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Some Successfully Oppose Proposed City Ordinance To Shut Down Community Group-Homes

"Social-Service Mafia" or "Compassionate And Concerned Individuals And Groups From Across The Social Spectrum Of Los Angeles"? You Decide. Ralley Saves Hundreds Of Homeless.

As reported on KTLA Channel 5 News, an attempt on Wednesday, Jan. 30, by L.A. City Council to outlaw "group homes" and dump untold numbers of low-income seniors, veterans, handicapped, and other underprivileged  persons back onto the streets  - swelling the numbers of unhoused in L.A. - was protested by a broad coalition of social, civic and religious groups who packed the CIty Council Chambers and spilled over onto the streets surrounding L.A.City Hall.

According to the report, "hundreds of people rallied" in opposition to the proposed ordinance - known as "The Community Care Facilities Ordinance (CCFO)". 

As a result, after more than two hours of intense and impassioned discussion, the Council voted to suspend the vote and send both the proposed ordinance, and revisions suggested by those in opposition, to The Housing Committee and other review committees for further study  and to assess progress in 90 days. 

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl spoke passionately and eloquently about his own military service and his current sponsorship of the soon-to-be-opened Venice Transitional Living Center (which will provide temporary housing and services to over 120 unhoused people at a time as they move through the burocratic maze on their way to permanent low-income housing), stating that "the homeless are people too"  to the thunderous applause of those in the  packed Chamber, and the crowds in the streets listening to the Council discussion over loud speakers. Councilman Rosendahl encouraged his fellow council-members to seek real, meaningful and compassionate solutions.

The News Report stated : "Wednesday’s demonstrators were part of a citywide coalition of 151 organizations representing business, labor, faith, poor, veterans, disabled, and homeless.", and reported the following comments by some participating in the rally :

  • “ 'CCFO wants to shut us down. We have nowhere else to go. They’re going to put us in the street,' said Victoria Garcia, 24, who is homeless college student. Garcia said if CCFO passing, she will not have a place to sleep."
  • 'If you enact this motion, what you will do is drive the people onto the street', another demonstrator said.

 

Inside the chambers, members of the city council heard from numerous critics. "Many working families, especially veterans, will be negatively impacted if it is implemented," one woman said.

