Mutual Aid

Neighborhood boundaries not only affect where one has the right to sleep and commune in the city of Venice, but they also have a great effect on the aid that one in need is able to receive. From an outsider’s perspective, mutual aid is almost invisible. The majority of aid is located in the heart of the city, however the majority of the homeless and impoverished are found in the outskirts of Venice. For those in need, the aid is not only hard to find, but limited. The Venice Community Hospital offers free health care appointments, but the wait can last up to 4 hours. St. Joseph’s café has free meals, but has limited seating. Despite the difficulty in attaining aid that arises from the inconvenient geographic location of agencies, those working in the agencies have an extensive amount of social capitol with other agencies throughout the Los Angeles area. If unable to provide immediate aid, the agencies in Venice do their best to connect those that need aid with others that can provide it. The major problem within the Venice community is not that the aid does not exist – though more is needed – but, that so many people, for various reasons, are unable to use it, don’t want to use it, or are so hopeless that they don’t think using it will have a positive outcome.

submitted by: Monique Chubbs and Katie Rojane

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