Last Updated on December 23, 2019
While homelessness around the country continues to trend downward, the country is experiencing an overall spike in its homeless population due to the homelessness epidemic in California.
The Department of Housing and Urban Developments is crediting California with a 2.7 per cent spike in America’s homeless population according to a new report.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson explained, “As we look across our nation, we see great progress, but we’re also seeing a continued increase in street homelessness along our West Coast where the cost of housing is extremely high.”
Carson continued, “In fact, homelessness in California is at a crisis level and needs to be addressed by local and state leaders with crisis-like urgency.”
According to HUD, from the beginning of 2018 to the end of 2019, the homeless population of the United States increased from roughly 553,000 people to 568,000, mostly in California and along the West Coast.
About a third of the country’s homeless population is living on the streets.
While the national homeless rate raised 2.7 per cent, the homeless population in California increased much more sharply.
In California, the homeless population increased by a whopping 16.4 per cent.
This would indicate that the homeless population around the country continued to drop, while California’s skyrocketed.
California Governor Gavin Newsom appeared to blame Republicans for the massive rise in homelessness in his deep blue state, saying “Federal leadership matters. Investments made during the Obama administration are proving effective and have contributed to more than a 50% drop in homelessness among veterans since 2010.”
The California governor did, however, acknowledge that his state has more work to do to address the homeless situation.
Earlier in 2019, the state made history by making it legal for the homeless population to “camp” in public space. This trend was followed in other Democrat stronghold cities, including Austin, Texas.
HUD also revealed that the lowest rates of homelessness occur in Republican states or battleground states, including Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Dakota.