While all agreed that there had been some problems with  overcrowding, noise and disruption at some of the neighborhood group-homes, there was equal agreement that simply outlawing them was not the solution and would only lead to a worsening of the homeless problem in L.A., would be almost impossible to enforce, would catastrophically penalize the majority of group home residents who were not causing problems and who were struggling to work their way back to productivity in society, and would violate Federal guidelines - resulting in a significant loss of Federal assistance dollars being used to support current programs to aid the homeless and get them off the streets - in other words, it was generally recognized that the CCFO would not help in solving the complex problems of Homelessness in Los Angeles, but would actually make them worse.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Spirit Of Venice February 01, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Well, there you have it, folks. "Clutch" - AKA one of the same old 4 or 5 ambitious, greedy and hateful VSA storm troopers who keep posting under different fake names - wants Venice to be Beverly Hills. Newsflash...Venice is NOT Beverly Hills. Beverly Hills doesn't have 16,000,000 visitors a year and is not the inspiration for creative, diverse and free people all over the planet. That's Venice. And Venice cares about the less fortunate in its midst, and is a leader in showing the World how to reach out and help them. This upsets "Clutch" and his ilk. Sorry about that.
Linda Lucks February 01, 2013 at 11:56 PM
Guess what folks? If you rent out your homes as vacation homes to make some extra money, under the ordinance that did not pass, it would have been Illegal to share your home with others. Some think vacation rentals are not legal anyway, but no one minds as long as there are not too many on any block. However, lately I am hearing complaints that on some blocks there are too many vacation rentals and parking is becoming a problem. So, be careful what you wish for and pay close attention to any broad brush, not well thought out laws barring certain groups from single family neighborhoods living in a house as boarders. What about the nuns at St. Mark's? What about the battered women's shelter? You might not personally mind some uses, but. the ordinance as it was written and unanimously approved by the entire VNC board (the last one), was deeply flawed. Hopefully the next version will be fair - protecting those needing protection and protecting neighborhoods from bad neighbors. Stay tuned.
Rick Feibusch February 02, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Bible Tabernacle has been hosting group homes for battered women by the Venice library for a long time, and in multiple buildings on the same block with no ill effects to neighbors, and I know a few people who live on that block. There used to be a bag lunch program there but is was changed or eliminated when the homeless population changed to a point that transients (the lunches were for all homeless) started to hand in the neighborhood for days and took up residency in the parking lots and parks around the library. Great management. There is no reason that these programs can't work if done with enough "tough love" applied to tough cases and mental burnouts who screw it up for everyone.
Rick Feibusch February 02, 2013 at 04:52 PM
On another note, this polarization in the world, and here in Venice is needs to tone down. Mark Ryavec, the VSA, YoVenice and my personal publication, The Venice WatchDawg are NOT a small group of NIMBYS who want to throw the poor out of Venice and sell off the real estate to the highest bidder. There are thousands of residents involved here and they all do not think alike and don't often agree on exactly how much, how soon and how done. After all, this STILL is Venice... Most just want to distinguish the needy from the people who come to live here and party on the street and beach with no regard to where they are, who they affect, and what they leave behind. This is the flaw with unconditional compassion. It always turns into a magnet for people who take advantage of the situation with no intention of getting back to a somewhat normal lifestyle. One of my neighbors calls them "Lifestylers." As Venice is developing commercially, things are changing, and quite frankly, if Ocean Front Walk were not a scene out of Mad Max at night and a skid row swap meet days, most people would go back to their jobs and lives and not spent any time writin' and fightin' with the promoters of unconditional compassion. Tough Love, good management, no ill affects = proper community relations and successful programs.
concernedneighbor February 02, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Well said Rick - somewhere between compassion and pragmatism we can find a place we can work together to make Venice a place we can all be proud of...
catman February 03, 2013 at 01:28 AM
More spin Rick.The bag lunch program was stopped because the church got a new pastor who didn't support it. It had nothing to do with any of the reasons you've stated here. Geesh. Can't you ever tell the truth about anything ?
Spirit Of Venice February 04, 2013 at 04:42 AM
PT.1 - I like it when the conversation gets down to a few die-hards and everybody else moves on. - For the handful of us left, we're taking ourselves WAY too seriously. Rick, you don't represent thousands of people. 99 out of 100 people in Venice never heard of PATCH, you, me, the VNC, Steve Clare, Linda Lucks, VCH or Bill Rosendahl. They seldom go to Abbott Kinney, OR the Boardwalk and they have no great loyalty either to "what Venice stands for" OR "taking over". - We really need to get over ourselves. - CONT-
Spirit Of Venice February 04, 2013 at 04:45 AM
