Tag Archives: California’s homeless crisis

Liberal utopia of California: Survey shows 53% want to leave the state

The streets of San Francisco…

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.

DCG

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Guess the yearly price tag to reduce homeless in Alameda County, California

Homeless encampment in Berkeley, Alameda County

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.

Read the whole story here.

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Homeless population in Washington state’s capital increases from 3 dozen to over 300 in 3 months

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.

The number 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.

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