Mayor’s Inside Safe Program Clears Homeless Encampment Near School

For approximately a decade, tents have occupied Venice Boulevard beneath the 405 Freeway in Mar Vista.

Kamil, a resident of this area for several years, expressed doubt about anyone wanting to make it their permanent home.

Over time, this encampment has grown alongside the escalating homeless crisis, becoming a hotbed for troubling incidents such as shootings, drug transactions, overdoses, fires, all of which have had a profound impact on the surrounding neighborhood, including Exclusive Motors, owned by George Frem.

Frem stated, “We’ve successfully altered the prevailing narrative, shifting from a perception that this situation was tolerable to widespread acknowledgment that it is no longer acceptable. I’m not concerned about myself; I’m gratified that people will no longer have to endure life-threatening conditions on the streets, and families will have a chance to reunite.”

In the Koreatown neighborhood, a homeless encampment situated near a middle school was cleared out as part of Mayor Karen Bass’ Inside Safe Program.

Kamil, reflecting on his circumstances, said, “I hold myself responsible for my predicament. However, I’m feeling better now because I’ve received some support and assistance. I’m ecstatic at the moment, as it appears we’re heading toward a more favorable situation.”

One of the complexities in dealing with this encampment has been its location, with one side of Venice Boulevard falling under the jurisdiction of the city of Los Angeles, split between two council districts, while the other side is within Culver City.

The encampment was successfully cleared on Tuesday, thanks to a comprehensive Inside Safe operation, resulting in the housing of approximately 50 individuals.

L.A. City Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky informed Eyewitness News that those who were living at the site were relocated to a hotel offering supportive services and housing navigation assistance.

She added, “Our goal is to ensure they have a more suitable and long-term housing solution, whether that means permanent supportive housing or other tailored options. For instance, I spoke to a gentleman with a Section 8 voucher that had expired.”

This area had become synonymous with RV homelessness, often referred to as Skid Row in L.A. County. Some of the unhoused individuals in the vicinity were moved to temporary shelters, and the RVs were towed away.

As is customary during every Inside Safe operation, there remains uncertainty about where the transported individuals will ultimately end up and whether the nearby interim housing facility will be a suitable match.

Walter Hamilton, another resident from the encampment, shared his perspective as he boarded the bus to interim housing: “I’ll have to wait and see, try it out for myself. If it suits me, I’ll stay; otherwise, I’ll move on.”

Mayor Karen Bass of Los Angeles expressed her confidence that the Mar Vista encampment will not make a return.

Yaroslavsky cited several reasons for the encampment’s persistence, including a lack of political will and the essential need for both beds and services.

“We must ensure that there are adequate beds available in every council district and city. The presence of Culver City’s Homekey Project is a step in the right direction, but neighboring cities also need to take responsibility for building housing within their jurisdictions. It can’t be solely the responsibility of the city of Los Angeles to address this crisis,” Yaroslavsky emphasized.

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