Vice Media Building Puts Up Fence to Keep Homeless Out

From a Hollywood Reporter piece documenting the catastrophic effect of legalizing public vagrancy in Los Angeles.

On Venice Boulevard in front of Vice Media's offices, a chain-link fence was erected to prohibit tents from going up. Residents around Penmar Golf Course have started a GoFundMe page and have hit their goal of raising $80,000 to fill a pedestrian pathway with native plants and landscaping — a project being called the Frederick Avenue Pass-Through but whose real objective is to deter the large encampment that has ballooned there.

"Honestly, I think we are a step and half away from vigilantism," says a talent manager who has lived in the area for two decades. "I feel like this is heading toward a Guardian Angels type situation that you saw in 1970s New York. Someone is going to go out there with a lead pipe and give someone a serious beatdown. It's awful to say, but I don't see what prevents that from happening."

Vice Media is an obnoxiously proggy setup, but, even more amusingly, it goes in for the Chapo Trap House grit and grime. Its gonzo journalism and yet the building it's in is going to great pains to keep the grim and grit out.

And you would think that trustafarians like this ought to fit right in at Vice.

The people living in the encampments say they have been unfairly maligned, even as they admit there is little policing when they do break the law. City rules dictate that tents be taken down between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. But police rarely enforce the code, say several members of the Frederick homeless encampment. "We get away with a lot," says Randy "Dee" Collins, 25, who adds his family has long owned property in Venice and that he has chosen a life on the street against their wishes. The Frederick camp, home to about a dozen tents and twice as many people, is littered with nine weeks' worth of trash. These homeless people say neighbors are openly hostile to them. Collins says he offered one resident money for water but "she didn't want to participate in anything that would help us."

It's not about "homelesness". It's about mental illness, criminality and a lifestyle choice.

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