LA County Sheriff Seeks to Clear the Boardwalk of Homeless People by July 4th

By Hannah Claire Brimelow

A face-off over the homeless population in Los Angeles County, CA reached new heights when Sheriff Alex Villanueva declared “Enough is enough.”

“We need to kick it into high gear,” Villanueva said at a press conference on Wednesday. He has requested a local state of emergency be declared by the Los Angeles County in order to address the homeless crisis.

In the past ten years, the county’s homeless population has doubled – growing from approximately 40,000 to an estimated 80,000 people, according to a statement released by the Sheriff’s Department.

The Department noted “some non-profit organizations intended to assist the homeless are more of a benefit to executive officers, directors, physicians, etc. Some nonprofit organizations (such as Share Your Share Inc. and Safe Place for Youth) have no financial data available. While billions of dollars are destined to help the homeless, very little money gets to the source of the problem. In the last ten years, six and a half billion dollars was destined to the homeless, and no progress was done. Instead, the number of homeless individuals doubled in the last ten years.”

The Venice Beach Boardwalk took center stage as tensions mounted. The popular tourist destination was once noted for its bohemian culture and was considered the “Roller Skating Capital of the World” in the 1970s. LA Department of Parks and Recreation says the area is visited by 28,000 to 30,000 people a day. Tourism is an $18 Billion industry in the LA area.

Existing homeless encampments along the boardwalk grew rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March of 2021, the Los Angeles Police Department reported a 177 percent increase in robberies in the neighborhood. Additionally, assaults with a deadly weapon involving a homeless person skyrocketed by 162 percent. 

Sheriff Villanueva “announced his intention of clearing the boardwalk of homeless folks and their tents by July 4” in June, reported the LA Times. Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin took to Twitter to denounce the sheriff in a lengthy post.

His office said on Monday “teams led by the St. Joseph Center will begin offering housing, shelter and services to everyone currently living in encampments along Ocean Front Walk. The six-week initiative, a collaboration between neighbors, government agencies and nonprofits, will offer nearly 200 people a pathway to permanent housing and appropriate services to help them succeed.”

It is unclear how this effort will be enforced when met with resistance by residents of the encampments as Bonin believes “the best, least expensive, most effective way to end homelessness is with housing, not handcuffs.” He has requested $5 Million from the city for his efforts. 

At least one Venice Beach business owner has publicly weighed in. In early June, a sign above the Arbor Collective read ‘F- You Bonin Resign Today.’ The store’s owner, Bob Carlson, said a security guard was hit over the head with a bottle and then stabbed multiple times by an allegedly intoxicated homeless person who was asked to leave the parking lot.

A more recent photo of the store’s sign show a message thanking Sheriff Villanueva.

Venice Beach’s homeless population had gained so much notoriety that YouTube videos documenting the conditions have millions of views.

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8 responses to “LA County Sheriff Seeks to Clear the Boardwalk of Homeless People by July 4th”

  1. thndrbrd says:

    lol that’s what happened in Seattle, they started kicking the homeless out of the city and so they moved to the medium’s and under bridges. My friend was driving in to go to pikes place market, on the way, right on I5 watched a homeless dude remove his pants and spew his Taco Bell all over the concrete barrier. Welcome to Seattle!

  2. Fernando says:

    I’m guessing one of two things is going to happen.
    1.They’re going to push them into another part of the city that doesn’t make as much money for them.
    2. They’ll back in 2 weeks after the holidays over and they’re going to stop giving a shit for a while.

  3. Fluff2Buff says:

    Basically found out that the echo park (where i grew up) cleanup 20% of the homeless the went into housing everyone else was evicted and their stuff trashed

  4. thebogs says:

    They waited WAY TOO LONG to do this – it’ll take a miracle to get this done in the next few days. Even if they can remove the people, tents, trash and needles the smell of human feces will remain. 🚫CA🚫

  5. Tigranes says:

    They pretended to care for 10 + years. It may seem cold to say this, but if you build it they will come. You can not tolerate this in any way. If you do, your neighborhood will turn into a shithole. If somebody needs help fine, help them and if they refuse help move on.

  6. Bigly12025 says:

    This is insane. Why would the sheriff want to end their utopia? What the fuck is wrong with him? California is perfect and becoming even perfecter with each piece of trash dropped, each “mural” of graffiti sprayed, and each homeless encampment founded.

  7. Jesse_Dawn says:

    6.5 billion dollars over 10 years spent to “increase” the homeless population by double.

  8. MaineWolf says:

    Welcome Hannah, well met. They are going to sweep these sick people around the state like a bad dust bunny with no pan. Sweep some people under this bridge that bridge until their out of sight out of mind.

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