The Christian Science Monitor

Why cracking California’s homeless crisis will take more than money

A homeless man sleeps on the sidewalk in the Mission district, on April 17, 2018 in San Francisco, California. Source: Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff

Homelessness has without a doubt become one of California’s most pressing issues, proclaimed by turns an emergency, a crisis, and a national disgrace.

Consider:

  • As of December, about a quarter of the nation’s homeless population – about 134,000 people – lived in California, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • A San Francisco worker had to make $58.04 an hour in 2017 to afford a two-bedroom apartment at local market rate, the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) reports. (That works out to roughly $115,000 a year.)
  • Between 2016 and 2017, the state also saw the largest increases among unsheltered homeless (more than 13,500 people) and chronically homeless individuals (nearly 6,000), according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH).

The numbers just validate what people already see: It’s become near impossible to walk down a San Francisco block without spotting someone curled up in a corner. Tent encampments have long ago

The underlying causes‘It is much harder to be poor now’

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