People in major West Coast cities are feeling the full brunt of Democratic policy failures as homelessness skyrockets.
Reports coming out of Democrat-run cities such as Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, among others, indicate the number of homeless people has escalated to crisis levels. The uptick in homelessness in these and other liberal strongholds shows no sign of slowing as Democratic leaders push policies that promote high taxes, drug addiction, and give taxpayer-funded benefits to illegal immigrants that could be put to work for fellow Americans. Reports coming out of media resources such as Seattle’s City-Journal have been highlighting the suffering for years.
“The Emerald City has seen an explosion of homelessness, crime, and addiction. In its 2017 point-in-time count of the homeless, King County social-services agency All Home found 11,643 people sleeping in tents, cars, and emergency shelters,” Seattle’s City-Journal reported. “Property crime has risen to a rate two and a half times higher than Los Angeles’s and four times higher than New York City’s. Cleanup crews pick up tens of thousands of dirty needles from city streets and parks every year.”
Seattle reportedly spends upwards of $1 billion annually dealing with its homeless crisis. That figure equals approximately $100,000 for every reported street-person in the city limits. The math on that vast sum to combat homelessness appears grossly disproportionate. Just handing these struggle individuals that money would amount to a good salary. Democrats again appear to be squandering resources.
In San Francisco, where Democratic leaders proclaimed they were a “sanctuary city,” recent homelessness statistics have jumped off the charts. Since 2017, the number of people living on the streets rose by a stunning 17 percent. But what is even more troubling are reports Democratic officials have changed the way homeless statistics are counted. Had the recent information been calculated in the same fashion as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development standard used in 2017, the data could have been as high as 30 percent. But misleading statistics have not curbed the sentiments of residents or visitors.
“I won’t visit my son who lives out there again,” one visitor told a media outlet. “It’s disgusting. I went there a few months ago for the first time and this guy who looked homeless and really beat up spit on me. Can you imagine? He spit on me!”
Democratic policies have created a deadly financial quagmire for locals. High taxes and policies designed to benefit only upper-middle-class and wealthy residents have caused people to either flee the area or live on the streets.
A 2018 HUD report indicates that a family of four earning more than $117,000 and individuals earning $82,000 in San Francisco are considered “low-income” by cost of living standards. A single person would need to earn more than $40 per hour and not take a vacation or miss a day of work to exceed the low-income bracket. In San Francisco, only 17 percent of families can afford an average-priced home. And as expensive as New York is, the family of four low-income standard stands at only $83,450 annually.
In classic liberal fashion, Democratic officials attempted to free up resources for police and prisons by downgrading many felonies to misdemeanors. The left-leaning thinking was that resources would be better put to use fighting violent crime over things like drug offenses. Instead, San Francisco became a magnet for drug addicts urinating on the streets and driving business patrons off sidewalks.
“The intention was to help, of course, but what it really wound up doing is that it made San Francisco more attractive to those who are both homeless and those who are drug addicts to move here,” former mayoral candidate Richie Greenberg said. “We are now finding that homelessness is increasing. Drug addiction is increasing and the number of people here — the numbers are increasing, as well.”
In Los Angeles, homeless suffering may have reached the point of no return. A reported 60,000 Americans do not have a place to hang their hat. That’s the approximate total population of cities such as Delray Beach in Florida, Rapid City in North Dakota, and Lancaster in Pennsylvania. It’s a frightening reality that there are more homeless people in Democrat-run strongholds such as L.A. than the entire population of other cities.