Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva criticized California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom during an Instagram Live broadcast on Wednesday over his $12 billion plan to solve homelessness.
The remarks come after Newsom, who is facing a recall election in less than two months, said earlier this week that Californians “have a responsibility to accommodate” homeless people from other states who “want to come here for new beginnings.”
Villanueva, a Democrat, has partly blamed the growing homeless population in some areas of California on individuals who migrate from other states “just to enjoy the free services and the weather.” He has previously said, “they think everyone here is a fool, and they’re giving away free condos.”
During Wednesday’s broadcast, the sheriff cited data recently compiled by his department’s Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST) that found most of the transients who have been living at Venice Beach had relocated there from outside of California. Places of origin include 23 other states, Mexico, Germany, and Iraq. Villanueva said deputies surveyed 250 people, and only 33 were from California. Forty individuals “self-identified as nomadic travelers,” Villanueva said, after vowing to resume patrols along the world-famous 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.”
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