LOS ANGELES — It's moving day for Elizabeth Estes and her two sons. The family has been homeless in the area for more than two years but managed to find some shelter in a tent at Venice Beach.
"It's kind of unsafe, and it's kind of dangerous. But, it's the only place that I know where to go," Estes said.
Estes says that an argument with another family member led her and her two sons to live on these streets. It's been a difficult adjustment especially, during the pandemic. At one point, her family found shelter in a Project Room Key site, but after six months, her son was kicked out for having marijuana. To keep her family together, they left.
"We ended up back on the streets again, and we just stayed up there in the streets until we got kicked off there too. So, we just started staying on the beach," Estes said.
Now, as the clock is ticking for the homeless people in Venice Beach, Estes's family packed their belongings and accepted temporary shelter in a nearby motel room until they can secure permanent housing. According to Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, 50 individuals, including the Estes family, are receiving shelter through the Encampments to Homes initiative with the help of St. Joseph Center outreach workers and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, or LAHSA.
Peggy Lee Kennedy is an activist with the Venice Justice Committee, a grassroots organization. Kennedy has been an advocate for Estes and her family to find needed resources. Kennedy said she's happy they found a pathway to permanent housing just in time.
"That was our last conversation. We were discussing the sheriff and what they were going to do and where they were staying, and you know, how they were going to deal with it. And there was a lot of concern, you know, for their whole family. So I am very grateful that they are now going to be off the street," Kennedy said.
As Estes prepares to board the van, she's hopeful that the next stop will take her family in the right direction.
"I'm praying it works out," Estes said.
That morning, her family made it to a Culver City motel room where Estes said she finally got some rest.
"I feel comfortable, not so stressed. I'm happy. Happy that we are on the road to getting a place," Estes said.
Until then, Estes remains hopeful that her family will find a permanent place to stay all under one roof.