Opinion: ‘Love No Hate?’ Needs to Get Real about Homelessness

How do we help the homeless in West Hollywood and also reduce the number of homeless people on our sidewalks and in our garages and backyards, some of whom have committed minor crimes? There are no simple answers. If there were an easy solution, homelessness would not be the nationwide problem that it has been for decades.

But ideas are being debated in West Hollywood because of the apparent increase in homeless people on our streets. Some people are focused on what can be done to help homeless people in WeHo proper. Others are focused on what can be done to protect local residents and their property from vagrants.

The City of West Hollywood has some immediate remedies in place for both problems. But getting out the information about that, and having a real discussion about the issue of homelessness, has been sidetracked by Nir Zilberman.

Nir Zilberman
Nir Zilberman

Zilberman, a clothing merchant, last Spring opened “Love No Hate” in a shop he leased at 7990 Santa Monica Blvd. Zilberman billed the place as the nation’s first “not non-profit LGBT center.” Given that the L.A. LGBT Center is the nation’s largest provider of services to LGBT people and widely regarded as the best, it was unclear from the start what Zilberman’s intentions were. As the issue of transgender rights got more national attention, Zilberman shifted his focus to offering services to that community. He scheduled numerous meetings on Facebook and almost always cancelled them the day before, apparently because there was a lack of interest in the services he was offering that community.

And now, with people worrying that coming El Nino storms will leave more people wet and shivering on the sidewalks, Zilberman’s focus has shifted to the homeless. He has offered food to homeless people at his Love No Hate location (a service also long available from the Jewish Family Service’s SOVA and from the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition). He also has offered homeless people shelter (a service already available through People Assisting the Homeless (P.A.T.H.) and the Youth Center on Highland (for 18-24 year olds).) But unlike those other organizations, Zilberman doesn’t have the resources or expertise to offer connections to medical, mental health and drug-abuse services that many if not most homeless people need. There’s a reason why people are homeless, and it’s usually a bigger reason than not having the money to pay the rent one month.

Zilberman, apparently ignorant of how those resources really work, appeared at a recent City Council meeting and shouted that the city is not doing enough to help the homeless. And now, with his landlord having demanded that Zilberman stop housing homeless people in what is supposed to be a retail shop, Zilberman has taken to Facebook to carry on his crusade. He has posted photos of himself sleeping in an alley with the homeless people he has banded together, an odd choice for an overnight stay given that he has a comfortable home of his own. And he continually claims that the City of West Hollywood, its residents and P.A.T.H. don’t care about homeless people and are doing nothing to help them. It’s hard to think that Zilberman believes what he says given that he drove away with apparently homeless people in a truck recently, waving at the representatives of P.A.T.H.who had turned up for a scheduled meeting that he skipped.

So if Zilberman really wants to help homeless people, we’d suggest he lower his volume and offer his services as a volunteer to one of the many organizations that already are doing that, quietly and with skill. He might consider P.A.T.H., whose array of adult services includes help in find housing, food, clothing and jobs and medical, mental and drug-abuse services. Its number is (323) 644-2216.

He might also consider the L.A. LGBT Center’s Youth Center of Highland, which offers similar services for young people ages 18 to 24). Its number is (323) 860-2280.

He could turn to the Jewish Family Services SOVA operation, which provides free groceries to those in need. Zilberman can reach SOVA at (818) 988-7682. And then there’s the Saban Community Clinic — (323) 653-1990 — which provides medical and dental care and showers on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

And finally, there is an emergency shelter helpline that those who were sending homeless people to Love No Hate can use to connect them with housing and a broader array of services. Its number is (800) 548-6047 or 211. And it is answered 24/7 by someone who can help find special services for children five years old and young, for military veterans and pregnant women

That’s a number Nir Zilberman needs to memorize, and put in the window of his shops, if he really wants to help the homeless in West Hollywood,

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Steve Martin
Steve Martin
6 years ago

At the end of the day, Nir is feeding the hungry. Makes me ask what am I doing?
Regardless of the bombast, (remember Larry Kramer), Nir has put his money where his mouth (and heart) is.

LOVE NO HATE
6 years ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Steve Martin, Thank you, I’m far from being perfect and I’m sure i make and made mistakes but at least i do my own best to support all people in needs. i thank you again.

