Homelessness has always been a problem. In the 80’s, when I was a Police Officer, I had to deal a lot with the Homeless – mainly to keep them from freezing during the winters or chasing them away from the view of City Hall. It was an “Inner City” problem which was pretty much ignored whenever possible.
In the late 1990’s and 2000’s, it was moving out into the counties but, again as long as it was somewhat “hidden from view” nothing was really done about it. Once the complaints from residents and businesses being affected by the homeless started coming in, the camps were razed and the displaced residents set up somewhere else and the cycle continued.
Now there seems to be a sudden “explosion” of homelessness throughout many of the big cities or surrounding areas. Suddenly homelessness can no longer be ignored as it is obvious – no longer hidden from view.
WHY NOW? Many, many reasons and below are just a few.
Housing prices beyond the reach of many – Cities want more tax money so they tailor City Planning to bring in those with more money and will pay more taxes. Everything gets tailored to the class of people the City wants and not who already exist within the City. Lower income people are pushed out further and further and into shoddier and shoddier housing units until they leave or become homeless.
Cost of services for the homeless. It cost a lot of money to house and take care of the homeless – money that could be spent on other, more politically important things. Reality check – if it is “hidden” we only have to do the minimum and keep pushing the problem down the road. Until that time ignore it, move it or deny it.
More mentally ill on the streets due to the lose of hospital beds and laws preventing the housing of the Mentally Ill. I’ve worked with the mentally ill and have been in oh so many meetings about what can be done to increase available mental health beds. The emphasis has been on returning even the most extremely mentally ill to the “Community” so that the need for beds is less. The truth is that there are a lot of mentally ill individuals who will never be able to function within society and need to be housed separately from the general public for their and the public’s safety. Face it, housing the mentally ill is expensive, laws would have to be rewritten, and the lawsuits would be never ending.
Not in my Neighborhood. I’ve seen this to many times. I’ve worked in some very “Liberal”/”Progressive” areas and have been astonished by how quickly their ideas go out the window once homelessness, drug addiction and such move into their neighborhoods. It’s can really be rather disgusting to watch and listen to these individuals. They want everything done for them and not for others because they’ve “paid” for it.
I’ve been reading about the homeless problem on the West Coast for several years now and have wondered how long it would take the politicians to even acknowledge that they have a problem. Here’s some of what I’ve been reading:
SF Mayor: ‘There’s More Feces … Than I’ve Ever Seen’ | NBC Bay Area
San Francisco homelessness crisis ‘cruel and inhuman’: UN report – Business Insider
Denver says feces, urine, litter prompted large homeless sweep around shelter | FOX31 Denver
In Seattle’s Sodo district, frustration mounts amid RVs, drugs and skyrocketing crime | The Seattle Times
These are just a very, very small number of the news articles and reports I’ve seen about homelessness and I haven’t included any concerning Los Angeles.
I’ve also blogged about the problem many times.
This was one of my favorites posted by the Los Angeles Times (by Dakota Smith) on February 15, 2019 and picked up by FOX News. Deals with a Typhus Outbreak in California.
Los Angeles City Council’s president suggests to deploy ‘army of cats’ to deal with rat situation | Fox New
Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson shows where carpet has been removed from his office due to vermin infestation at City Hall. (Reed Saxon / AP)
Sometimes I look at stories like this one and wonder how have we survived as long as we have? I’ve been watching the Typhus problem in Southern California since it first popped up in San Diego in June of 2018.
Let’s make a long story short. The Governor of California, Gavin Newsome, after a bunch of prodding, poking and demanding (even from the President of the United States) has finally declared a “State of Emergency”. concerning homelessness and issued an Executive Order” which takes effect on January 15, 2020.
Here is the Order:
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT STATE OF CALIFORNIA
EXECUTIVE ORDER N-06-19
‘A Real Emergency’: Newsom Issues Executive Order To Use State Land, Travel Trailers, Hospitals For California Homeless Crisis – capradio.org – posted 01/09/20
Yes, I have been picking on West Coast Cities for several years now – they have deserved it – but Homelessness is a growing problem everywhere. Well, reasons above plus:
Homelessness is a crisis in some parts of the country. Why are 2020 candidates mostly ignoring it? | The Seattle Times
Why Politicians Aren’t Incentivized to Fix Big Problems Like Homelessness | American Council on Science and Health
Other recent articles about homelessness in other places:
Austin storage unit fire sign of growing affordable housing crisis
Philly, Convention Center launch $500k fund to get homeless into housing – On top of Philly news
DC plans permanent removal of homeless encampments in Northeast | WJLA
Subzero cold pushes Anchorage’s homeless services network to its limits – Anchorage Daily News
Hopefully our leaders will finally start doing something about this growing and Continuous Problem. Not holding my breath.
My page for more information:
Here’s a few stories just to show how gross the whole thing can be:
A Bucket of Hot Diarrhea Was Randomly Poured on a Woman by a Homeless Man | NBC Southern California
VIDEO: Man defecates in aisle of San Francisco grocery store
Infrared Video Shows Rats At Santa Rosa Homeless Encampment – CBS San Francisco