Los Angeles Sheriff Urges State of Emergency on Homelessness: 'Enough Is Enough’
Sheriff cites exploding crime, struggling businesses, and lack of sanitation
Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva has urged the Board of Supervisors to declare a local state of emergency amid the spiraling homelessness crisis in the county.
Villanueva cited exploding crime, struggling businesses, and lack of sanitation.
During a press conference inside the Justice Hall on June 23, Villanueva said:
“We’ve been inundated with calls, with concerns, with images from the news, from people picking up the phone, emailing, sending us letters, about what’s going on in Venice."
“And that is a microcosm of what’s going on throughout the entire county of Los Angeles.”
“Enough is enough; we need to kick this into high gear,” he said.
On the Venice Beach Boardwalk, there are an estimated 200 homeless people and 2,000 throughout the neighborhood.
The numbers make it the largest concentration of homeless people after Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles.
“With the homeless, you have two choices if you’re an elected official: You can get busy helping [or] you get busy hindering, it’s your choice,” he said.
Venice residents who’ve been sounding the alarm for months were also part of the press conference.
Teacher Chie Lunn, and member of the Venice Public Health & Safety Committee, said “there was a huge problem that was growing around us” and that her “children were becoming more and more enclosed," as per The Epoch Times.
“And it wasn’t just because of COVID, I felt like I needed to do something for not only them but for other children in the neighborhood, as I witnessed more people going inward within their safety and feeling like they couldn’t just walk outside their front doors,” she said.
She added Venice Beach Park was labeled by Councilmember Mike Bonin as "a place for kids to go during COVID to feel safe and to get internet access.”
“But yet at that very park, we had three RVs exploding, we had drug use, we had RVs staying on the streets."
"So, when we to talk about sanitation, our police have been doing an amazing job, our sanitation has been doing a great job, but they cannot keep up with the amount of things and people dropping off stuff and using our streets as a dumping ground for their trash,” she said.
“It is a national disgrace,” Villanueva said.
“All those 501 C-3 organizations … we’re going to talk about money; there is a homeless industrial complex, and they’re raking in money, not by the millions, not by the hundreds of millions, by the billions.”
Last year, President Donald Trump slammed the leadership in Democrat-controlled Los Angeles, warning city and state officials to fix the homeless crisis, otherwise "the federal government is going to take it over."
"If they can’t do it themselves, we’re going to do it,” Trump said.
“The federal government is going to take it over; we’re going to do it.“