Is Venice Beach Still Paradise? (Homeless Takeover?)

May 16, 2021 452.1K Views 2.6K Comments

Venice Beach is one of the most iconic and well-known places in the USA. Does it have the same vibe as pre-pandemic times? How bad has homelessness and lawlessness gotten in this Californian paradise? Let’s hear about it first hand from the locals.

What comes to mind when I say
Venice Beach? For many of you,
it’s the beautiful beach, it’s
the path here, it’s the trinket
shops, it’s the eccentric
people. I’m Venice Beach! How
you doing brother? You’re
looking good man like I told
you 1 day at a time man.
Keep it up brother, I’m proud
of you man for real! You know
everyone here pretty much? Yeah
man. It’s just out of the
respect that I give, you know,
I treat everyone equally. I don’t
treat you as black, white,
yellow. I treat you as human
got you. We’re all human.
That’s what we got. You know.
that’s what the world is about.
You get back what you put
out, right? That’s it. That’s
it. What’s going on
out here, OG? Man, it’s
just.. What’s the story in
Venice? So let’s say.. I know
this long term story
about from pre-pandemic right
now, what’s going on?
Pre-pandemic it all started off
when their president, Mister
Trump. He started travel
ban. We lost 60% of our
tourist, you know, tourist
crowd – period. So that
stopped it, and then the
pandemic came and this is where
it’s just… It’s been a downfall
man. It’s been bad. It’s all
bad right now. Now that the all
hands off because you
can’t touch a person’s property
without a search warrant. I’m
like, but… it has to be a
property that you would own! I
would think, you know what I’m
saying? It’s like, you know,
this is park property, state
property, and you guys are just
letting them run ragged. Now,
this brother right here.
Alright. I want you to get him
into this. He’s been out
here for a minute. How long
you’ve been living out here on
the Boardwalk? 20 years. He
lives on the boardwalk, like
those apartments right there
with a little… Oh, okay, not in a
tent, but on the… no, No, he’s
he’s got… A temple
of the dog. What do you think
about what’s going on out here?
It’s the most free Venice
Beach has ever been.
how do you feel about it?
I feel inspired, grateful and
it’s ground zero for human
evolution, so… the opportunity to
shift and change things,
there’s a window open right
now. How so? How’s that shift and
change? Basically, it’s the
Wild West. So if you have a
vision, and you’ve got the will
power, and you have let God lead
the way, you’re always going to
be at the right place, at the
right time, with the right
people in abundance and
celebration, inspiration. You’re
an optimist. I’m aware. Okay, What story
you want to listen to? You
become what you think.
It’s the first time that you can
actually bring a tent and
legally be able to set it up
and be protected by the law.
Well, that’s a whole opposite of my
story. I’m just going to keep it real.
Doggism. Doggism and then Harry Krishna.
I love you man.
So OG, he was basically saying
the opposite of what you were saying
The whole opposite haha.
I love him to death but umm..
That was bullsh*t, f*ck that,
No one wants f*cking homeless here, that’s crazy.
Im a recovery addict. Really?
Yeah. From what?
Lifestyle. Everything from crack… Well, alcohol, crack
marijuana, gambling, sex, you know, those
type of things. All the vices.
Yeah, I didn’t like meth that
sh*t was too much work. What
the hell are y’all doing that?
Yeah. Drop it like it’s hot.
I’m Derek. Thank you. No, it
ain’t the package I wanted no.
I’m just kidding. Well, you’re
clean, you’re clean right. I am
but sh*t don’t mean I can’t
stop, no. I’m f*cking with you. And
once the pandemic hit, it’s
when the police were more so
hands off, you can check for
yourself, you can look it up:
They’re tourists, but we need
to be… This is the number one
tourism destination in LA? It
was the second: Disneyland
and… okay. Alright, but yes, we
want the tourism, but we want
This sh*t to get cleaned up for them to
feel comfortable. Why would you
want to take your little girl
walk past that? Right. You know,
I don’t have anything against
the homeless. Yeah. I feel that
there’s some that choose to
live this way. There’s some
that need help. If you
look closely, you see a lot of
people talk to themselves. It’s
not just the drugs. It’s also
people not taking their
medicines or their meds. You
know, it’s people out here with
serious issues, and they’re just
pushing them on the beach and
leaving them be. If you’re down
here, you good. They have a bus to come
pick em up at night when it
gets cold, and then they’ll drop
them right back off here, you
know. Why would you drop em off
and not police them at the same
time? How you doing sister? Good!
It’s always good to see you.
How do you feel about
Venice Beach? Do you love it as
much as I love it? I love it!
And where you from. I’m from
Russia. Russia. Well, she can
see you. Man! Well, she’s a
tough cookie. Russian don’t give a
f*ck. They decriminalise drugs
where it’s not illegal. I mean
it’s decriminalised to the fact,
where you can walk around with
a toast to an ounce of meth.
Yeah! You know so… to walk
around and you’re high, and you
walk around with drugs. You
don’t want to walk around.
