CD11 City Councilmember Mike Bonin will open the Venice Neighborhood Council Board Meeting tonight at 7 p.m. with a brief statement answering questions that have been raised by the community regarding the Winter Shelter Storage Program.
According to the VNC, Bonin adjusted his schedule to be at tonight’s meeting, but will be unable to answer questions. However, the VNC is encouraging the public to address the Board in the public comments section of the meeting.
Over the weekend Bonin sent the following letter to members of the VNC regarding emails from stakeholders to Bonin about misinformation regarding the program.
Thank you for the email. This is [an] important issue for Venice and for your neighborhood and I’m grateful to hear from you. I understand and genuinely appreciate your concerns. There is a ton of misinformation circulating about this subject, and I'm glad for the opportunity to clear the air with some facts.
To be brief:
There has been a voluntary storage program for people who are homeless, operating near the Venice Beach paddle tennis courts, for the past several weeks.
It is a necessary program, for many reasons, including legal, practical and humane ones. (The City essentially has a legal need to provide voluntary storage before it can clean up debris and abandoned materials from homeless encampments.
Thanks to the efforts of volunteers with a local
nonprofit, Venice Community Housing Corporation, this program is being offered
at no cost to the City.
Many people have suggested alternative locations to the current location, including but not limited to the former Westminster Senior Center and the First Baptist Church.
I understand the current location is reaching capacity, and volunteers do not have access to heat or electricity at the location.
I have made absolutely no decisions on whether
to move the program, or where. For the time being, it remains at the Venice
I won’t move it without an open public hearing, with an agenda item listing specifically any proposed alternatives.
I won’t move it until the volunteers from the nonprofit that operates the program detail to neighbors how the program would work, and whether it would operate for an hour per day, with supervision, as the beach program has been doing, or function somewhat differently.
As far as I know, no one has proposed a homeless shelter or service of any kind at the center.
Ultimately, the program needs to be located somewhere, and I need to decide whether to keep it where it is, or approve a relocation.
I hope that clarifies matters somewhat. I am going to ask my staff to keep you informed of further developments.
The VNC meeting will take place at 7
p.m. at Westminster
Elementary School (Auditorium) 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, 90291.
Click on the attached PDF to see the full agenda for tonight’s meeting.