Venice Action today called on Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to expedite the process for choosing an operator for the “Vehicles-to-Homes” (V2H) program in Council District 11. Today was the closing date for respondents to the Request For Proposals released in September.
“The Councilmember has an obligation to show the same urgency for implementing V2H as he has for the vigorous and sprawling law enforcement component he’s brought to dealing with the vehicular homeless in Venice,” said David Ewing of Venice Action. “If there are good, experienced bidders who can get the program up and running sooner rather than later, it’s time for him to step up and show comparable zeal for creating a real solution as he’s shown for being punitive.”
The RFP requires the V2H program operator to do time-consuming preparatory work, including a survey of potential program clients, establishment of a social service support program and procurement of off-street parking areas for participants. Consequently, choosing a vendor must be a high priority if the program is to have any chance to keep pace with the imposition of Oversize Vehicle overnight parking restrictions which Rosendahl is promoting in the Venice Coastal Zone west of Lincoln Boulevard.
“Councilman Rosendahl is playing a game with Venice and the City. While declaring that the City, County and State have all failed to address the problem of homelessness, he’s embracing that failure by making it a police matter. This is as unfair to LAPD as to the neighborhoods to which these people will move, and we’re already seeing the effects of this effort in residential neighborhoods where RVs did not previously park,” said Venice Action’s Chris Plourde. “Every issue raised by Venetians about nuisances is just as applicable outside of Venice as it is in this coastal community. This problem always demanded a comprehensive solution, and it’s short-sighted, not to mention bad politics, to approach it any other way.”
If other neighborhoods react predictably by demanding that the vehicles be shunted off to still other neighborhoods, Rosendahl could be creating a ripple effect that will include needless controversy throughout Los Angeles and other adjacent cities, and fostering litigation that he’ll come to regret if it leads to the courts once again coming down hard on the City of Los Angeles for its reliance on enforcement measures of questionable legality against the homeless.
“I’d like to think he’s too smart to do that, but recent events have made me wonder,” said Ewing.
“He’s permitted an atmosphere of hysteria to erupt in Venice and it’s already spreading to neighboring areas as campers are being driven out of Venice. The best thing for him to do is choose someone to run Vehicles-to-Homes now and get on with keeping his promise that he’d launch the program at the same time he stepped up enforcement. If he wants to regain his credibility, he has no choice.”