Commenting on a story detailing the demise of Venice Beach, California, as it is plagued by rampant homelessness, actor James Woods declared, “All of Los Angeles County is like this now. There
are some pockets of respite, but L.A. is gone.”
On June 7, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva stated, “Today I visited the Venice Boardwalk again to view the failures of local politicians in regard to the homeless crisis.”
“Tomorrow the @LASDHQ Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST) will be assessing Venice in order to triage the crisis and develop an action plan to compassionately offer services while employing common sense in the regulation of public space within Los Angeles County.”
“The sheriff said the goal was to clear the area of homeless encampments by July 4,” KTLA reported.
City Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents the area including Venice Beach, blasted Villanueva, snapping, “He didn’t call to offer services or housing, which would help. He went on a PR blitz, promising his own notorious brand of justice. To anyone familiar with Villanueva and LASD, that’s incredibly ominous.”
The next day, Alex Villanueva deployed deputies to Venice’s Ocean Front Walk. He told KTLA, “Our homeless outreach service team has been working for eight years breaking up homeless encampments throughout L.A. County in areas you typically don’t see.”
“They were out there on the boardwalk actually talking to the homeless and trying to assess the situation of each individual … They’re doing the job that the City of L.A., Mike Bonnin refused to do in his own district.”
He added, “The only people who are upset are the political establishment who are responsible for doing nothing. If you survey the residents of Venice right now, they are jumping for joy that something is finally happening.”
On May 24, KTLA noted, “At last count, there were nearly 2,000 homeless people in Venice, according to a Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority count done in January 2020 that found more than 41,000 unhoused people citywide.”
“About 24 fires a day in the city of Los Angeles start in homeless encampments, and they account for more than half of the fires LAFD responds to,” Spectrum News reported.
“The city as a whole is grappling with a homeless crisis that has only worsened in recent years. Over five years, the homeless population has increased by half, according to a January report released by the Luskin Center for History and Policy at the University of California in Los Angeles,” Fox News reported in mid-May.
In April, The Los Angeles Times reported that Councilman Kevin de León, whose district includes skid row, wanted the homeless to move into other areas, including the suburbs.
“Skid row is no place for women and for children. I made it very clear that I don’t want women and children in skid row. I want them in Silverlake. I want them in Echo Park. I want them in Hancock Park. I want them in Sherman Oaks”, he said.