South Valley lawmaker pitches tougher approach to homeless: You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

One Kern County lawmaker, fed up with homeless influx from L.A., is pitching an aggressive push to rid streets of vagrancy.

Kern County may explore bussing its homeless population to other parts of the state, an idea similar to how some cities across the nation have bussed the homeless to California. 

Kern County Supervisor Jeff Flores has been exploring the idea, according to a report by the Bakersfield Californian. 


The big picture: Under Flores’s idea, the region’s homeless would face the possibility of being bussed out of the area if they do not accept help from the county, such as taking a bed at a shelter and mental health counseling. 

  • Those who refuse help could see themselves dropped off outside of the county lines. 
  • Kern County borders Kings County, Tulare County, Inyo County, San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County. 

Driving the news: Flores has been discussing the idea with Bakersfield groups over the past couple weeks. 

  • The idea is in its infancy, with Flores telling the Californian that he does not have all of the specifics at this point and is having conceptual discussions. 
  • Flores also would support giving the homeless who refuse help a one-way ticket to Sacramento, rather than simply dropping them off outside of county borders. 
  • While the idea is still under development, Flores’s main focus is on clearing the large encampments on public sidewalks and streets. 

What they’re saying: “I would be fine with taking them to the county border for the stubborn ones that are… refusing service,” Flores told the publication. 

  • “People are frustrated,” Flores said. “They’ve had enough.”
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