0 0 lang="en-US"> California is the epicenter of America's homeless crisis - Sacramentotime.com

California is the epicenter of America’s homeless crisis

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Photos and numbers say it all.

Tattered tent cities installed in city parks, along streets and under overpasses. Homeless people, many with mental health or drug problems, sprawled on sidewalks or subway seats. Needles and other paraphernalia are often nearby.

The scourge of homelessness in America is enormous and shows little sign of improvement.

California by far the most affected. It is home to about a third of all homeless people in the country, and Los AngelesSan Jose, Oakland and other cities in the Golden State have some of the highest unsheltered populations in the country.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reports that 582,462 people were homeless on one night last January when researchers conducted last shot of the review.

About 60 percent of the beggars were in shelters, staying with friends or relatives, or had other temporary digs. The rest were “homeless” — sleeping in cars, on the streets, or in abandoned buildings.

About a third of the total US homeless population — 171,521 people — are in California. This is more than half of the homeless homeless population of the country — 115,491 people.

Sights like this, a homeless man’s belongings strewn on the street outside a bank in Los Angeles, California, have become commonplace at ATMs across the country

A view of a homeless encampment on the street in West Oakland, California last month as local authorities took steps to clear the buildings

To get a sense of the scale of the problem, DailyMail.com analyzed data the department released late last year to show which US states and cities have the worst homelessness rates.

They show that about a third of the total US homeless population — 171,521 people — are in California. This is more than half of the homeless homeless population of the country — 115,491 people.

California also added 9,973 homeless people between 2020 and last year’s survey.

The Golden State has the highest homelessness rate in the country, with 44 people without a home for every 10,000 residents. It is closely followed by Vermont, Oregon and Hawaii.

Los Angeles is the state’s hotspot with 65,111 homeless people.

But five other metropolitan areas — San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco — are also among America’s 10 hardest-hit cities, each with about 10,000 homeless people.

About 70 percent of Californians say homelessness and housing affordability are a “big problem” for the state, according to a poll conducted last month by the California Institute for Public Policy think tank.

The same proportion of residents say the problem got worse last year. Another 60 percent were “very concerned” that their children would not buy their own home in the Golden State.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said this week that she plans to get about 4,000 people off the streets in the first 100 days, making a small dent in a homeless crisis that billions in spending have failed to stop.

Bass says she has teamed up with government agencies and service providers to get rid of the red tape that has eluded progress in the past.

“The change is coordination between city and district departments,” she said.

Homeless tents are seen along the sidewalk outside San Francisco City Hall in California

Lux Lee feeds her cat in front of the van where she lives along a two-block makeshift camp in Seattle, Washington

Garbage and personal belongings are strewn across the street near a ramshackle homeless encampment in West Oakland, California

Two men share cigarettes and water with a homeless man struggling to stay cool during a humid Oregon summer

Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscayne complained that children in his city have to “step over needles” and “human waste” on their way to school because of the discharge in residential areas.

“No child in America should be afraid to walk to school, and we found in Los Angeles that children are afraid to walk to school,” the Democrat said in a television interview late last year.

“They tell their parents that they have to step over needles, human waste and deal with individuals who unfortunately suffer from psychotic behavior — right next to their playground.”

In Culver City, California, the homeless situation has gotten so bad that officials this month voted to dismantle and ban homeless tents after several of them littered the neighborhood’s sidewalks.

If the ordinance goes into effect, police could tell homeless residents they can’t live on the streets if there are other housing options, in a move to keep people off the streets.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has acknowledged that the state is “not dealing with the urgency” of the crisis, and last November pledged to reduce homelessness by 2 percent statewide by 2024.

This week, he was scheduled to meet with residents of Sacramento, home to about 9,278 homeless people.

Crisis is a defeat on the West Coast. Oregon has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the nation, with 17,959 people without a permanent home.

Portland residents are selling their homes because of the homeless epidemic that is ravaging the city.

Some homeowners say they are “afraid” to leave their homes because of the untreated psychiatry among homeless people who fear the neighborhood.

The crisis has renewed the debate between liberals and conservatives about how to solve homelessness.

Democrats often blame rising rents, greedy landlords and evictions for driving people out. Their solution is to distribute the nation’s wealth more evenly and build more homes that people can afford.

Culver City officials want to ban tents and other structures on the streets. Pictured: Homeless Roscoe Billy Ray Bradley Jr

Culver City’s ordinance, which has no effective date, would allow homeless people to stay on the streets with only sleeping bags and blankets

Tents line the streets as the crisis grows, exacerbated by a drug crisis fueled in part by Oregon becoming the first state in the nation to decriminalize many hard drugs

Many voters agree with this. The cost of housing and other basic necessities is at an all-time high.

Meanwhile, evictions that were banned in many places during the Covid-19 outbreak have returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to a Princeton University research group called the Eviction Lab.

Lisa McCormick, a Democratic politician from New Jersey, said this week that the “stubborn problem” could be solved by scrapping free-market economics.

“A home used to be a key part of the American dream, but now it’s a nightmare for many of our citizens,” McCormick wrote on social media.

“Reverse Reaganomics: Because It Doesn’t Work.”

Republicans usually say that homelessness is related to drugs and the mental health problems of the homeless themselves.

For example, renting out housing for free won’t help people who can’t take care of themselves.

California state Sen. Scott Wilk, who represents an area north of Los Angeles, said this week that the state needs a new policy.

“20 billion dollars were spent in 5 years. 171,521 people are currently experiencing homelessness in the Golden State,” Wilk tweeted.

“The status quo has failed.”

Andrea Suarez tries to talk a 24-year-old homeless man out of injecting meth in Seattle, Washington

A man brings stolen beer to sell at a homeless camp in Seattle, Washington

Homeless people are seen outside a bank near Union Square, Manhattan, New York

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