The term "homeless in Venice" is used to refer to people living in RV's, cars, or the beach. Decorated in pink camo fatigues, Barbara Peck refers to herself as a soldier of peace. She has been an advocate of the Venice "homeless" since the 1980's, establishing Tent City, a makeshift shelter set up directly on the beach. She organizes the Benefit Bus, a mobile soup kitchen, and Peck's latest cause is to preserve free speech on the Venice Boardwalk believing that performers and musicians that once prevailed have been pushed out by flea market-like vendors and commercial goods.
"Tent City was what I call a "happening", the kinda thing that used to happen in the sixties. You didn't expect it to happen in the eighties. In 1987 I came to Venice to meet with Ted Hayes, homeless activist from downtown Los Angeles. We ended up doing tent city on the beach down at the Rose Avenue end of the boardwalk."
"Your average first amendment person such as an artist or performer, are not actually aggressive people. They are willing to work with each other, there was always a system out here where you'd let someone in if they needed a space."
The Benefit Bus
"We were able to cook and serve food for the homeless from the bus as well as house some homeless."