Bonin announces program to confront homeless crisis at Venice Beach; plans to fully reopen beach for public

Starting next week, Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin announced he is launching a "major effort to confront the homelessness crisis at Venice Beach."

In a letter sent to those who reside in the area, Bonin said the "Venice Beach Encampment to Home" program led by the St. Joseph Center will offer housing, shelter and services to anyone living in encampments on Ocean Front Walk starting Monday, June 28.

"The current situation is intolerable, and we must end it. Nobody deserves to live, or die, on the street; and all Angelenos should be able to enjoy our neighborhoods, beaches, and parks. We can do better, and this program creates a model for bringing people together to house those in need and reopen our public spaces, using a humane and proven approach," he said in the letter.

The six-week initiative, which Bonin called a collaboration between neighbors, government agencies and nonprofits, will offer nearly 200 people a pathway to permanent housing and appropriate services to help them succeed.


Bonin said the program will not be led by law enforcement, "nor driven by threats of arrest or incarceration."

The councilmember said that professional outreach workers and neighbors have been on Ocean Front Walk for weeks, developing relationships, and building trust with the area's homeless residents. 

Starting Monday, outreach workers will begin offering housing to people living in encampments in designated zones, Bonin said. The outreach workers plan to systematically focus on entire encampments over the span of six weeks, ending in early August. 

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"As people and their belongings move indoors, dedicated Bureau of Sanitation resources will clean each area. Once the people currently living in each zone have been housed, the spaces will be reactivated with community programming for public enjoyment," Bonin said in the letter.

He said that with the help of other city officials, they have identified a variety of permanent housing options for people experiencing homelessness, including openings in Project Homekey, in shared housing, and through permanent housing vouchers. Bonin also said that they've included substantial interim housing resources, including up to six months of motel placements per person as needed.

The Los Angeles City Council will take up final consideration of the funding for this "Encampment to Home" program for Venice Beach this coming Wednesday.

The initiative will likely face some backlash from homeless in the area, who have previously said they don't want housing, even when it's been offered to them. 

Just last week, Bonin was served with a recall notice amid the growing concern from residents over the ongoing homelessness crisis

The notice was served at Bonin’s home in Mar Vista and was the first official step in waging a recall campaign.

Recall organizers would need to collect more than 27,000 signatures for the measure to qualify for the ballot.

Bonin is already running for reelection in June 2022 for his third and final term. 

FOX 11's Kelli Johnson contributed to this report.