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US sees biggest EVER spike in homelessness as country sees a record 11% increase in a year to nearly 600,000 rough sleepers: San Francisco and Oakland are ‘hotbeds’ with ‘drug tourists’ flocking to the cities

The United States has seen the biggest ever spike in homeless people living on the streets – as preliminary figures showed a record 11 percent increase in one year.

There are nearly 600,000 rough sleepers across cities and towns in America, and the jump from 2022 to 2023 so far is the highest since the government started tracking the data in 2007, according to the WSJ. 

Places like Oakland and San Francisco in California have become hotbeds for homelessness, as people living on the streets are like ‘drug tourists’ who arrive to have easy access to narcotics. 

The numbers keep increasing year-on-year in Los Angeles and Seattle too.

Using data from 300 entities that count the number of homeless people in different vicinities, the WSJ estimated 577,000 people are sleeping rough so far this year, compared with 582,462 in the whole of 2022.

Last year’s total was up dramatically from the 380,630 recorded in 2021 – a total the WSJ says is lower because of pandemic counting disruptions.

A homeless person is seen sleeping on the streets in downtown Los Angeles

A homeless person is seen sleeping on the streets in downtown Los Angeles

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is expected to publish formal figures this year, but the preliminary study has shown how the issues of crime, drug abuse, and lack of housing has exacerbated the number of homelessness.

And the chronic homeless number for 2022 – categorized as people who have a disabling condition who have been unhoused for a year or more – was 138,361. 

This was up from 64,278 in 2021 – again thought to be lower than normal due to pandemic counting disruptions. 

During the pandemic, there were relief programs in place across the US to ease the burden of housing issues – including eviction bans for renters – but now with these schemes petering out, homelessness has become a more acute problem. 

Costs and the lack of available housing are also big issues – as well as the migrant crisis.

In city centers like New York, an average of 2,300 migrants from the border arrive weekly – putting a strain on housing and forcing many to take to the streets. 

Just last week, hundreds of people were forced to sleep outside the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown Manhattan for days while seeking temporary housing facilities. 

Seneca Scott, founder of Neighbors Together Oakland, told Fox about the California cities: ‘Oakland and San Francisco have become the promised land of milk and fentanyl, and people are coming here.

There are currently an estimated 42,260 people sleeping rough in the City of Angels - a startling 10 percent rise compared to just last year, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reported

There are currently an estimated 42,260 people sleeping rough in the City of Angels – a startling 10 percent rise compared to just last year, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reported

The number of homeless people in LA has more than doubled in the past decade

The number of homeless people in LA has more than doubled in the past decade

‘People who are homeless in Oakland now typically are not from here. They’re drug tourists. They’re coming here for the safe and easy access to their drug of choice and the ability to also steal to support those habits because there’s no rule of law.

‘Our homeless crisis has helped deteriorate our property value. If you combine that with the eviction moratorium and other government policies, we have a situation now where the property values of people are plummeting.’ 

In Oakland, the homeless population has grown to over 5,000 – a 50 percent increase – since 2015, according to city data.  

The devastating homeless crisis is also tormenting downtown LA – where filthy ramshackle tent cities are plagued by zombie-like residents smoking drugs, while others hawk stolen goods on street corners.

This data set shows the number of chronic homelessness in the US. This is categorized as people who have a disabling condition who have been unhoused for a year or more

This data set shows the number of chronic homelessness in the US. This is categorized as people who have a disabling condition who have been unhoused for a year or more

There are currently an estimated 42,260 people sleeping rough in the City of Angels – a startling 10 percent rise compared to just last year, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reported.

Just this week, it emerged that the city had resorted to sending mobile teams with oxygen cylinders to Skid Row in a desperate bid to prevent overdoses amid its crippling opioid crisis.

Workers from the non profit Homeless Health Care Los Angeles are now patrolling the streets among snaking lines of makeshift dwellings where homeless people can be seen sleeping among the few belongings they own – as others in dire health inject or smoke illicit substances. 

The number of homeless people in LA has more than doubled in the past decade.

A homeless man in his encampment in downtown Phoenix, Arizona

A homeless man in his encampment in downtown Phoenix, Arizona 

The homeless population in Seattle grew by nearly 38 percent from 2020 to 2022, with about 7,620 people reported to be living outside in King County

The homeless population in Seattle grew by nearly 38 percent from 2020 to 2022, with about 7,620 people reported to be living outside in King County

There was a 9 percent rise in homelessness in Los Angeles County between 2022 and 2023, with the unhoused population now totaling 75,518 people, according to the latest data from the LAHSA.

The city of Los Angeles saw an estimated 10 percent rise to a total of 46,260 people.

And in Seattle, residents were furious after hundreds of tiny homes meant to house the homeless sit locked up in storage while sprawling homeless encampments grow.

The King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA), the agency tasked with coordinating homeless services in the city, has been put on blast for the delay in deploying the miniature homes.

Komo News revealed that there are at least 204 unused homes that are locked up and kept guarded by a fence, leaving people to sleep on the streets.

The homeless population in Seattle grew by nearly 38 percent from 2020 to 2022, with about 7,620 people reported to be living outside in King County. 


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