PT.2 - I care about homeless people, and I care about "Venice Values" because I'm a non-conformist, Woodstock-generation, early '70s Venice hippie. I love the freedom, the creativity, the diversity and the counter-cultural edge that has historically defined this town and made it special...that still makes it special. - So, I fight gentrification, greed, self-importance and homogenization. That's just me. - I know Steve Clare and he's a really good person. He's NOTHING like the folks at Yo Venice and the trolls who come here try to make him out to be and the same goes for Linda Lucks. That's why I get so het up and combative when I hear that trash. - Maybe we can all heed the advice of that beloved world-famous pedophile, Michael Jackson : "If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at YOURSELF and make that change". - Or if you want your advice from someone a little more upright, try Jesus : "Take the sliver out of YOUR OWN eye, THEN you can see to take it out of your brother's eye." - Ask not what Venice can do for you, ask what you can do for Venice. :-)
Rick Feibusch February 04, 2013 at 05:22 PM
A) Please do not confuse what I write with the postings or attitudes of others... B) Look around Venice today... You see what I have been doing about Venice for over 20 years - I am well over myself and what I envisioned is finally coming of age. I am sorry that this town was developmentally retarded for over 15 years by the same people, and their long gone comrades, who wasted our time with issues like welcoming the transient population to vote in NC elections, setting up transient RV campgrounds at golf courses, and instant runoff voting, when we should have been preparing for the present onslaught of development that is changing the town faster than we can manipulate or regulate it. You people who have been dealing with development issues by keeping Venice gritty, broken and filled with POTENTIALLY dangerous and virtually unknown strangers were the architects of your own undoing. Now you will have to fight REAL DEVELOPERS with lawyers, butloads of cash and better connections than you downtown, instead of fellow residents, who you characterized as "developers' that only wanted Venice to be cleaner and safer and homeless programs administrated in a way to lessen their impact on the community. Flame away, but in the end, anyone reading this strain, that is not one of your "fellow travelers," will be able to understand who the crackpots and zealots are, and who is reasonable and represents the prevailing attitudes in not only Venice, but the rest of the civilized world.
Spirit Of Venice February 04, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Rick, "One thing you can't hide, is when you're crippled inside" - John Lennon. I wasn't saying that only you needed to get over yourself (you do), but that we all need to get over ourselves. - For all of your self aggrandized "civic virtue", the one thing that comes through loud and clear not only in this most recent post, but in EVERYTHING you post is your not-so-thinly-disguised hatred. You are clearly an angry man, and the more rational among us realize that this has nothing to do with Venice, or the homeless, or my "fellow travelers". - Fortunately you are only a legend in your own mind. You neither speak for, nor influence, the vast majority of Venice residents. I wasn't "flaming", I was talking - openly, warmly and humbly. You ought to try it sometime.
Clutch Cargo for the Gentrification of OFW February 04, 2013 at 07:26 PM
Peace love and tie dye tennis shoe to you too Spirit Of Stupidity. Your fashion is going out of style very fast in Venice. Your just a pathetic dinosaur singing the same old mantra. Time for you to move on. And no thanks for the memories. Your leader Lucks is in the Marina. You can yap all you want. Welcome to the new Venice. No room for boobs like you. Your just another broke dick that sits on top of a soap box crying in his beer.
Loren Lyons February 04, 2013 at 08:31 PM
that's not true catman. i live on the street and played a part in getting the feeding program stopped. the previous pastor was embezzling funds, banging single moms and doing drugs, that is why they cleared him out. the new guy has been responsive and a good manager, they are now good neighbors who i enjoy interacting with and even donate to their programs to help single moms. the feeding program simply handed out food at the gate. they wouldn't even let them onto the grounds as generally they were wacked out kids doing drugs and they didn't trust them with the little kids on-site at the church. see the conflict of interest yet? they were ok however with letting these faux-homeless overrunning our street daily, who walked down the street throwing their lunch bags and empty vienna sausage tins and bowelmovements where ever they felt inclined. more than once i had to chase a guy harassing my wife as she took in groceries or loaded our son into the car. it was a BAD element that was coming through there daily. the new pastor saw how that was unfair to the neighbors to ask them to do what the church themselves wouldn't do. the takeaway is that the more of these programs are the more statistically likely that there will be failures of management and R1 streets subjected to bad things.
concernedneighbor February 05, 2013 at 02:59 AM
Spirit - you're the only one here that hates anybody. You hate anyone that doesn't disagree with you 100%. It's possible to want a clean and safe venice AND have compassion for the un-housed. Wanting to help people transition off of the street DOES NOT mean that you hate them - it means that you think they deserve better. As Rick said - your lack of pragmatism will be your undoing. The people you call haters are regular folks that just want venice to be a better place for EVERYONE. You and yours created a vacuum that is now being filled by HUGE money that really does HATE. Start taking your meds so we can actually do something that helps the un-housed...
Spirit Of Venice February 05, 2013 at 03:10 AM
You guys are funny. - CN, "You hate anyone that doesn't disagree with you 100%" means "You hate anyone who agrees with you 100%". Interesting concept. - Such malice! I wouldn't be you for all the money you wish you had. You guys are really sad. I pray that God will touch your hearts and heal you of all the ugly hatred that consumes you. I really do. - Peace.
Loren Lyons February 05, 2013 at 05:17 AM
