The Homelessness Crisis in America: Government Mismanagement, Incompetence or Corruption? Or All Three?

Craig Huey Current Events, Economics, Government, Congress, and Politics 4 Comments

It’s a massive crisis … and it’s getting worse.

And instead of addressing and eliminating the root causes, state governments are applying band-aids … and asking for more money for more band-aids.

A total of 552,830 people experienced homelessness on an average night in 2018.

Two-thirds were individuals … one-third were families with children.

The states with the highest rates of homelessness per 10,000 people:

  • California
  • New York
  • Oregon

Those numbers will likely be higher in 2019 because of what’s happening in California – especially in Los Angeles.

In California in 2018, there were 129,972 homeless people on any given night – the highest rate of homelessness of any state in the nation per 10,000 residents.

The vast majority of California’s homeless population are in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In January 2019, there were 58,936 homeless people in Los Angeles county – a jump of 12% over 2018.

And 36,300 of those were in the city of Los Angeles – a rise of 16% over the previous year.

Among the homeless population in California are these disturbing statistics:

  • 10,836 are homeless veterans
  • 12,396 are unaccompanied young adults aged 18-24

So, what are the causes of homelessness? And what are the solutions?

The president and CEO of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles believes the homeless crisis is a housing crisis…

  • But will building more apartment complexes solve the underlying causes of homelessness?

A survey conducted in San Francisco revealed the following causes of homelessness in that city:

  • Job loss – 26 %
  • Alcohol or drugs – 18%
  • Eviction – 13%
  • Conflicts with friends or family – 12%

And the number one reason why people can’t escape homelessness in San Francisco? The cost of rent, which averages nearly $3,700 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.

When Gavin Newsom – Governor of California – was mayor of San Francisco, he announced that he would solve his city’s homelessness crisis within 10 years…

But 10 years and $1.5 billion later, the city had made no real progress on homelessness – according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles County, $619 million was poured into housing and services for the homeless last year through local tax increases…

Yet the homeless population grew – as reported above – by 16% in the city … and by 12% in the county.

To begin making a dent in the homelessness crisis in major U.S. cities and across the nation, three programs need to be created and funded:

1. Mental illness programs

2. Drug addiction/rehabilitation programs

3. Job training programs

Nonprofit charitable and faith-based organizations are already working to address these historical root causes of homelessness…

But there’s only so much they can do without either government support or massive donations by private citizens – or both.

It’s time for state and local governments to stop wasting millions of tax dollars on providing health care and welfare benefits to illegal aliens … and instead spend those funds on helping veterans and other American citizens overcome the root causes of homelessness.

What do you think? Write me at [email protected]

Here are the rest of this week’s articles:

Comments 4

  1. What are the names and email addresses and websites of the most effective nonprofit organizations addressing the issues of the homeless.

    Regards,

    Charles Kadlec
    charles

  2. How many problems would go away if we didn’t have four million illegals in California competing for housing and other services which drives the prices up.

  3. Charles asks an important question: are there any effective organizations currently addressing homelessness, not intellectual “issues” such as political groups and universities engage in.
    Thirty years ago, I used to be intimately a part the role of law enforcement and the LA Co jails and Criminal Courts in coping with homelessness. It was restrained to the skid row areas but now seems to be everywhere. The nonprofit agencies then could be funded to provide services because they could be supported by cities and LA County to have some authority behind housing and rehabilitation. The courts could order compliance as an alternative to jail sentences.
    NYC used to be the worst example of the decline and rot of a big city. Then a policy of “broken windows” law enforcement with treatment and rehabilitation was successfully implemented. LA Co hesitated to take such an authoritative method. Hence the current seemingly unsolvability of the relentless decay and sordidness of our greatest cities.
    In a brief reply to Charles:
    Sir, it there were any nonprofit organization that might remedy our plight of homelessness, our current governing bodies would quickly shut them down or modify them to the point of ineffectiveness. In the current climate, all we can do is feed and assist as many as possible as the challenge grows such as the mid city rescue missions are nobly doing. I think they are bailing out the water with a teacup, of a sinking ship with a hole in it’s bottom.
    We very well may be witnessing the advent of soup kitchen socialism with our elites behind castle walls, while Americans relentlessly lose their Republic and it’s associated liberty.

  4. Against my better judgement, over the past several years I have assisted in providing clothing, food, shelter, and medical care for a local homeless man and his dog. This experience allowed me to become very familiar with what seems to be the principle causes of this social problem. Your article addressing this desperate situation hints at the causes that need resolving. What I have observed is that the homeless in my area generally suffer from mental illness which has often been greatly exacerbated by long term drug addiction. Unfortunately, many but not all of these people are beyond the point of professional remediation, particularly of their mental health issues. Although their physical and dental health problems could be a least partially corrected, they appear so compromised otherwise that, in many cases, job training would seem entirely fruitless. Unsurprisingly, criminal behavior is also very common among homeless populations.

    I ultimately suspended my personal efforts to be of assistance to this man because he has proven himself incapable of participating in his own care and recovery. Such an expectation seems beyond his ability. Therefore, I have sadly been forced to conclude that the generous provision of food, clothing, health services, housing etc. is definitely not going to resolve this issue, it will, instead, in all probability make it much, much worse. What course of action could be successful? First: Prevention, prevention, prevention! But for many, long-term care in a well staffed public or private institution does seem the only humane and viable answer.

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