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Venice Neighborhood Irate Over Their Posh Street Becoming 'Skid Rose'

VENICE (CBS) — Residents of an upscale Venice neighborhood are irate that their tony street is becoming something of a Skid Row.

Some are calling it Skid Rose, in fact. Rose Avenue in Venice, say critics, is turning rapidly into a new Skid Row ... homeless abound, dirt, squalor. A mess.

Residents here charge new city enforcement of a nighttime boardwalk curfew has forced the homeless to camp out on their block.

Virgil Chao said the situation is getting out-of-control. The curfew has forced a large number of homeless people to camp out in his neighborhood. "The homeless are hassling us, they're yelling at us."

Chao says, moreover, the homeless are using his block for a bathroom. "They unload their toilets right onto the street. And it's just right in broad daylight."

Mark Ryavec, of the Venice Stakeholders Association, says, "It's just an untenable situation for a residential neighborhood."

Ryavec says he wants to see the homeless get the help they need -- but in shelters. Not on his front doorstep.

Plus, he charges many of the homeless don't want to get help or help themselves. "They're so comfortable with this lifestyle...with the drugs, with the surfing, the skateboarding...with the easy access to the beach. They don't want to go into any environment where they might have to deal with rules."

Not so says Carmen Banick, a homeless woman. "It's not that they don't want to go. I went to a shelter once and I got sicker going there." She hangs out on beach during the day and on Rose Avenue at night. She says she has no choice. "There are only so many places to go. We weren't always homeless."

LA Councilman Bill Rosendahl represents the district. On his blog, he writes, "Because of two existing court cases, the city is restricted in its enforcement of where homeless people can sleep." He adds, "The city has taken consistent, strong and multiple measures to deal with the encampments."

Via phone, Rosendahl told KCAL9 and CBS2 reporter Amanda Burden that "the issue is bigger than the city's resources." He also said, "It will take federal funding to improve the homeless situation in Venice and greater Los Angeles."

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