Yeah. People’s kids,
kids are seeing things
that they shouldn’t see out
here, because the police are not
doing their job. So the
police are getting their orders
from whom right now?
From the city. You know,
they told me to get on the council.
Venice Beach Council. I’m like
Y’all. Don’t do nothing. Y’all
come out and talk, talk.
From what I’ve learned, Los
Angeles is a very sectioned off
neighbourhood, like neighbourhoods
and neighbourhoods. You know,
they don’t mix, but by
them being hands off, somehow
the word got out where other
neighbourhoods comes out here
and then it becomes a gang
issue, you know, and then it becomes
more dangerous and it’s like…
you know, it’s just… Well, I’m
staying in Hermosa Beach. Oh,
you’re fine. There are no homeless, so
how does that work? That’s what
I’m saying! We got a store in
Hermosa Beach also. You
know and it’s like…
Republicans will pay people
to not go for that sh*t.
They don’t even try it.
And I’m just saying why can’t
our police be like their police
and not put up with it. It’s
like you can go right there to
Malibu. You won’t see that sh*t
there, not even up that mountain.
Either they don’t know, it
don’t show or they don’t care
about us. Now you know they
know because the show so what’s
the last thing to say? They
don’t care. California politics –
right out of the handbook. Even
though I’m mad at Ice Cube
right now, but he said that
that’s what’s going to happen.
That’s the worst because there
are a lot of people like this
place has been closed for the
last year. The place on the
corner has been closed for the
last year. Several stores are
now here are giving u,p they’re
closing. So now they say you’re not
supposed to have corporations
in Venice Beach, but they let
Ben and Jerry’s here, they let
Starbucks, so that’s that means that
law is no none existent. That
means you come out here now. Now
imagine: give it 2 years when
they start to boom and Nike
say I want a store out there.
They can afford to buy this
whole building and put one pair
of shoes in there for sale and
just hold the building till it
starts to pump, then all the
travelers are back. Then they
say boom: we’re going to close
this building down for a month,
build it to a Nike store. These
are the companies that are looking
at Venice with a close eye,
saying we’re going to come in
and swoop up and then it’s
going to be 3rd Street
promenade. I bet you none of
this will be out here then. I
bet you won’t be out here then.
So that’s the biggest worry for
you, small business owners,
right? They’re going to, we’re
going to get wiped out.
If they keep letting this
happen like this and we
start, you know, because
we’re behind and run a
little bit. Not much, thank God,
but enough to say that if we
don’t make it this year, it
might be our last year, but
Nike’s just waiting. Like, you
got a nice size piece of
property, we come in there and
just write it off. Love man.
Respect. Thank you for
your authenticity and your
realness and just keeps it
real. That’s all I know. You
know that’s a real
attribute these days. It’s
becoming rare and rare to find
people that just speak your
mind. You got to man. It’s like
you got to.
Treat people as you wish to be
treated, every action has a
reaction. If you’re willing to
deal with the consequences
behind your actions, you have
no one to answer to you. Stay
true to yourself and respectful
to others. It will show and
they will know. I hope you got
something you can use man.
Yeah. I hope to see you there.
I’ll give you my channel.
Alright, let’s go
check out more of Venice here.
How has Venice Beach changed in
the last year or so? Honestly,
the biggest changes is when
Snapchat came in, I think.
What happened was they bought
up a bunch of businesses and
like local stuff you feel one
way or another about like money
coming into a community, you
know, but then they left and so
it kind of just f*cked everything
up, because they all the
businesses are now gone. A lot
of them were, that they bought
up, and then like… it wasn’t
being built so come see us. Why did they
want to leave? I think they weren’t, they had
like a few bad quarters. They
were not making it anymore.
Okay. How about the vibe of
Venice has it changed much or
is it still the same old
Venice? I’ve been like moved
away for a while, but it still
feels pretty similar, like it
doesn’t feel that it. It feels
like same spirit in a lot of ways,
still very artsy
community. I mean, of course,
there’s like, you know, more
tents and more stuff like that.
But honestly, like these people
have the best property in the
world. So you know I like I’m
not going to knock them too
hard. Oh, yeah exactly.
I will say California does a
really good job keeping it’s
beaches clean. You know, over
there not so much, but over here
no trash out there in the sand.
As OG said, it’s legit
here, it’s legal and nobody’s
going to do anything about it.
But this doesn’t seem like any
sort of solution. You know what
tourists are going to come here?
Who’s going to bring their kids
here? As OG said some people
prefer to be out here on the
beach, where there are no rules.
He was telling me there are no
rules, therefore, you know,
there’s no curfew, easy to do
drugs, easy to sell drugs, easy
to live whatever life
you want. If you go into a home
or, you know, city provided
housing, there are rules and you
can’t live the same life, so a
lot of this is by choice he was saying.
Finished. Look,
we got a nice grassy park,
perfect place for tents, but
there aren’t any, and it’s
basically in that one mile stretch.
And then obviously they’re
getting removed from from this space.
