There is a new Renaissance in Venice called Venaissance. A group dedicated to beautifying Venice. One of their aims is to promote gardens for the houseless and around businesses and homes. Their slogan is, ‘Planting gardens to promote: cleanliness, peace and tranquility.’ They meet every Friday at 1pm on the Ocean Front Walk just north of Rose Ave. Both housed and unhoused members are welcome.

I’ve attended their last five meetings. The group is still forming various ideas about ways to keep our community clean and to get people to plant and take care of their gardens. One of their immediate goals is to build planter boxes and give out plants and flowers for houseless people around Venice to beautify their areas. Unhoused people will volunteer to take care of their planter boxes. The planter boxes can be built to different sizes to accommodate the houseless individual’s needs and wishes. Several local, well known houseless people in Venice are taking part as well as several housed people. Part of their hope is to work with local businesses and housed people in the community to show that even without a fixed home, houseless people can keep their places clean and pretty with gardens and flowers. They also would like to encourage businesses and property owners to beautify their places and plant gardens.

“Venaissance is a community connection project, collaboratively creating solutions for the people of Venice. With a focus on group healing, social justice, and personal transformation, we bring housed and unhoused individuals together through gardening, mentorship, and artistic performances. Currently, Venaissance is building mobile gardening boxes throughout the neighborhood, providing a sustainable food source and healing activity for the community. Each box is equipped with a secure storage cabinet underneath, giving housed and unhoused individuals a safe place to keep their belongings.”

With the pandemic and millions out of work there may soon be many more people without homes. LA has tens of thousands of people already without homes. The city has no plans for any way to house so many people.

Because of this they have allowed houseless people to camp out around the city. Some people with homes and businesses near houseless encampments are angry about this. Part of the anger is that some camps are dirty and ugly. Venaissance wants to make them prettier and cleaner for both the houseless and housed. The hope also is that with their places clean and nicer with flowers and plants the houseless will feel better about themselves and have a happier and healthier environment for all. Along with decorative flowers we can also grow edible plants to help feed the poor and hungry. They also want the entire community to make our city more beautiful by planting pretty gardens and keeping it clean.

Come by on Friday with some flowers to plant and ideas to grow. With a little LOVE we can solve all problems…