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Homeless need 'right to rest,' even in Venice

To the editor: Writing in opposition to the Right to Rest Act, Mark Ryavec has no solution to offer for the estimated 58,000 men, women and children who are unhoused in Los Angeles County. ("As L.A.'s homeless get more liberties, other residents suffer," op-ed, March 6)

To remove these unwanted people from his neighborhood of Venice, Ryavec suggests that the unhoused "camping" in public areas either take transport to a shelter, leave the area or be cited — as if there are sufficient shelters, as if there is sufficient storage for personal belongings, as if the unhoused have somewhere else to go.

Ryavec wants law enforcement to be able to deal with "mentally ill and drug-addled transients." He does not suggest "treatment on demand," he does not suggest an expansion of mental health services, and he certainly doesn't suggest that sufficient supportive housing be built in rapidly gentrifying Venice.

Until there is a real solution to the problems of those living in public places, I support SB 608, the Right to Rest Act.

Marie Kennedy, Venice

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To the editor: As a longtime resident of Venice, just four blocks from the notorious boardwalk, I can only describe Ryavec's piece as paranoid.

Yes, we have some crime here, and yes, there is a large — and largely unserved — population of mentally ill transients, but to characterize Venice as "beset with crime" is simply an expression of paranoia.

I have never had any problem, even in the unlit alley in which I park, with crime of any kind.

Carol Easton, Venice

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