- Nether Regions of The Beachhead – DeDe Audet
- Homeless Emergency Task Force – Lisa Green
Nether Regions of The Beachhead
I think you will be pleased to know I found Google googling The Beachhead. In searching for material on “Delta smelt U.S. Fish and Wildlife findings” I was directed to http://freevenicebeachhead.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/water-crisis-the-delta-and-us/ where I found my own article from the March issue. I am enjoying the experience of being referred to myself. But there is a downside. I was looking for new material.
Homeless Emergency Task Force
Here are some of my comments based on the proceedings of the Homeless Emergency Task Force Mtg held Thurs, Oct 26. 10 participants.
First and foremost, I believe establishing a forum for dialog is key to resolving our challenges in the community. I am glad to be part of bringing more awareness to all affinity groups.…
Informal survey taken myself before attending mtg. on Thurs evening as people waited for bus. In line stood about 30 people and the line continued to grow. Many offered their input. Their shelter experience is currently a positive experience – clean bed, healthy food, LAHSA mgmt team polite and respectful. Noted though that only a couple of women were in line waiting for the bus. Also no one under 30 was present……did hear need for beds outweighed number of beds available.
Task Force to seek further funding options, public and private, provide more beds until the full Winter shelter program is open at the beginning of December. Also offer changes to layout to encourage more participation from women and youths such as more clearly defined separate quarters.
Also some participants of the task force suggested visiting the shelter to learn first hand. Linda Lucks to provide more details
Some members of the Task Force suggested supporting the passage of the proposed revision to LAMC 42.15. Linda Lucks to send out details. Others suggested letter writing campain to local papers too.
Other related topics
Some of the participants on the Task Force expressed concern about food distribution on the boardwalk. Some spoke about the impact to tenants that owned eating establishments and impact to tourism.
Part of my role was to remind the group of our collective basic human rights. Others did the same. As well, I am reminded of more than one story of tourists that have approached me during times when food is distributed acknowledging their curiosity and goodwill towards others. Additionally I am told of many instances of tourists approaching food distribution stations to offer monetary contributions along with words of encouragement. Even Anthony Hopkins is seen regularly leaving donations.
Another concern was that people that could afford to pay for food at eating establishments were assumed to be participating in the food giveways as recipients. My informal survey did not substantiate that claim at this point. I suspect those making that claim may feel undue pressure at work to maintain their employment status or business operating. Their fears about losing profit are real concerns but food giveaways to feed people that are hungry who cannot typically afford this basic human right should not be use as the main cause. Our current economic situation in the country and abroad is declining. I suggest those members engage in political causes to change current policies that remove corporate loopholes for large multinational corporations so that small business owners have a fair chance at existence as opposed to targeting an already at risk group. Venice as well reminded by the current President of the Neighborhood Council has always been a place were those that have and those that have little co-exist.
I was asked how many people that are defined by our society as homeless are dealing with mental illness? My estimate was 25%. One problem I see everyday is that the needs of those individuals with mental illness are being blantantly ignored through society, because we as a collective are allowing this to members of our society.
As well I was asked how many people did I believe refuse any services at all. Frankly as I mentioned to the group I am appalled at the term service resistant. To my knowledge everyone I have spoken to is or has a desire to belong to connect to participate in society. Some of the participants of the task force were frustrated with my accessment but I did state I did not have a percentage to note off the top of head but I would inquire. To me you have to look at your approach as well. Are you coming across as condensing or dictating or accusatory when inquiring of others? When I engage in dialog I initially see resistance from some people but as I listen to the reasons to learn about their situation then I often find out most are actively involving in some form of service.
Yes, there are services but the effectiveness of the services is rarely evaluated, and those organizations that profit on the misfortune are over not addressed which causes further isolation of the individual.
Most people living their daily life have no clue what someone on the street endures. For instance:
Young adults/kids that were in foster care until they get released with nowhere to go….
A woman who is escaping an abusive relationship that cannot turn to friends or family for fear of being hurt or those held close being retaliated on…
Mom and/or dad trying to make it but the rising costs overwhelm them to the point where they lose their home….
The veteran who is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. the list goes on and on.
The individual who is suffering with mental illness and finds their quirks unwelcoming in a society that is very self focused…
Often women living on the streets are sexually assaulted by not only others living on the streets but sexual predators that are traditionally housed…in fact I am aware of a handful of men that we have had to address on the boardwalk in the last year.
I suggested and will continue to suggest that a coalition form of affinity groups that will outreach to those suffering from mental instability using a model that builds empowerment, psychological resilience, independence and individual growth along with shelter. A connection back to healthy mind, spirit and body….
And it was noted by quite a few of the participants that a group of younger adults/kids were reported to be creating disturbances on Venice Boardwalk through the night. This group is defined as runaways or kids without a home. I was not actively engaged with this group but will investigate to learn more about the situation.
This was not the entire list of items but provides a bit of what transpired. The task force will meet again soon.