spirit of venice. i despise people who hide behind religion's kindest tenets while sniping like a massive jerk. - you are a douche bag, one of the biggest i have ever come across- the hypocrisy is clear to all, you ain't no prophet, you ain't kind and you ain't caring. you aren't even a real hippy - you are a d-bag. i don't care what your cause is, you are the douchiest of douchebags. you even out-D-bagged that cop when he gave you a tix on the bike path and that is hard to do. take you false piety and misguided righteousness and shove it straight up your fake, imbalanced douchey pie hole! (sorry for the redundancy, i just really really wanted to make sure you understand what i am saying here).
concernedneighbor February 05, 2013 at 07:05 AM
Sorry - that was a typo - you Spirit are the small minded hater - you hate anyone that doesn't 100% agree with you and your point of view. You actually hate everyone except Linda and Steve Clare. As I've said before your'e a text book narcissist - you have an inability to see any possibility that there is any other way to see the world than the way you see it. You are the problem. Seek counseling, take your meds, and then maybe we can work together to help the un-housed live better lives...
Spirit Of Venice February 05, 2013 at 07:19 AM
Yeah, keep spewing your hatred guys. You aren't stopping me, you aren't stopping the good that I do, the good that Linda does, the good that Steve does. I'm not hiding behind religion. I am sincere in saying that it is my prayer that God heals your hearts of the vanity, malice, filth and hatred you never stop expressing. I pray it for your own sakes. - It's a good thing that God loves you, because I never could - if it were up to me your unrelenting intention to offend, insult and wound would be turned back on you full force. But it's not up to me, and Jesus instructed me to "pray for those who despitefully use you", and so I will obey his instruction and do that. May God forgive you for the evil that you do and the malice of your hearts. - Let me repeat myself - for the record. You lose. That's prophecy. Now, watch it come to pass.
concernedneighbor February 05, 2013 at 07:25 AM
Wait - I'm confused...are you praying for us or not...?
Loren Lyons February 05, 2013 at 08:23 AM
can i get an order of raining frogs with that prophecy too?
Rick Feibusch February 05, 2013 at 04:05 PM
What puzzles me is why rather discussing issues, these strains on Venice's role of serving the homeless of the world (yes, the WORLD) above the rest of LA County always degenerates into name calling and weird moral judgments... No one has ever answered a question that I have posted here on Patch many, many times with nary an answer: HOW MANY? HOW LONG? HOW ADMINISTRATED? HOW FUNDED? God/religion has nothing to do with this and is just being used to hammer a point that the opinion held by any opposition is ungodly and therefore should be rejected. Jesus, and millions of doctors since, strive to heal - you apparently strive to let fester, complicate and and spread with your unconditional enablement. From now on, if you do try to engage posters here on Patch, answer questions and address issues - Don't just attack people who don't quite agree with you with your moral and social commentary. It that is what you do, you are nothing more than a Troll.... PS: Catman, Stop calling me a liar... Yes, I did spin the info on Bible Tabernacle... I knew the real story but did not go into it (your comment prompted the complete story by another poster) because, to me, it got fixed, so what is the point of beating up the past... You folks need both a reality check and a calender - it IS 2013...
Spirit Of Venice February 05, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Thanks, Rick. I sense in your last post a genuine attempt to express yourself and your views without insulting, offensive and mean-spirited rhetoric, and I applaud it. - Probably the reason you don't get answers to those questions is because they are based upon a misrepresentation of the issue. Every township in this metropolitan area has homeless and deals with the issue in one form or another. We here choose to attempt to include them within our identification of ourselves as a community and seek methods of assisting them - be it the hundreds of low-income apartments that Steve Clare and his wonderful organization have established and maintained, the Venice Family Clinic's phenomenal medical outreach, feeding programs by large organizations and individuals, the outreach and aid offered by Saint Joseph's Catholic Charities, etc. etc. etc. - It is not guided by some master plan that can answer your questions about numbers, time, administration and money - it is an attitude, a state of mind that says that to a certain extent we ARE our brother's keepers and we WILL do what we can when we can to ease the burden...and if a few freeloaders take advantage, it's a price we are willing to pay to help the many who are truly in need.
Rick Feibusch February 05, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Dear SoV, There are many others in town who do not agree with you. It is not that the homeless should not be assisted, It is how the scene is administrated and how these challenges are the responsibility of THE WHOLE OF LA COUNTY, and not just one neighborhood called Venice. Your neighbors should not have to share your attitude/state of mind or move to Redondo Beach.. Once the stores and property owners on OFW understand how much they can gain by pooling funds, hiring lawyers and taking the City to task for NOT enforcing the laws, things will change rapidly. This should be recognized and addressed, rather than fought at all costs. It only makes sense. I think Steve Clare knows this and is trying to do what he can as fast as he can as well, and more power to him... Venice is generally no longer the place "where the debris meets the sea" and people that are moving here could never envision the worst of the past. They only see the present. They eat and drink on Rose where there used to be only a big hole where the Pioneer Bakery had been, liquor/lotto stores, cheap, broken down apartments and a social service day center, whos "clients" used to rip out the street trees as fast as the neighborhood could replace them. This will not be coming back. All I am saying is that things are changing and we all must work out a realistic and more generally acceptable future together to the best that we can, as all will be changed by people with REAL money, and without our input.
