Homeless Population Skyrockets In California

This year, the federal government reported that 181,399 people were living on the streets in California, a 5.8% increase over the previous figure.

State spending on the issue is in the billions, with over a billion dollars on housing and crisis preventive initiatives alone this year.

California has the largest unsheltered rate of any state, with over 70% of its 181,399 homeless people sleeping outdoors. On any night, almost 123,000 people in California are without a place to sleep. Housing and preventative initiatives for the homeless received $1.1 billion, and encampment clearance received $400 million from the state legislature this year. Tens of millions of dollars were allocated to address the issue of juvenile and veteran homelessness. State funds totaling $10 billion were distributed across various NGOs and projects from 2018 to 2021 to address the issue.

Last month, during his debate with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, California Governor Gavin Newsom made hopeful claims about homelessness, contradicting the research. Claiming to be the “first governor in California history to address this straight on,” Newsom promised “greater resources, more accountability.”

More than 40% of California’s homeless population has been experiencing homelessness since 2007. Contrarily, the national average was 12%, while California’s 5.8% growth was only half of that. According to HUD’s research, the rate of homelessness in New York increased by more than three times the national average.

With 123,423 individuals, California is home to 49% of the nation’s homeless population, more than eight times that of the state with the second-highest homeless population, Florida. About 23.5% of the 25,483 family homeless persons in California did not have access to shelter. San Francisco (81%), Oakland (77%), and San Jose (86%), on a national level, had the highest percentages of homeless kids.

Like the sanctuary state of California, New York is suffering the consequences of announcing it was a welcoming sanctuary destination for homeless migrants. The cost of housing these homeless and unemployed people is expected to reach billions of dollars in the coming years, and Mayor Eric Adams has appealed to the federal government for funding to help cover this expense.

Grants totaling over $1 billion have been distributed to states and municipalities by the Biden administration to address migrant homelessness.