Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva slammed California Gov. Gavin Newsom for his continued inability to solve homelessness and for encouraging more homeless people to come live in the state. The governor, who faces a recall election in less than two months, has proposed a $12 billion plan to address the problem.
Out-of-state homeless people, who make up a majority of the state’s homeless population, have continued to deplete the resources of local law enforcement and businesses forced to contend with their presence.
Villaneuva’s comments, made on an Instagram Live broadcast on Wednesday, come days after Newsom said earlier this week that Californians “have a responsibility to accommodate” the homeless from other states who “want to come here for new beginnings.”
The sheriff has blamed the growing homeless population in parts of California on those who migrate from other states “just to enjoy the free services and the weather.”
“They think everyone here is a fool, and they’re giving away free condos,” Villaneuva previously said, as reported by the Daily Wire.
During the broadcast, Villaneuva cited new data compiled by the sheriff’s department’s Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST) that found that most of the transients living in Venice Beach had relocated from places outside of California, including other states, Mexico, Germany and even Iraq. Villaneuva’s deputies surveyed 250 people, and found that only 33 of them were from California. Over three dozen self-identified as “nomadic travelers,” said the sheriff, who vowed to resume patrols along the boardwalk.
“Based on our governor’s proclamation the other day that ‘the California dream is alive and well,’ and he’s inviting everyone to California to share in the California dream, I don’t know if he’s pining for the other 26 states to come join us here,” said Villanueva. “But since L.A. County has half of the state’s homeless population, we’re not in the position to have all of these people show up.”
Villaneuva suggested that instead of forcing law-abiding citizens to put up with the homeless, Newsom should instead house them at his own properties, including a winery co-owned by Newsom and billionaire oil heir Gordon Getty.
“However, governor, if you wish to have them in your vineyards, in your property, in your mansion, by all means, you have the freedom to invite them there,” he said. “But here in L.A. County, we’re pretty much full, and we’ve got our hands full with the problem right now. Okay?”
Villaneuva slammed Newsom’s $12 billion plan to address homelessness, which the governor signed on Monday, describing the package as looking “suspiciously identical” to failed strategies all over Los Angeles County over the years as the homeless population continued to grow. The sheriff denounced the “experts” as being only the “experts at spending money,” and accused the governor of exacerbating the problem by directing state funds to service providers that create a perception that free housing would be available to homeless people.
The sheriff said that unless Newsom changed course, he was well on the way to becoming another member of the group the sheriff refers to as the “architects of failure,” which includes Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and a number of city councilors whose progressive policies created the current crisis.