While authorities have spent $17.5 billion to combat homelessness in four years, the number of people living on the streets has only grown.
In the United States, where 332 million people live, according to statistics, there are more than 582,000 homeless people. Every year their number grows by an average of a thousand a year. It may seem that in the vast territory occupied by States, one could not even notice the homeless over their heads, if not for one nuance.
Most of the homeless are in California: about 171 thousand people. For comparison, in the state of New York, which ranks second in terms of “popularity” among American homeless people, there are more than 74 thousand.
The California government declared war on poverty four years ago. During this time, they spent a whopping $17.5 billion, but despite this, the number of disadvantaged people has continued to rise since 2018. But the governor’s office is confident that without the measures that have been taken in recent years , the situation of the homeless would have been even worse.
CNN reporters note that the $17.5 billion spent by state officials could theoretically be enough to pay rent for every homeless person in California for four years, even with the high cost of housing in the state.
In total, through 2024, California has committed $20.6 billion to combat homelessness. Nearly $4 billion has gone to local governments for homeless initiatives. Another $3.7 billion went to a program called Project Homekey, which is designed for local authorities to buy motels or commercial premises and convert them into housing for the homeless. Many Californians simply do not have the money to pay for the housing they have in the state.
Another $2 billion went to tax breaks for developers to build affordable housing. To date, 481 homes have already been built. The plans include the construction of 2.5 million homes by 2030, in addition to solving the problem of affordability of this housing.
– We have people who refuse to build houses for the poor. They say they are all rapists and child molesters,” said Jason Elliott, adviser to the governor.
Meanwhile, California residents are very concerned about the large number of homeless people. According to a survey conducted by the director of the Center for Vulnerable Populations at the University of California, San Francisco, Margo Kuschel, 84% of state residents said they consider homelessness a very serious problem.