homeless people from our community.

32: That the VNC sponsor a community outreach event to bring the housed and unhoused members of our community together that would include music and the arts, educational booths of nonprofits and others who provide supportive services, job training and employment opportunities for homeless people.

33: That all of the town hall meetings and outreach events include an action opportunity (e.g. a clothes drive) to assist the homeless.

34: That the VNC publicize the existence of the CD 11 service directory.

Legal Advocacy and Law Enforcement

35: That the VNC advocate that Municipal Code 85.02 which provides:

“No person shall use a vehicle parked or standing upon any City street, or upon any parking lot owned by the City of Los Angeles and under the control of the City of Los Angeles or under the control of the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors as living quarters either overnight, day to day or otherwise” be amended to permit sleeping in vehicles overnight on selected city and private parking lots.

36: That the VNC meet with the LAPD to express concern that homeless and disabled people are being targeted in enforcing parking restrictions and to advocate that all laws be enforced impartially in our community.

37: That the VNC request that the LAPD develop a team of officers with primary responsibility for outreach to and liaison with local social services providers.

38: That the VNC determine whether the LAPD has received the training required by Penal Code Section 13519.64 and if not, advocate that all members of the LAPD receive this training immediately.

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