San Francisco Homeless Population Rises 17% in Two Years

San Francisco continues to struggle with homelessness, with a population count revealing last week that the local homeless population had risen by 17% since 2017 — though youth and veteran homelessness had dropped.

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Many cities across the U.S. have struggled with rising homelessness in recent years, partly due to the pressure of rising housing costs, and the social devastation of the opioid epidemic. However, in California the problem is compounded by the presence of warmer weather and the availability of generous welfare benefits, both of which tend to attract transients from other parts of the country. Unscrupulous drug treatment clinics have also exploited the state’s health insurance system, luring addicts to receive treatment and kicking them out when the state insurance money runs out.

A news release from the office of San Francisco Mayor London Breed stated:

Every two years, San Francisco is required to conduct a homelessness Point-in-Time Count by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The HUD count, which was conducted on January 24, 2019, counted 8,011 homeless people, both sheltered and unsheltered, in San Francisco. The 2017 HUD count recorded 6,858 people. The increase in unsheltered people was driven largely by people living in vehicles, accounting for 68% of the increase in unsheltered people. There was also an increase in sheltered residents, resulting from the investments the City has made to add shelter beds.

The mayor pledged $5 million in additional spending on the problem.

Los Angeles has also struggled with homelessness — so much so that Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has struggled to deal with the problem, is widely considered to have abandoned plans for a presidential run because of the issue. He has pledged to end street homelessness by 2028, which is also the year that the city is due to host the summer Olympics. The Los Angeles Times notes that the city is due to release its own homeless count by the end of May.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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  1. We need more illegals to do the work that the homeless won’t do!
    Maybe we build that wall, stop all welfare and entitlements to illegals?

    And then stop feeding the homeless and point them towards those “jobs” that supposedly only illegals will do.
    And by the way, they do them cheaper and cheaper with each wave. That’s why the rich and well off like illegals.
    They don’t come into their compounds (walls and fences that work?) unless it is to work longer hours at a cheaper rate than the previous or current illegal.

    Don’t you just love America when progressives screw it up?

    Wake up and vote intelligently and stop being total morons about your government and how you think it should work.
    That was figured out a long, long time ago by old white guys who were smarter than anyone walking the halls of congress today.

  2. tomsquawk says

    California; The Welfare State (and don’t forget to vote) What a ride, much warmer than Canada. San Fran has definitely fouled it’s own nest and what other cities? Ronald Reagan once said, “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

  3. Tough love, not more handouts. Work for everything they are given.
    Law and Order, NOT Chaos is what we need.
    Leave this problem to churches, not public coffers. The churches are already set up to receive Federal Funding to help “the poor.”
    A little common sense anyone?
    Reagan also said: Government is NOT the solution; Government is the problem.

  4. Tanstaafl says

    You get what you pay for.
    Taxpayers pay for a homeless industry…..more homeless … more money for exec directors and political cronies …. and more homeless … more more money….. and round it goes!
    We taxpayers need to pay for solutions NOT for effort or maintenance…….AND demand meaningful data.
    Or it will be a forever crisis upon which whole middleclass careers will be built without solution to the problem — which now sustains an industry!

  5. The Captive says

    This is the strangle-hold that the LEFT HAS put on CA. as it strives to destroy our state. The progressives and the left want to make sure there is absolutely NO ACCOUNTABILITY AND that is what this governor Newsom is dedicated to do. But this no=account newsom can point the finger at President Trump and then just hear this ugh -governor complain—hate all their actions of treasonous activity!

  6. Stop calling them “homeless”. They are vagrants and/or treatment resistant addicts, con artists and grifters. We have no duty to enable their lifestyle choices. They have a duty to get gone.

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