St. Joseph Center and City/County of Los Angeles Collaboration Helps House 211 Unhoused Neighbors in Venice

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — St. Joseph Center expresses its gratitude to all those involved in helping Encampments to Homes on Ocean Front Walk in Venice. The six-week effort began June 21 and wrapped up on July 31, thanks to a collaboration with Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and multiple nonprofit, city and county organizations. In total, the successful team effort moved 211 previously unhoused neighbors off of Ocean Front Walk into housing.

Encampments to Homes was a collaborative effort with Mayor Garcetti, Councilmember Mike Bonin, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and LAHSA (Los Angeles Homeless Services Agency). The project helped some of the city’s most vulnerable neighbors, while allowing local businesses on the boardwalk to reopen and tourism to resume. The effort was supported by SPY (Safe Place for Youth), LA Public Works including LASAN (LA Sanitation & Environment), Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), LA Department of Parks and Recreation, Los Angeles Park Rangers, Los Angeles County Beaches and Harbors, County Department of Mental Health, Housing for Health, PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) and Venice Family Clinic.

"We are so thankful for the support and hard work of Councilman Bonin, Mayor Garcetti and all the other elected officials and city and county departments that leaned in with compassion," says St. Joseph Center President and CEO Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum. "This was a 24/7 hands on approach for six weeks. This would not have been possible without the assistance and work of all these organizations and our dedicated outreach team."

The Encampments to Homes program was focused on moving people living outdoors on Venice Beach indoors and onto a path to permanent housing. With 211 people no longer living on Ocean Front Walk, the program showed that confronting the homelessness crisis starts with an engagement effort to answer people’s needs for food, mental health and substance use services, among other assistance.  St. Joseph Center began in 1976, in Venice on Rose Avenue. St. Joseph Center has always remained headquartered in Venice and the Ocean Front Walk effort was a natural engagement within its neighborhood. 

"This was a tremendous effort and true testament to the skills and dedication of St. Joseph Center’s team, city/county officials and public organizations," says St. Joseph Center Board Chair Kevin McCardle. "Our team members including Dawan Moses, Achee Stevenson, Rachel Johnson, Joey Splane, Monica "Mo" Peterson and their staff members worked tirelessly to help move our most vulnerable "dear" neighbors indoors. I have been involved with St. Joseph Center for over two decades and this is clearly one of the most important efforts we have ever engaged in. Our focus now shifts to continuing to provide support and matching these neighbors to permanent housing."


Photo Credit: St. Joseph Center

Editor’s Note:


Engaged: A person is considered engaged when they begin to work with outreach workers and receive meaningful services such as assessment, document assistance, referrals to housing, mental health services, substance use services, etc.

Matched to Permanent Housing Resource: People matched to a permanent housing resource are attached to a permanent housing subsidy. They are working with a Case Manager to find a permanent housing unit.

Project HomeKey: Homekey is an innovative partnership between Los Angeles County and the State of California to purchase and convert hotels and motels into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing homelessness. Homekey builds upon Project Roomkey, which urgently housed vulnerable people experiencing homelessness to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

About St. Joseph Center

St. Joseph Center is one of Los Angeles’ largest providers of services for low-income and homeless individuals and families, serving more than 13,000 people per year by providing access to housing, mental health, job training and hunger relief programs. With a staff of 350 and more than 400 regular dedicated volunteers our credo is "Hope through Empowerment." For more information go to:

Maggie Bie
(949) 777 – 2483 ext. 367

Deirdre Robinson

SOURCE St. Joseph Center