The recent cleanup of 3rd Avenue in Venice that resulted in legal claims being filed against the city for trashing the personal belongings of homeless people prompted the Los Angeles Times to publish an editorial Thursday urging residents, police and the homeless to negotiate a compromise.
The editorial said that Los Angeles officials are currently barred by an injunction from taking the property of the homeless in the Skid Row area of downtown and there is no reason why the practice should occur in Venice. The confiscation of personal belongings was called "an unsatisfactory solution to the problem" and "unacceptable and inhumane."
Dozens of homeless people had their personal belongings tossed into garbage trucks March 7 as trash haulers with the Los Angeles City Bureau of Sanitation cleaned up 3rd Avenue between Rose and Sunset avenues. The area has become a thriving homeless encampment since the enforcement of the ordinance banning overnight sleeping on the Venice Beach boardwalk and the cleanup came after numerous complaints about unsanitary conditions and blocked sidewalks in the area that is home to Gold's Gym, Digital Domain and the new Google offices. Some of the homeless were later allowed to retrieve their belongings from mounds of garbage that had been re-routed to a Venice sanitation yard due to the intervention of Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl and they recovered clothes, food, money and even a laptop computer.
Rosendahl later told the Venice Chamber of Commerce that weekly cleanups would take place on 3rd Avenue, but the .
The Los Angeles Times editorial suggested providing "some kind of safe storage area" where the homeless could temporarily stash their items or go to retrieve them. Such a facility exists downtown at a secured warehouse paid by the Central City East Association that allows people to store clothes and small possessions for free, the editorial said.
Read the entire Los Angeles Times editorial right here.