LOVE NO HATE
6 years ago

THE “NIR SHOW” is getting better and stronger everyday, yesterday, nir got our 87 years old resident a new home so he doesn’t have to go to PATH. This man never used drugs, never drink, always pay his rent on time for 27 years. yes, i am the one they take our homeless to SABAN clinic to take warm shower, drive them to our LGBT center to get they HIV meds and i can keep going on and on… Yes, this is the true of “the nir show” I’m waiting to the day it will be “THE WEST HOLLYWOOD SHOW”.… Read more »

90069
90069
6 years ago

Love No Hate is a nice slogan but the person who continues to scream and spew hate shows the great hypocrisy. This guy is an angry person who spews hate not love. This guy is using the homeless for his own personal gain the same way Trump used the Vets. This guy throws tantrums and the city council allows this to go on meeting after meeting. Previous to his homeless escapades he was on the transgender escapade and before that the holocaust escapade screaming and ranting hate at the city council. He will do anything for attention. He is disruptive,… Read more »

LOVE NO HATE
6 years ago

AJJ, I Agree 100%. We do some for the homeless, just to say, “we doing”. but the truth is we have now more people (87) then last year (41) on our streets. What ever we are doing that “work”, let’s keep, what doesn’t “work”, we MUST change and now. Being Homeless is NOT a crime, ignore them is. We must stand for all people, all colors, all religions, all nationalities, all genders, all ages if we keep saying that West Hollywood is ONE CITY. ONE PRIDE. We must take care of them, show them love so they can trust us,… Read more »

AJJ
AJJ
6 years ago

When the house is burning down, the fire department comes. When you are homeless, no one comes. What a sorry social situation.

LOVE NO HATE
6 years ago

No Comments.

people the really know me, know who I AM.
LOVE NO HATE HOME is gone, but our LOVE will never die.
i want to say thanks to so many people that support us till this day.
WAIT TO SEE WHAT’S NEXT?

Manny
Manny
6 years ago

More than anyone else, this Wehoville article has provided useful information about options and resources available to individuals seeking shelter, along with thoughtful observations by some commentators. Apparently the homeless count last night will reveal a large uptick in people living without shelter in West Hollywood. That’s a tragedy. But unfortunately, society at large is not always successful at conveying our own individual needs and standards on to people who don’t perceive those requirements, and rules, to be applicable or necessary to them. What is at the root of this perception?….and how far do we go before we can judge… Read more »

Josh Kurpies
Josh Kurpies
6 years ago

Thank you to Henry Hank Scott for sharing some of resources available to the homeless. PATH and the City of WeHo used to provide small cards with info on services that could be handed to homeless people (instead of food or cash) but as anyone that works with homeless services outreach will tell you, often times the individual ignored or rejected the card. PATH and the City both know the issue is much more complicated that simply handing them a card and expecting them to call the correct numbers, but it was better than money and some did find the… Read more »

Jimmy Palmieri
6 years ago

Ah the Nir show….is goes on and on. The problem is that he has been given any attention at all by the city. He thrives on dropping names on how he meets with city council members, and how much of his own money he is spending . I believe 250k , has been put onto public record as many times. His “love no hate” has one city official believing he will actually kill us with his type of love. His childlike antics, screaming out loud at city meetings, photographing city officials from less than a half foot from their face… Read more »

Woody McBreairty
Woody McBreairty
6 years ago

Thank you Hank for this. Had I written an opinion piece on the subject, I hope it would have made at least some of the same points. Everyone is aware of the homeless situation in WeHo because no one can avoid it. I think everyone finds it very disturbing & equally frustrating that nothing is done to alleviate it. But the suggestion by some that there are homeless people on the streets of the city due to the high rents or lack of affordable housing , or because they lost their jobs & careers while living here, is absurd &… Read more »

mike dunn
6 years ago

I have no idea how many homeless youth are gay and below the age of eighteen but I do know that over thirty years ago and hung out at Circus Book Store that used to be open 24 hours there were many. I didn’t know their stories, just their names. It amazed me they were able to get into several Bath Houses where they could sleep during the day and shower. Years later I re-connected with one of them whose name was Stewart. He told me they had all been thrown out of their homes by their parents because they… Read more »

Z
Z
6 years ago

Why aren’t these “existing resources” more visible and accessible? Instead of painting the sidewalks at crosswalks to inform pedestrians to look up and be aware when crossing the street, how about PAINTING PHONE NUMBERS, HOURS, NAMES OF THE LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS/RESOURCES for those homeless in need????!! If I were ever to be homeless, I would NOT know where to go or who to call for help! Sad but true. Even now, when I come upon a homeless person on the sidewalk or street, I wonder why they don’t go to a shelter or food bank…etc….then I ask myself; what would I… Read more »

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