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One Homeless Man Housed In Venice at a cost of $750,000 (plus hundreds of thousands more in police costs)
After months of negotiations, discussions, town hall meetings and rhetoric regarding the removal of approximately 250 homeless vehicle-dwellers living on the streets of Venice, the “Roadmap to Housing” program championed by CD11 Councilman, Bill Rosendahl, as a component of his proclaimed “carrot and stick” policy – designed to persuade said vehicle-dwellers to either move-in to the program or, in his own words, “move-on” – has finally succeeded in placing one homeless vehicle-dweller, Alfred Adkins, into housing in Venice.
The “Roadmap to Housing” program, implemented by P.A.T.H., under Rosendahl’s direction, was funded by a hefty $750,000 from the Venice Surplus Fund, at the Councilman’s behest. First awarded to The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, L.A.H.S.A., a remaining $650,000 was then passed along to P.A.T.H., the agency chosen to offer Rosendahl‘s “carrot” to the much-maligned vehicle-dwellers in Venice, constantly under attack by CD11 and LAPD (collectively, the “stick”), from October 2010 to the present time. Those vehicle-dwellers who refused the “carrot” (ie. to participate in the “Roadmap to Housing” program) were to be punished by the “stick” – often times in the form of towing the vehicle and arresting the owner.
As the major part of his “carrot” policy, Rosendahl had promised a dual “safe-parking” program (safe from the “stick”) to those vehicle-dwellers who agreed to participate in the P.A.T.H. program. But, after much discussion and dispute between West Los Angeles, Westchester and Venice neighborhoods, under the N.I.M.B.Y. (Not In My Back Yard) principle, the “safe-parking” program fell into disarray and has yet to be implemented for a single vehicle dweller in Venice.
Meanwhile, the “stick” punishes vehicle-dwellers in Venice daily. The towing of vehicles and arresting of their owners continues to the extent that the majority of those living in their vehicles in Venice have either moved onto the sidewalk or moved-on. Nearly half of the roughly original 250 vehicle-dwellers no longer remain in Venice, according to P.A.T.H. And, a year later, only one, apparently, has even been housed here.
States David Busch, a long-time homeless community advocate: “Those of us in Venice who have witnessed this callous attack on poor and homeless people are shocked that so much time, effort and $750,000 of tax-payers’ dollars, to house just one vehicle-dweller in Venice, is being touted as a success; and, while using the LAPD re-deployment of 21 additional officers here, at the cost of even more hundreds of thousands – to merely push hundreds of them into other neighborhoods – is sanctioned by both Rosendahl and P.A.T.H.”
Adds Busch, “Rosendahl has pushed over 200 vehicle-dwellers into other Los Angeles communities, that now have to deal with the so-called “success” of his effort to cover up the continued homelessness, from his own district, with money that he has overwhelmingly spent to force all but the wealthiest out of this beach community – and onto their less-affluent neighbors. With the growing lack of affordable housing in Venice, Rosendahl is demonstrating that, in his
district, the beach is being segregated for the rich only – no matter how much it costs the rest of Los Angeles.”
We believe that the rest of Los Angeles should be outraged that any single neighborhood politician could get away with calling this a “success”.
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