San Francisco mulls state of emergency over homelessness. But will it help?

by Julia Carrie Wong  |  published on March 11, 2016

When Jacob Riis published his photographs of late 19th-century urban poverty, he invoked French author François Rabelais’s words: “One half the world does not know how the other half lives.” That ignorance may have been understandable in the age when the poor were sequestered in tenements and slums, but in today’s gentrified cities, the two halves share the frame.

A viral photograph of a young woman in Los Angeles posing for a photograph while a homeless man sleeps on the street at her feet exemplifies the 21st-century urban reality. We see how the other half lives, but we don’t let it distract us from taking our selfies.

According to the 2015 annual homeless assessment performed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, homelessness in the United States has been declining steadily since 2007. But conditions on the west coast are different.

In 2015, California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii were four of the five states to see the greatest increase in their homeless populations (the fifth was New York). California alone accounts for 21% of the nation’s homeless population. And while nationwide, 31% of homeless people have some kind of shelter at night, California, Oregon and Hawaii all have unsheltered rates above 50%. In California, 63.7% of the homeless population lacks shelter.

  • ChuckS123

    Give them jobs building the Trump wall.

  • Michael Lloyd

    How many of the increase in California and the decrease in other places are the same people who moved to a better climate?

  • ADRoberts

    Many factgors.
    1. Drug users can’t get enough money for their habit.
    2. Jobs given by NAFTA AND GATT overseas.
    3. Obama and Trump; wanting to import workers for jobs that they claim have a shortage of workers. Never consider training them for the job. That is because it is not about workers but about importing MILLIONS for jihad and cheap labor.
    4. Mental illness. They closed the asylums decades ago. The liberals were sure that they would be better off on the streets than locked away.
    5. Sin. Can’t tell how many people have squandered their resources on vice and sin.
    6. Mean people who actually go out of their way to kick those who are just about gone.

  • cathylovesyou

    San Francisco has its problems because of liberalism. they need a strong conservative Mayor. New York over the years has big problems with Homeless people when the Democrats are in power, and much less with cleaner streets, and less crime when the conservatives are in power. Hmmmm

  • Nothing new here. It is happening everywhere the Progressives have held these cities for over 100 yrs, cities like Philadelphia-(the city of brother and now sisterly love) Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, I could go on and on, their cities are bankrupted, their public housing looks like something out of WWII Warsaw Ghetto, the schools are tailor made to fail, and if they do graduate, they are barely literate. So, what’s not to like? The strangling regulations on small business owners, the bureaucratic red tape that goes along with it, the loss of growth and all consuming “I want freebies and I want them now, I demand them.” So, what’s not to love? They have the most harshest, draconian gun laws on the books, yet the 3rd largest city in the nation, Houston TX, only have maybe 100 murders a year, mostly domestic violence, and we also have open carry and concealed carry, and we are safer for it. But the Progressive cities have 49 murders per week, the cops won’t even come to investigate until the sun rises. And they want this for the rest of us? I think not.

  • gpicha

    & yet we still are giving BILLIONS to 4th world countries. How about taking care of those in this country who are citizens & looking for a job.

  • Pam

    If San Fran. would deport its illegal aliens, they would have ALL KINDS of places to “shelter the homeless”!
    In my subdivision (in northern ILL.), alone, if all the suspected illegals were deported there would be at least six 3 & 4 bedroom homes sitting empty!

  • 7papa7

    This is where liberalism leads. Look at all the cities/states that have hard core liberals in charge. They are falling apart in all ways.

    • Karll

      Yup, and they want someone else to cover them financially for the
      unfortunate but predictable consequences of their ill-conceived policies.

      • 7papa7

        Right you are.

    • Michael Lloyd

      Liberalism works until they run out of other people’s money. Tax the rich, feed the poor until all but a select group are poor. Then the goal is achieved as total dependence is established, power is consolidated and control is absolute..

      • 7papa7

        Right you are, Margret Thatcher said that also. It also happens at a very rapid rate. Those who are rich will give up there citizenship and take the money they have made with them out of the country. Many businesses have left states that have the outrageous taxes to states that have low or no state taxes like TX or FL for example. Hannity says that he pays about 2 out of every 3 dollars he makes because of an ignorant tax code that NY has. Many billionaires will just up and leave the country. Liberalism destroys countries.

  • Gerry Costa

    Absolutely right Paul. I wonder how many of these ” homeless ” are illegals that SF’s libtard/retarded population voted to protect and allowed to stay there. How many criminals are among these ” homeless ” that the city is protecting through their ” sanctuary city ” that these libtards created. Now they want to whine & cry about it.

  • Paul

    Interesting that ALL of the places having these issues are also bastions of Liberal / Progressive policies that the people of those cities continue to support during their elections…..HMmmmmm

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