The statistics are bleak. According to MarketWatch:
More than half a million people are homeless each night in the United States, a new White House report has found. And nearly half of them are concentrated in one state: California.
All told, 47% of all unsheltered homeless people nationwide — meaning those who sleep in areas not meant for habitation, such as sidewalks, parks, cars and abandoned buildings, rather than in shelters — live in the Golden State, according to a new report on homelessness from the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Unsheltered homeless people represent just over a third (35%) of the overall homeless population nationwide.
At the city level, four of the five cities with the highest rate of unsheltered homelessness are in California: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Rosa and San Jose.
California leads the nation in both the number of unshelerered homeless overall, and in the percentage of homeless who are unsheltered.
For reference, only 12% of the U.S. population lives in California.
California’s 2019-2020 budget allocates $2.4 billion to fighting homelessness, or roughly $18,500 per homeless person. When that much is being spend per homeless person, it should be obvious that the issue isn’t with money, but rather the governments efficiency in allocating that money. Obvious to everyone except California’s politicians, that is. According to NPR: As the homelessness crisis in California grows more acute, Gov. Gavin Newsom is planning to ask lawmakers for [an additional] $1.4 billion to pay monthly rents, build more shelters and provide treatment to those struggling with finding long-term housing, the governor’s office announced on Wednesday.
Will over $29,000 per homeless person finally do the trick? Seeing how California has been managing the situation thus far, certainly not.