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Venice's ugly, uncaring side is behind the opposition to a homeless housing project

Venice's ugly, uncaring side is behind the opposition to a homeless housing project
Venice residents attending a town hall on Oct. 17 hold up signs declaring their opposition to building a bridge housing complex on the site of a vacant MTA yard. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The raucous mob that shouted down Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Police Chief Michel Moore and Councilman Mike Bonin at the town hall meeting in Venice last week does not accurately reflect this community.

The people who loudly protested the proposed bridge housing project for homeless people were part of a group organized and funded by the Venice Stakeholders Assn., which places the rights of property owners over the good of the community. In the past the group has railed against Venice-based outreach charities such as St. Joseph Center and Venice Community Housing; now, it is targeting this project.

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Venice has a long history of caring for those less fortunate. Please don’t let the angriest and loudest minority destroy Venice’s tradition of humanitarianism.

Most Venice residents support this bridge housing at its proposed location, where it is most needed.

Robert Hughes, Venice

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To the editor: Kudos to Garcetti for staying the full time at the Venice town hall. Boos to him for failing to understand.

There is no “homeless” problem. Instead there are mentally ill people listlessly wandering the streets in rags. There are drug-addled screamers raging at life day and night. There are “street people” who accept money and services from our government but have no intention of ever working.

These are real issues separate from homelessness. They can’t be solved by putting up temporary shelters.

Jon Johannessen, Venice

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To the editor: I have lived near Venice almost all of my 70-year life. I have seen it all — winos fighting, the beatniks, the hippies and now homeless people.

The old Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus yard is the best place to build the interim homeless housing project. When that opens, the area’s homeless residents will no longer be defecating in the neighborhood streets and yards, but in their own toilets.

Jacquie Nemor, Santa Monica

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