From Sacramento Bee: California, typically one of the most prosperous and progressive states, is also one of the poorest.
That’s according to new data from the US Census Bureau that offers insight into the economic status of people in California and the nation. The annual release of survey data measures income, poverty and insurance status.
For California, that means another reminder that the state’s poverty rate of 18.2 percent is exceeded only by Washington DC, which has a poverty rate of 18.4 percent when you account for the cost of living. It accounts for about 1 in every six residents.
The state’s poverty rate in 2018 was about 5 percentage points higher than the national average of 13.2 percent, using the “supplemental poverty measure” that accounts for the cost of living in each state, namely food, clothing, housing and utilities. Only states in the Deep South like Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida came close with poverty rates floating around 16 percent.
In recent years the federal government has released two measures of poverty. The “official measure” is used to determine eligibility for government programs. Researchers, particularly in California, say the supplemental poverty measure best captures the state’s high cost of living.
The state’s share of poor residents has steadily fallen from 20.6 percent in 2015. Policy experts say the data reflect California’s efforts and future challenges.
“The data point to two key challenges for the state. One is that a key driver of our high poverty rate is the relatively high cost of living in a lot of parts of California,” said Sara Kimberlin, a senior policy analyst with the California Budget and Policy Center.
“At the same time, earnings except for those at the highest end of the wage spectrum have seen wages that have not really grown in recent years.”
Overall, the report was a mix of grim and expected new figures. Still, the numbers are a striking contrast to the state’s efforts to combat poverty, raise wages and provide insurance for all its residents.
President Trump’s administration is actually considering doing something to help the people living on the streets of California. From the HuffPo story:
“Trump administration officials were in Los Angeles this week to learn about the city’s homelessness crisis and explore avenues for addressing the broader issue across the state.
Among the proposed options is a plan to clear street encampments in Los Angeles and other cities and move the homeless people into government-run facilities, according to a report by The Washington Post.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Staff from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office on Tuesday took officials from the White House, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Domestic Policy Council on a tour of the city’s skid row.
The group visited several homeless shelters, including a facility that recently opened in South L.A. as part of a new $20 million program called A Bridge Home, according to Garcetti’s office.
“Like many Americans, the President has taken notice of the homelessness crisis, particularly in cities and states where the liberal policies of overregulation, excessive taxation, and poor public service delivery are combining to dramatically increase poverty and public health risks,” White House spokesperson Judd Deere said in a statement.
“In June, the President took action and signed an Executive Order to confront the regulatory barriers to affordable housing development, a leading cause of homelessness,” the statement said. “President Trump has directed his team to go further and develop a range of policy options for consideration to deal with this tragedy.”
The administration’s visit follows months of harsh critique from President Donald Trump over California’s rising homelessness. “We may do something to get that whole thing cleaned up. It’s inappropriate,” Trump said in a Fox News interview that aired in July. He singled out Los Angeles and San Francisco, slamming the “liberal establishment” and saying, “You take a look at what’s going on with San Francisco. It’s terrible.”
State and city officials appeared cautiously optimistic about the talks on Tuesday but called for concrete and appropriate action from the administration.
Nathan Click, a spokesperson for California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times: “Every level of government — including federal — should step up and put skin in the game. If the president is willing to put serious solutions – with real investment – on the table, California stands ready to talk. He could start by ending his plan to cut food stamps, gut health care for low-income people, and scare immigrant families from accessing government services.”
Apparently wanting to do something for the homeless (which local and state bureaucrats are incapable of doing) is just Orange Man Bad.
Some of the comments from the HuffPo story:
“They used to call them concentration camps in nazi Germany.”
“Trumps whole premise for the reason there is a homeless crisis in CA is wrong. Homeless people migrate to CA from other states because of the mild climate. Severe homeless began during the Reagan administration when he striped funding form mental institutions and patients were put out onto the street and states started busing people to other states and dumping them. Every Republican administration since then has added to the problem by eliminating the social safety nets , housing programs, etc., as much as they could get away with. Trump is probably one of the worse. The government institutions he speaks of will be internment camps out in the desert somewhere with forced labor camps to replace the migrant workers he is keeping out of the country.”
“Looks like Trump is ready to start the round ups. The similarities between Trump wanting to send homeless people to encampments has an uncanny resemblance to Hitler’s roundup of the Gypsies.”
“More fodder for his private concentration camps. I guess kids just aren’t enough.”
“Sounds like what Stalin did at first? First come the concentration camps,then come the purges?”
“Here come the death camps… at the very minimum they are going to put a lot of very vulnerable people into a very dubious place that will only amplify the traumas they have experienced to date.”
“Are we still pretending that Trump’s concentration camps were only going to be for asylum-seekers at the border. This time it’s homeless US citizens. Who’s next?”
“Trump’s solution: Concentration Camps. Figures.”
“Didn’t the Germans do that same thing to Gypsies? Look how that turned out.”
TDS is real folks, very real.
Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!
From SF Gate: Dreaming of greener (read: cheaper) pastures? You’re not alone.
