Homelessness or Risk of Homelessness

In Los Angeles County approximately one out of one hundred and twelve individuals will be homeless each night. In Venice alone, one out of every thirty-two people are homeless, comprising a population of nearly 1,000 individuals in need of shelter (Steve Clare, Executive Director of Venice Community Housing Corporation). These glaring numbers obviously cry for a need of social services. However, after speaking with various representatives who help to promote social services within the community, we were brought to the unfortunate conclusion that the resources provided to these indigent people hardly begin to scrape the surface of what is needed. While efforts of these social services work to uphold the unique diversity of this community, to which the homeless undeniably contribute, the once tolerated lifestyles of the homeless is diminishing, Venice Beach is changing. In speaking with a few homeless individuals, we learned that many individuals vehemently protested to making use of the limited resources that the community offers. Common complaints were stringent rules, intimidating procedures, inhospitable staff, overcrowding, and a lack of services they feel are appropriate for their specific situation. Community members do agree on one thing, however, we need to get the homeless off the streets. Nonetheless, until the number of services provided match the number of those in need, the community will remain at a stand still.

submitted by: Millie Abernathy and Chelsea Emerson

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