Too Few Homes, Too Many Homeless: Part Two, How to Fix It

We’re well into spring in subtropical California. Up and down the coast, from Venice Beach to San Francisco, tens of thousands of homeless people live in makeshift abodes, strewn along the streets and alleys, the beaches and boardwalks, beside parking garages, freeway onramps, and under bridges. Their numbers increasing every year, they now live openly in the hearts of magnificent downtowns, permanently encamped on the lawns of city halls and civic centers. In some areas entire urban parks are filled with their tents. A perfect storm of court decisions and legislation have tied the hands of law enforcement, and well organized activists join forces with well financed nonprofits and their partners, politically connected developers, to prevent any practical solutions.

And so, day after day, Californians living and working on some of the most expensive real estate on earth pick their way through sidewalks littered with shit and syringes, dodging stoned junkies and screaming schizophrenics, hoping they won’t catch typhus or hepatitis as they make their way to their jobs, take their kids to school, and try to live normal lives. There is no end in sight.

The burgeoning population of homeless in California, now estimated at around 150,000 people, is a problem that could be solved in months, if the appropriate political and judicial decisions were swiftly enacted and decisively applied. Instead there is no indication it will ever be solved. The state has become a magnet for the welfare cases of America and the expatriates of the […] Read More