Letters to the Editor: Which leaders should fix Venice’s homeless crisis and how should they do it?

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies among tents on the beach
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies assess the homeless situation on Ocean Front Walk in Venice on June 8, 2021.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

To the Editor: In his op-ed Pete White flings insults and ad hominem arguments against Sheriff Villanueva’s efforts to enforce laws and city regulations in Venice, but ignores talking about some of the real causes of homelessness, such as substance abuse and mental health issues. Temporary housing without services and interventions is a Band-aid on an open gash. If White really cared about the homeless he would advocate not just providing housing but helping the many who need it get into treatment.

Venice residents care enough about homeless people to want them to be treated for their problems and not just moved blocks away. But we also care about our neighbors, seniors and children who are at risk from the violence and unsanitary conditions resulting from the encampments.

Carl Godlewski, Venice



To the Editor: In response to the question in Robin Abcarian’s column about if the presence of L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is a positive step in eliminating homelessness at Venice Beach — the answer is a resounding yes!

I find it interesting when those completely detached from the realities of Venice and the rampant homelessness and rising crime here dismiss any criticism of the failed inaction of our current Councilman Mike Bonin, who has served for some eight years and under whom the situation has become historically worse.

It is simply a delusional and unrealistic attempt to protect his failed record for Mr. Bonin, who is now in the throes of another recall attempt, to attack the unsolicited assistance of the county Sheriff’s Department, which has the manpower and resources to actually help in a meaningful and sensible fashion. Bonin fails to understand the plight of the homeless and that getting them off Venice Beach is a prerequisite for saving what is left of the commerce and amenities of a destination that is being destroyed by the very people elected to protect our beach and community.

Are we to have another lost summer because the failed policies of Mr. Bonin are being ignored and enabled, instead of recognizing that he has been in office too long and it’s time for him to go?

Nick Antonicello, Venice Beach


To the Editor: Last I heard — and I lived there for almost 14 years — Venice was part of the city of Los Angeles, and still is.

What then is the source of Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s authority to impose his own rules on Venice concerning the homeless? The job of the sheriff is to protect the county; in the words of your editorial his office is “generally expected to leave the enforcement of laws in the City of Los Angeles to the L.A. Police Department.”


It’s time the sheriff learned to do his real job.

Joan Walston, Santa Monica