Local Facilities

Service agencies abound the ocean front walk of Venice beach. As a student walking down the boardwalk, you can’t help but notice how integrated everything is. From retail, to rehab all is found on the Venice boardwalk. Amidst the vast variety of street performers and tarot card readings, you come across The Phoenix House; one of the nation's leading non profit substance abuse prevention and treatment service organizations. A few feet down is the Pacific Jewish Center; an orthodox synagogue known as “The Shul on the Beach.” Around since the 1960‘s, the center offers Talmud and Torah studies once a week. As you continue walking down the board walk you’ll come to Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris and Hoffman LLP Attorneys at Law. Their company website attests a commitment to justice. Having these agencies located on Venice beach may a marketing jewel for an outsider visiting the famous southern California attraction. For an insider whose resources may be limited the agencies are buildings among buildings making the boardwalk the 'anything goes atmosphere' that it is…
To outsiders, agencies supporting beaches and blocks look like VFC and Saint Joseph’s new center, accessed via service alley or residential road, with exteriors that make the evening news or project proposals. But to those who put them on the map, the agencies’ real faces may be those of Bread and Roses and St. Joseph Homeless Center, accessed through non-descript entryways blending into a place of utter contrast, contradiction, yet potential. Shopping areas crop up along main streets, niche sites serving various tastes but small demographics. Community markets have given way to regional grocers, and premium chains; familiar and sufficient has become plentiful, but for whom? One long-time resident wonders if the chain will hire locally… Oakwood Street Park has no pool, few tables, and fewer trees; still, its grounds keeping outclass that at a school on Westminster. Little-improved sidewalks lead to San Juan at 6th, and the community’s first $1M home, both beacon and target. A library was replaced, for good cause, by the Vera Davis McClendon Center. Contributors take comfort knowing that, without a hospital, the area’s VFC gets high use, mostly by Seniors. The Taxi seen back at the clinic is the last sign of shared transport until a bus on Abbot Kinney. It truly seems as if the ‘complexion’ changes along this street - human and architectural. This may be a sign of regression rather than progress, as only true inclusiveness will brighten it up. Indeed, as one savvy, proud local says, “Venice is a great place to live, but has many problems.”

submitted by: Brian Batchelder and Maribel Munoz

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