So what do you think is the
future of Venice Beach? You
think it’s going to be… What do
you expect, everybody’s got a
problem, issue. They’re coming
to the ocean or next to the
ocean, to, you know, to
stress out, to relax.
You love it here? Of
course, of course. The homeless
stuff doesn’t bother you or?
Some of them they do, but what
else we can do? 4 days ago
outside of the building is a
glass, it’s seven-eight
big glasses, and then in the
morning I was going to go to
work. I said: wow, they’re broken,
completely! So we see that
type of stuff, some of them
they are right. They are real
homeless. They are very
quiet, very understanding some
of them very very, very
intellectual, but some of them
they’re taking advantage of the
homeless. When the food is
coming, they’re coming. It’s
fine, I’m saying that, I mean
that they
choose to be homeless because
we have Saturday, Sunday, Monday.
Tuesday, Wednesday, 6
days a week food is coming
here, free food, and
then some people from the
Malibu rich people they bring
them in the blanket, and you
just name it. I mean they’re
for women and men. They give it
away. They give away tents. And
those people they’re taking
advantage and say, okay. Why
should I work 216 in the year
and the is coming free? Why
should I go to the apartment to
pay for all the expenses? Why
should I get that responsibility? Most of them
look at the how strong they
are, healthy and strong,
208
00:15:38,400 –> 00:15:40,960.
So you’re saying some people
are here are honestly homeless,
other have mental issues, drug
issues… Exactly! And some are
just working off the system.
Yeah, some of them some of the
young people sometime I’ll talk
to them, I said: can I ask you
a question? If you don’t
mind tell me why are you, why
are you homeless? One of them
very honest, two of them
actually said: yeah, I used to be involved
with drugs, and my parents they
asked me if we give you a $1,000
a month get out, don’t be
a part of the family. The
parents give him a $1,000? Yeah.
Oh, yeah. Get out of the home.
Can I turn the camera on you
guys chilling? Yeah.
What’s going on tonight?
Chilling, smoking, trying to make
$10 by this guy’s art. We live out
here. Where? The beach. Beach here?
On the beach there. So is it
like good community out here?
Yes. Well, mostly. No,
it’s not our badge. Don’t
go pass roads.
People don’t like it. Don’t go
pass where roads? That’s up
there. Yeah, we call it
Methlehem. Methlehem? Yeah,
don’t go there don’t go to
Methlehem, all about Methlehem
because that’s where all the
tweakers live. Yeah. Wow. So
the tweakers stay together?
Kind of, yeah. There’s a few
tweakers down out here, but mainly they
are right there. So what do you
guys want you guys want to stay
here for a while you think?
You’re lucky as sh*t out
here? I have a quote to say: if
you live in Venice… If you live
in Venice, there will always be
free weed and food, free weed
and food. Like yeah, feeding each
other, everybody else. Like
people come out, they give out
free food, people walk by you.
We eat well!
He holds it up, people
hand him $20 prerolls,
$50 prerolls we. Right, I’ll
tell you what though, right
here it’s $60 dollars every time
the cop shows. The rent is $60?
You gotta pay the cops? Every time
the cop shows up – the $60
ticket. It’s $60 hey, but I’d
rather be paying that to live
out here in the tent. I’d
rather pay that sixty to live
at the tent than pay 1.5 or 600
thousand for a house out here.
It cost too much out here. Wait,
wait so $60. You get a ticket,
how often do they come and get
tickets? Well, I got
3 today. Today? Today. So it
can get expensive?
They pay the ticket at the where, the
shelter? It’s like
validated parking. See you
guys are making a lot
of friends out here with the
ladies. Yeah, sort of. As we go,
what’s your fail
ratio? 96% of the time. It’s
about a 96-98%. You fail
100% of the time? You won last
night. Who cares man you got the
charm and you got the
confidence in his face.
A lot of girls man. You just gotta pull the
confidence and smile at them.
You said he had a chick last
night right. Yeah. So you’re
she kind of left in the middle
of the night came over to the
other tents, Cowabunga dude,
but bro got to cuddle for a
bit. Yeah, you had a little
cuddle time. Yeah. Alright. She
actually ended up sleeping next to this
one. Hi! I got mine. Hi! Hello!
She’s behind you. Oh, hi!
Hey yo y’all. What you doing
today? Hey, OG! Alright guys,
good talking. Good talking man. Good
luck with everything. Peace
babe. Who’s OG. He’s OG
Take care! Take care guys, all the best.
Alright guys, we’re going to
call it quits here. Finish up on
a few thoughts. Venice has
always been an interesting
place, that has not gone away.
You do not get bored here. It’s
stimulating and this homeless
situation is complex, and as
you could see from what I ran
into, there’s not one story.
You know, those young guys –
they’re out here having a good
time together and I think it’s.
An adventure I think it’s like
a feeling of being connected to
friends. Others are tweaking
out on drugs. Others are… I
don’t know all the stories, but
there are many stories you
can’t put one label to it. It’s
gray. It’s not a black and
white situation here like
pretty much everything in life.
Alright until the next video
take care.

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