Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair, Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District, released the following statement to address misinformation shared by Sheriff Villanueva during his Facebook Live:
“My office is committed to transparency and ensuring that accurate information is represented at all times, which is why I want to address the issue of misinformation as propagated by Sheriff Villanueva during his Facebook Live today.
Sheriff Villanueva claimed that during a site visit at the Hilda L. Solis Care First Village today, he learned that 215 out of 232 rooms were unoccupied. This is inaccurate.
To date, there are 103 residents receiving care at the site, with 129 residents moving in soon with proper care and attention required to successfully get people off the streets for good.
It is also important to note the inappropriate nature of the Sheriff and his deputy’s appearance at the Care First Village. People experiencing homelessness often have had negative past experiences with law enforcement. Random visitations from law enforcement can be viewed as an intimidation tactic and may make many residents uncomfortable and harder to encourage people to move to the Care First Village. This is unacceptable.
The Sheriff claims to have only seen three residents on site. I would like to remind him that the Hilda L. Solis Care First Village is not a jail like the one next door. This site is specifically intended to provide wrap-around services to individuals transitioning out of homelessness as they prepare for a return into their community. During their time at the Village, the Weingart Center provides the tools and skills each resident needs to be able to successfully transition into finding a job, a place to live, and to be reconnected with family and loved ones. This means that during the daytime, residents have the freedom to leave the Village to attend to doctor’s appointments, job interviews, visit family and friends, and more. That is not a shelter. It is a village that supports each resident on their housing journey until they are ready to reintegrate into their community.
The narrative pushed by the Sheriff only creates further division by spreading misinformation and cannot go on unaddressed. It does not do anything to address the collective problem of homelessness.”