According to the Wall Street Journal, the State of California and other municipalities are spending billions of dollars to combat the rising issue of homelessness with nothing to show for the work.
The Journal revealed on its front page this week that bureaucracy and many campers’ resistance to moving inside are obstacles to attempts to dismantle homeless encampments and provide refuge for their inhabitants.
“Between 2014 and 2022, the total number of homeless persons in California increased by roughly 50%. According to federal and state statistics from the previous year, the state, which is home to 12% of the country’s population, is home to approximately 115,000 of the country’s unsheltered homeless. Additionally, it boasts among the highest median property prices and average rents in the country.”
“In the previous four fiscal years, California paid a record $17 billion on the fight against homelessness. Governor Gavin Newsom has suggested an additional $3.7 billion for the state budget year beginning in July.”
“In recent years, voters in Los Angeles and San Francisco, two cities in California with some of the highest homeless populations, were dissatisfied enough with the state’s anti-homelessness policies to support levies that would have cost them billions of dollars. Overruns in expenses and postponements have so far produced little return on investment.”
One reason why some working individuals cannot afford rent in the greater Los Angeles region or in the San Francisco Bay area is the excessive price of housing. A further factor is drug use and mental instability. Others just like the independence that comes with living on the streets because they are unwilling to give up their pets, for instance, if they move inside.
With the 2028 Summer Olympics nearing, politicians have started to address the issue. The recently-elected L.A. Mayor Karen Bass established a first-year objective of lowering the homeless population by around 40%.
Others, however, have asserted that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must take serious action.