Outsiders view Venice as a community of misfits, beach bums, art and diversity. Insiders offer a different perspective. At times Venice is a polarized community, but there is an underlying sense of connectedness to the community and its culture. Social networks in Venice facilitate this interconnectedness of the community of Venice . Here are a few examples:
• Farmer’s markets can be a place of social gathering. In Venice many have been replaced by Ralph's and Whole Foods.
• There are some spiritual networks in Venice, such as the Friendship Baptist Church in Oakwood.
• Community Centers in Venice offer a place of social networking and enjoyment for all ages.
• The Boys & Girls Club of Venice is an important social network for youth in Venice. Membership is only $14 a year and is accessible to anyone regardless of their ability to pay.
• Oakwood is defined by its history. Immigrants and African Americans form the main networks in the Oakwood community within Venice.
• Venice Shoreline Crips, an African American gang, and Venice 13, a Latino gang, have made a name for themselves as the main ethno-centered networks within the Venice community.
• The homeless population has established themselves as a social network on the beaches of Venice. A network within this network are those who refer to themselves as “travelers”.
• Bread and Roses is not your traditional soup kitchen. St. Joseph Center runs an intimate café where the homeless enjoy gathering for a nutritious meal and socializing.
submitted by: Patricia Carlos and Stacy Kahn