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Homeless on the Beaches

November 14, 1987

I have lived on Ozone Avenue in Venice for eight years, staying largely because of the wonderful community of people on our block. Once on Ozone, few people moved away.

But since June, eight households, three of these couples with children, have moved away from what has become an unsafe and unsanitary area. We used to be a close community that used the beach at the end of our block extensively; Sunday volleyball games and picnics at the beach. No more.

We never go to the boardwalk for meals at local restaurants anymore, which many of us enjoyed. Even with private barbecues in our front yards we are invariably invaded by drunks from the beach wanting "to party."

In the space of four months we have seen good energy of a vibrant community dissipated by these marauders.

This beach campground is not helping the homeless--it's creating "home"lessness for those of us who have homes here.

But there are other events of an even more serious nature that have happened since June in our neighborhood. We have had houses broken into and most importantly, my neighbor and friend was raped in her own home.

There is a criminal element that has moved into our neighborhood at the beach that is being shrouded under the label of the "poor homeless." Meanwhile, we are living in fear. Either enforce the laws that exist or change the law to keep us safe.

JONETTE SLABEY

Venice

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