Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva wrote to the L.A. Board of Supervisors this week asking them to declare a “state of emergency” on the local homeless crisis, going so far as to say that “failed policies” were causing death on the streets.
“Since taking office [in 2018], I have watched state, county, and local government fail to address the homeless crisis affecting the residents of Los Angeles County,” Villanueva wrote in the letter. “Despite spending in excess of $6.5 billion over the last ten years to address the issue, and the creation and efforts of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), nothing has changed.”
“In fact, the homeless problem has only grown by approximately 20 percent each year,” he added. “According to LAHSA’s 2020 count, Los Angeles County had over 66,000 persons experiencing homelessness living in our streets. Conservative estimates for 2021 put the figure over 80,000 persons.”
“Having participated in the homeless count, visiting areas affected by this crisis, participating in many community meetings, speaking with business leaders and residents, common sense is telling us the failed formula applied year after year to address the problem is NOT working,” he continued.
“I strongly urge the Board of Supervisors (Board) to declare a local state of emergency on the homeless crisis. Los Angeles County is experiencing an influx of transients from across the nation taking advantage of our services,” the sheriff wrote. “Needless to say, these individuals are taking valuable services away from our local homeless population and creating further hardship on our communities. We have homeless individuals dying everyday [sic] on our streets because they are not getting the services they need. Failed policies, self-interest groups, and political agendas are enabling a national crisis to fester within our communities.”
“The Board needs to tap into all available state/federal funding and resources to help the residents of our beloved County. Because of this national crisis, the Board should consider applying for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency,” Villanueva added. “In an era where “defunding” the police is a popular term used by a vocal minority, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) needs the necessary funds to prevent the catastrophic loss of human life and address the existential threats we are facing.”
Villanueva has long been outspoken against the left’s efforts to “defund the police.” Watch him address the homeless crisis further in the video below.