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Venice Opens A New Temporary Homeless Shelter With 154 Beds

Pacific Sunset bridge shelter for homeless adults in Venice (Courtesy Office of Eric Garcetti)
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A new homeless shelter with 154 beds for adults ages 18 and over opened Tuesday in Venice. The temporary shelter is part of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's A Bridge Home initiative, which aims to build a new shelter in each city council district.

The Pacific Sunset shelter is located on Sunset Avenue, at a former bus lot owned by L.A. Metro. The shelter includes trailers and a large, tent-like structure. Local artists have painted murals to add a more personal touch.

Service providers People Assisting the Homeless and Safe Place for Youth will operate the shelter, providing basics like hot meals, showers, and laundry in addition to case management.

“[We] get them connected to the systems that will help move them into permanent housing,” said PATH’s Senior Director for Programming in Metro L.A., Stephen Fiechter. “We work to create a trauma-informed environment where folks get support, and we’re cognizant of the trauma that the experience of homelessness is for folks."

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City Councilman Mike Bonin first pitched the shelter back in June 2018. But, as has been the case with other shelters in Garcetti's effort, there has been vocal community pushback to the new shelter in Venice, including a pair of lawsuits. Fiechter says PATH has met with residents to try to relieve concerns.

“For example, we’re able to say in those meetings [that] the shelter’s not designed so people would line up at night or during the day outside,” he said.

To get into the shelter, people will need to be added to a waiting list by local service providers. Security will also be on site at all times.

Fiechter says people will likely stay at the shelter for about six months before they move on to permanent housing.

“The hope is always as quickly as possible that makes sense,” he said. “We’re very interested in providing them the supports and the tools that they will need to live happily in their own home on into the future, and not forcing people through a system just to get them into a home.”

In the 2019 Great Los Angeles Homeless Count, Venice had a homeless population of 1,128 people.