Karen Wolfe February 05, 2013 at 09:48 PM
While a member of the VNC Land Use & Planning Committee, I was the lead author of the first thorough analysis of this ordinance by a Neighborhood Council entity. We passed a firm recommendation to oppose the CCFO over two years ago. This was despite intense pressure from the Westside Regional Alliance of Neighborhood Councils to not only support the ordinance but to strengthen it. I've been somewhat involved with the coalition of groups that has grown to oppose it and I have come to understand even more reasons that the ordinance is faulty. I have also come to better understand the legitimate concerns of neighbors, such as parking and intensification of use; a house with 50 residents poses a significant hardship on its neighbors and certainly seems like a commercial enterprise to me. However, “group homes,” ie, those with fewer than seven residents where no treatment is provided, are to be treated like private residences. They do not need monitoring or regulation. That is the legislative intent of the state of California. That was true decades ago when Venice’s own assemblyman Frank Lantermann wrote landmark legislation to deinstitutionalize mentally ill individuals and, more recently, when Governor Gray Davis reiterated that intent on behalf of foster children.
Karen Wolfe February 05, 2013 at 09:51 PM
The continued argument over whether recovering addicts are people or nuisances is polarizing and, to me, offensive. In order to consider the proponents’ argument, I have to put aside the argument favoring someone’s quality of life over the civil rights of others. Now we are looking at prohibiting the objectionable behavior instead of trying to outlaw certain types of people. That’s a conversation I’m willing to have and, in my estimation, that is the only way forward for this ordinance. That requires an honest look at what the real problem is. I think it comes down to what constitutes commercial use in a residential area. A home that houses 50 residents is just as inappropriate in a residential neighborhood as a single resident who runs a business that attracts 50 clients. In other ways, short term vacation rentals turn residential zones into commercial zones by artificially raising residential property values up to commercial values, thus encouraging more commercial use so real estate deals “pencil out”. Let’s restart the debate.
catman February 06, 2013 at 01:56 AM
I'll take a stab at answering this question Rick. I think it should take as long as it takes for you and the half dozen or so of your co-haters in this community to learn to have some empathy for your fellow man. And since none of you don't seem to have any inherent empathy for your fellow man like most humans do it's probably going to take a verrrrrrrrrrry long time.
catman February 06, 2013 at 01:58 AM
Well since you have just admitted here to being a liar then I guess it was worth it for me to call you one.
Betty Koch February 06, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Trouble is Karen Wolfe you talk about civil rights. Most if not all of these sober livings violate the civil rights of the people they are serving. They do drug testing on site. That is administering medical care without a license. They all do it. Decisions are make as to the future of that resident based on results of these faulty screening process. Even the licensed programs operate this way, administering medical care. All of them do this practice whether it's 50 or 7 homes. The problem is not the homes, the problem is they need to be regulated by the health department and the department of mental health to protect the residents. This will never get done as to the city will have to allocate the proper funding first. As of now most of these Sober Livings are big profit centers for the operators and they violate anyone of a half dozen health and safety codes. As well a the residents civil rights. These homes need to be closed down for these abuses period.
Betty Koch February 06, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Neighborhoods need to get trained in what to look for if they want the city to close these homes down. Zoning laws won't cut it folks. Get educated if you want to rid your neighborhoods of these bogus homes. Properly run homes do not pose problems in neighborhoods, these are few and far between. Even the sober living collation is a bogus organization that teaches operators how to violate state and city regulatory laws. And you can bet your bottom dollar this collation is going to fight any and all regulations that are imposed on the operators. It all boils down to enforcement and how current laws and regulations are being administered. These homes have been a free for all in the city of Los Angeles.
Peter Gun February 12, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Your never going to make it here or anywhere for that matter. Once these group homes are regulated it will be much better for the community. The ones that don't comply will be much easier to shut down.
Spirit Of Venice February 12, 2013 at 08:24 PM
No, Peter, somehow - despite your obvious genius intelligence - you missed the point. I was paraphrasing a line from Frank SInatra's song "New York, New York" as a reflection on what I had just said...that it was nice to see that people with different opinions could engage in a constructive, edifying exchange of views without having to stoop to personal insult and mean-spirited snipes at one another - that in that sense we were "making it" in PATCH and that this was an example to others who could also "make it" in terms of finding constructive unity as a result of respectful debate. - Of course, there will always be exceptions...people who just have to take cheap shots...like the first line of your post.

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