According to a new survey by Edelman Intelligence, 53 percent of Californians are considering moving out of state due to the high cost of living. Millennials are even more likely to flee the Golden State — 63 percent of them said they want to.
Bay Area residents surveyed were especially sensitive to affordability issues, and it’s no surprise. The median home value in San Francisco is $1.37 million, according to Zillow, and $1.09 million in San Jose. In Edelman’s survey, 76 percent of Bay Area residents say they consider cost and availability of housing to be a serious issue.
Sixty-two percent also call homelessness a very serious issue for California.
It appears the housing and homelessness crises have led to a pessimistic outlook: 62 percent of those surveyed say the best days of living in California are behind them.
The trend is backed up by much of SFGATE’s past reporting. We’ve spoken with people who’ve left California for the Pacific Northwest, Texas and Denver — all popular destinations for Bay Area ex-pats. Nearly everyone we talked to cites the high cost of living as the primary reason they left. Others were looking for a slower pace of life, lower taxes, less traffic and more time with family.
There have been other signs of the California exodus. In December, it was revealed that one of the most frequently Googled questions in California last year was “Should I move out?”
The Bay Area was also found to be leading the nation in outward migration, meaning more people are leaving the region than moving in. However, most people who moved out of the Bay Area didn’t go too far; the number one destination was Sacramento, followed by Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and San Diego.
Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!
There are over 1.5 million people in Alameda County. According to the study cited in this story, “…5,600 people experience homelessness on any given night. Over the next five years we aim to reduce that number to less than 2,200 people. If we achieve this goal no one will have to sleep outside.”
Take a wild guess as to how much money is required to achieve their goal. Then double or triple your number.
From SF Chronicle: Every person sleeping on the streets of Alameda County could be placed into housing or shelters if the county more than triples its spending on key programs, a new report says.
There is no obvious source for the more than $200 million a year needed — on top of more than $100 million already being spent annually — to achieve that goal, officials say. That has prompted talk of a potential tax proposal on the 2020 ballot.
The report is an update to a plan crafted more than a decade ago and adopted by Alameda County and its 14 cities seeking to end homelessness by 2020. The problem has grown since then, and the new report says it can be fixed by 2023 — with additional funding.
“When we wrote the 2007 plan, we said homelessness is a solvable issue. We wanted it to be true, but we weren’t sure. We were just building databases,” said Elaine de Coligny, executive director of Everyone Home, the effort to address homelessness in Alameda County.
“We have a lot more information now than we did a decade ago. We are confident in the solutions and strategies. We just haven’t been doing them at the pace and scale required,” she said.
The county spends about $106 million a year on homeless-related programs and subsidizes 3,000 permanent housing units. The report from Everyone Home, which was started by Oakland, Berkeley and county agencies, says those numbers should be $334 million and 9,000.
Sara Bedford, who is on the leadership board of Everyone Home, said reaching the goal is feasible. “I think we do a disservice if we’re not ambitious and realistic at the same time, and I think the plan does both of those things,” said Bedford, director of the Human Services Department of Oakland. “It’s very doable to achieve a functional zero — that you are housing people almost as quickly as they come into homelessness.”
Short of a San Francisco Proposition C-style tax increase or bond measure, that level of funding isn’t expected anytime soon. East Bay officials are beginning to contemplate putting such an initiative on the 2020 ballot.
Meanwhile, the report says, for every homeless person who found housing in 2017, two more became homeless. More than 12,000 people are homeless at some point each year in Alameda County. On any given night, the figure is 5,600.
The report says that if that number can be cut down to 2,200 people, with the additional funding, then no one would have to sleep outside, because there would be enough shelter and housing to go around.
I sense a pattern in west coast, progressive-run cities…
From MyNorthwest.com: A plan is being set in motion Monday to deal with Olympia’s homeless population with what the city is calling a “mitigation site.”
The goal is to end the situation with homeless people living tents all around downtown Olympia by moving them to a designated area.
Thenumber of homeless people living in tents has skyrocketed from about three dozen to well over three hundred in the last three months. Some say it’s gotten out of control, but the city said it’s working to make changes.
“The goal of the mitigation site is to be that first positive step for some of these individuals,” said Homeless Response Coordinator Colin DeForrest. “It’s no longer going to be OK to be in the City of Olympia’s parking lot. We’re going to find a better option for you, and if you don’t want to do that, then Olympia might not be the spot for you.”
The first mitigation site will be at Olympia Ave. NE and Franklin St. NE, which is a current homeless camp. It’ll be a first-come, first-serve site, fitting 80 people. Each person gets a 10-by-10-foot spot and a tent. DeForrest said it’ll be fenced with bathrooms, running water and trash cans.
City officials said they’re spending about $100,000 to make changes and build the site. Construction begins the week of Dec. 3 and there is expected to be more than one mitigation site in the future.
Olympia, like many other cities, has struggled to deal with the issue ever since a court ruling said arresting people for camping in public areas is cruel and unusual punishment especially if there is not shelter available for them.