West Hollywood is a haven for the homeless. Does this make us a good city toward them or have we become a patsy?
With recent news of the serial killer homeless guy who killed two women in Culver City and then came back to his part-time home—his alley here in West Hollywood, it puts us all on home alert.
There was a TV special on A&E one time called “Homeless in Paradise” and it followed the masses of homeless that live in Santa Monica. Where the homeless there can bask in the sunshine in one of the nicest Southern California cities. Santa Monica’s population is almost 100,000, which is much larger then West Hollywood’s 37,000 population, but leaves us in a particular quarry.
At times, it appears we as a city just roll over for the homeless. Back in 1999 when the steering committee for the Rehab of Santa Monica Boulevard was happening, there was supposed to be really nice new benches and seats along the boulevard for us all to use and sit upon.
Today, none of those benches exist because like Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade, if we put down nice new benches and seats, the homeless will take eminent domain upon them 24/7. And whenever I am in on 3rd Street Promenade, it is packed with homeless that have taken up shop on every seat and bench.
Forget about waiting them out for any of them to get up, because you and I do not have all day and night to outlast their sitting powers. At sundown on that promenade, the rest of the homeless come out and it’s a bit like “Thriller” as they fit into every nook and cranny of every storefront and doorway.
I was meeting a friend near Santa Monica Boulevard and San Vicente and I had two bags in my hand and I was also walking my dog. And when I was on the south side of the sidewalk between San Vicente Boulevard and Robertson, I kept thinking how nice it would be if there were some benches so someone or I could sit down for few minutes. And then one of our local homeless walks toward me as a reminder of how we have to be punished as city to accommodate the homeless, which means no seats or benches for the residents or visitors.
Many times as the homeless cross my path, I have to hold my breath as I walk Santa Monica Boulevard to avoid the downwind of putrid nastiness so I don’t barf.
There was a bus bench in front of Coffee Bean on Sunset Boulevard that always had a homeless guy passed out on it and he was black with filth. That bench was finally taken away as it was a real bad site to see in front of a business, because it was the first thing and last thing you saw at this location.
There are solutions to help like the Los Angeles County phone number of 211 to find out that day at the minute of the closest shelter, shower and food for the homeless.
But many of the homeless I have offered things to are a bit the finicky Morris type cat as when I offered a Powerbar to one homeless guy outside of Gelson’s, he countered with after taking the food item from me, “I hope there’s not honey in this.” Yes, that’s what he said. He either had a food allergy or was trying to keep his blood sugar down or was on an all protein homeless person’s diet to get more cut up.
Another time I was coming out of “Tango Grill,” now called “Bite,” and a homeless woman was standing near the trash can, so I offered my leftovers to her in the bag I had and she asked what it was and I said “fish” and she said "What kind?” and I said “salmon” and then she scrunched up her nose and said “no.” I guess she was waiting for some filet mignion or lobster.