Furious Venice Beach residents say enough is enough as the homeless continue to swarm the boardwalk less than a week after the city conducted massive clean-up to clear out encampments.
Less than a week after a massive clean-up of homeless encampments on the Venice Beach Boardwalk, new arrivals continue to swarm the area.
City officials promised they would return at the end of July to finish the job, but residents and shop owners say enough is enough, and tell that last week's sweep was 'all for show'.
Last week, a concerned resident who asked not to be identified captured a couple on video taking up camp near the popular boardwalk.
'You can clearly see a man and a woman unloading their car at about 7pm,' they said. 'The car had an Arkansas license plate, and they just went about their business, lugging their belongings and setting up a tent on the sand like it was no big deal.'
Patrick Liberty, who has had a shop on the boardwalk for 25 years, says his business has taken a huge beating with homeless tents set up directly across from his store.
'The reality on the ground here is undeniable, it's a disaster. It's been very debilitating for my business, this is the last thing you want in front of a shop. Tourists and locals alike are afraid to walk down the boardwalk, let alone come into my store,' Liberty said.
'Over the years, I've seen it all and can confidently say this is not a mere housing problem,' he explained to DailyMail.com.
'The people camped out front my store are not looking for housing, they are looking for drugs and have made this place their permanent home. They sit out on lounge chairs during the day and ask people for a dollar so they can buy crack. These people are in need of help, help to overcome their addictions and help with learning basic life skills. You can't just put street people in a home and think that's it, that's the answer. For some people yes, but for the people who willingly come here to live on the beach, no.
'Just this morning, I saw a man screaming at the top of his lungs, walking down the boardwalk with torn up clothes and shouting out nonsense. Try putting him in a home. It's simply not the solution,' Liberty said.
Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, who has come under fire for what many call a lack of leadership and a lack of concern for the residents of Venice, has a completely different take on the situation. On July 14, a concerned resident who wished to remain anonymous captured a couple on video unpacking their car to take up camp near the popular boardwalk.
On July 12, Bonin tweeted, 'More than half of the unhoused population on Venice Beach's Ocean Front Walk-110 people-are sleeping indoors & are on a path to permanent housing as a result of the Encampments to Homes program.' Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin has come under fire for what many call a lack of leadership and a lack of concern for the residents of Venice. He tweeted about the clean-up efforts on July 12 +17
Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin has come under fire for what many call a lack of leadership and a lack of concern for the residents of Venice. He tweeted about the clean-up efforts on July 12
Venice native Andrew Sullivan says it's a bit early for Bonin to be patting himself on the back and describes the recent clean-up as nothing more than 'the Mike Bonin Boardwalk Shuffle' as homeless encampments move further north and the sand resembles Burning Man.
'Venice Beach is in a state of emergency on all levels, and what we need right now is FEMA,' Sullivan told DailyMail.com.
'If you were to dare go to the boardwalk tonight, you would not see these so-called mental health workers from St. Joseph's Center walking around, helping people. Residents only see this happen when they call the media to be here or an activist's livestream camera is on. It's a collection of the biggest non-profit grifters ever assembled in one city.
'It's all about making those in charge look like they are actually doing something, when those of us who live here see first hand the horrors of mismanagement. If our leaders wanted to fix this, they've had $800million plus in the bank since 2017 to do so and they were just given another $5million,' he added.
'The streets indicate otherwise and the residents are organizing recalls to end the madness from Bonin to California Governor Gavin Newsom,' said Sullivan.
So where is this money going?
Sullivan claims the money is going to the salaries of Bonin and Va Lecia Adams Kellum, the President & CEO of St Joseph's Center. Venice native Andrew Sullivan describes the recent clean-up as nothing more than 'the Mike Bonin Boardwalk Shuffle' as homeless encampments move further north and the sand resembles Burning Man