Homeless in America. Photo is example of the problem. Photo via Pixabay
Homeless in America. Photo is example of the problem. Photo via Pixabay

Outreach teams are working to help homeless individuals around Third and Rose avenues in Venice as a pilot program expands, a county official said Tuesday.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl hailed the C3 model, which relies on a county- city-community partnership, as highly effective in helping people get off the streets.

“We already know what works in tackling homelessness,” Kuehl said. “Men and women need access to services to help stabilize their lives and they need a home. That’s what Venice C3 is all about.”

The three steps of the program are:

— engaging people living on the street to build trust;

— connecting them with programs they need — such as substance abuse or mental health treatment, detox or interim housing; and

— supporting a move into permanent housing.

The Venice C3 has set a goal of engaging 300 individuals, providing services to 150 and securing permanent homes for 75 in the first year. Kuehl said the numbers are supported by results from an earlier pilot.

There are an estimated 900 homeless individuals in Venice, according to Kuehl.

Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents Venice, was optimistic.

“We are going to make real progress toward the functional end of homelessness in Venice,” Bonin said. “For too long, Los Angeles has failed to address homelessness, leaving people on the streets and allowing encampments to take over our neighborhoods.

Both the people living on the streets and the neighbors who want clean and safe communities deserve and demand a lasting solution to this crisis, which must include housing and services to be effective,” he said.

Wendy Greuel, chair of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Commission, said Venice C3 was the kind of public-private solution needed to solve homelessness.

“Over time, efforts like Venice C3 will dramatically reduce the number of men and women living on the streets,” she said.

Venice C3 is a partnership between the city and county of Los Angeles, the departments of Health Services, Mental Health and Public Health, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, Behavioral Health Services and St. Joseph Center.

—City News Service

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