Los Angeles, CA

The Golden State and Its Crisis with Homeless Individuals. The contrast between wealth and poverty

Narda Maren

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For a city as prosperous as San Francisco, the severe poverty of people experiencing homelessness on its streets has always been startling. Tents, improvised cardboard mattresses, and human feces may be found cluttering the sidewalks downtown. As a flurry of highly paid professionals whizzes by, poor folks lay on the ground.

San Francisco is typical of large American cities these days, particularly those on the West Coast. Tent communities have grown up from San Diego to Seattle, housing impoverished people. As of January 2020, around 151,000 people in California were homeless.

Possible reasons

There are several causes of the issue. Childhood trauma and poverty, mental illness, and persistent drug addiction all increase the chances of someone living on the streets. However, Nan Roman, president of the National Alliance to end Homelessness, believes that the fundamental reason for the issue is straightforward: housing has become far too scarce and expensive.

In May, California Governor Gavin Newsom said that he was devoting $12 billion to the state's intractable homeless problem, calling it the most money ever spent at one time to get individuals and families off the streets.

The move comes as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego and smaller cities and towns deal with growing homeless populations and developing.

The $12 billion in homelessness expenditure is part of a broader $100 billion plan Newsom refers to as the "California Comeback Plan," about the economic harm caused by the coronavirus outbreak in the nation's most populous state.

"The California Comeback Plan invests a historic $12 billion to expand these successful programs and seeks to end family homelessness within five years," Newsom, said in a written statement.
"That's the idea behind the Comeback Plan's homelessness investments – more, faster, and with accountability and efficiency stitched into the fabric of these new investments," he added.

$7 billion of the $12 billion would be spent to purchase more temporary housing through "Project Roomkey," a program in which the state funds towns and counties to rent hotel rooms to those living on the streets.

Over $1.75 billion would be spent on affordable housing, $450 million on student homelessness, and $150 million to "stabilize and rehouse" those who had received refuge via Project Roomkey.

In April, U.S. District Judge David Carter ordered Los Angeles to provide housing for the approximately 4,500 individuals who live on the streets of the city's famed Skid Row district.

Carter attacked municipal leaders, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, for failing to address the issue.

Those who prefer to leave the city

Tens of thousands leaving California on Account of Excessive Living Expenses, Taxes, and the Pandemic

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The elevated cost of living, the difficulty of acquiring a property, as well as increased taxes, and the new option of telecommuting, have provided the perfect fuel for thousands of individuals to leave California and go to other latitudes seeking financial assistance.

The pandemic ravaged cities and left millions of people unemployed. With a lack of cash, many departed significant cities like Los Angeles and New York; however, in Los Angeles and the COVID-19, the experts said it would only increase.

A study of at least half of Californians was serious about leaving the state due to high housing costs, taxes, and liberal policies carried out last September by the Institute for Government Studies at the University of California, Berkley.

The poll indicated that 24% of those surveyed planned to quit, while another 28% considered leaving to be a possibility; combined, they constitute more than half of the sample. It is evident from the same study that 71% of the more than 4,500 people interviewed said it was considered because of the high housing costs.

The Redfin real estate page for its part guarantees, in the third quarter of 2020 just, that at least 53,000 individuals have been looking for the possibility of moving out of California, a 62% rise from 2019 alone.

They claimed in recent polls published by CalMatters that at least 40% of technology employees in the California Bay Area plan to leave the state if they remain to telecommute. They also guarantee that the Golden State has lost at least 100,000 more people every year since 2015 than it earns. The report also says that 197,594 individuals relocated from California between July 2018 and July 2019.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was interviewed and said: Los Angeles is not experiencing a situation like New York where property prices are falling, and people are leaving.

Garcetti is confident about the city's plans and that new businesses and employees will bring new developments to the town. Yet employees appear not to understand that since they are now entitled to maintain their employment at the pay of California and live in another nation where rent, services, fuel, and even food are less expensive.

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