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Venice Residents Upset Neighbor Allows Homeless To Camp In His Yard

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A man in Venice has apparently opened up his home's front yard to a group of homeless men in exchange for a moderate amount of yard work, according to KCBS. Neighbors are, predictably, unhappy, and say they're having a hard time cleaning up the human waste that accumulates on their street, and that having so many homeless people around causes an undue amount of "paranoia."

Ahh, yes. Because the problem at hand is that some Venice residents feel 'paranoid' by homeless people and that they have to clean up human waste on public streets. The problem is definitely not the fact that a human being, potentially suffering from a mental illness like paranoid-schizophrenia, was forced to defecate on the street because he or she had nowhere else to go to the bathroom.

KCBS reports that neighbors in that particular block of Venice have called LAPD's Pacific Division nine separate times over the past two weeks. Police, however, haven't really done anything since the men are, on the face of it, living on private property with the owner's consent, and are legally allowed to sleep on public sidewalks between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., so long as they are at least ten feet away from any gates, doors, or driveways.

"Police have sort of turned their backs on things," said Michael Betti, the Venice resident interviewed by KCBS. "And really, they don't have any great answers when we ask for help."

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LAPD is considering adding foot patrols to different parts of Venice, in response for calls from residents for more police presence. As one woman opined to KCBS, "They [LAPD] need to get out of their cars and be there on that walk-street. They need to be there more often."

Of course, when CBS asked the homeless men living in the man's yard about police, one of them responded simply "Call the police and when the police come in, everything is fine."

Betti has been an active voice on this issue, and also vocalized her concerns to Yo! Venice!

"My kids are scared... All they see is people going to the bathroom on their street and they feel unsafe at night," explained Betti to Yo! Venice! "They see things on their walk to school that kids shouldn't really see at this age. So it's creating a paranoid feeling in our family."

Homelessness in Los Angeles has reached crisis levels. A count by the Homeless Services Authority determined there are just about 47,000 homeless people living in Los Angeles County in 2016, a roughly 11 percent jump from last year.

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City and county policymakers are attempting to grapple with the problem with a series of pricey spending plans to develop mental health and aid services L.A.'s homeless. The city Los Angeles outlined a, yet to be funded, $1.87 billion plan to end homelessness earlier this year, as did the county around the same time. The challenge for both the city and county plan is funding them.

As it stands right now, the City of Los Angeles spends more than $100 million a year on costs directly related to homelessness.