US Homelessness Rate Rose This Year For First Time Since 2010

Here’s one statistic about the US economy that you probably won’t find in President Trump’s twitter feed.

Thanks to a surge in homelessness centered around several large west coast cities, the overall rate of homelessness in the US ticked higher this year, the first increase since 2010, according to a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released its annual Point in Time count Wednesday, a report that showed nearly 554,000 homeless people across the country during local tallies conducted in January. That figure is up nearly 1 percent from 2016.


Of that total, 193,000 people had no access to nightly shelter and instead were staying in vehicles, tents, the streets and other places considered uninhabitable. The unsheltered figure is up by more than 9 percent compared to two years ago.


Increases are higher in several West Coast cities, where the explosion in homelessness has prompted at least 10 city and county governments to declare states of emergency since 2015.

The homelessness crisis is only one byproduct of the burgeoning wealth inequality in the US caused by the Federal Reserve’s decision to pump trillions of dollars of “stimulus” into the markets.

Central-bank money printing has caused asset valuations to balloon while wages for everyone but the most highly skilled workers have stagnated, as the chart below illustrates.

Ironically, the primary culprit that city officials and advocates for the homeless cite as the reason behind the spike in homelessness is a strong regional economy that’s helped drive housing prices to record highs - of course, rock-bottom interest rates have made it cheaper to borrow and obtain mortgages.

All of this is helping driving up rents across every segment of the real-estate market - particularly in trendy urban areas like LA, San Francisco and Seattle.

According to the Associated Press, the most alarming consequence of the West Coast homeless explosion is a deadly hepatitis A outbreak that has afflicted Los Angeles, Santa Cruz and San Diego, the popular tourist destination in a county where more than 5,600 people now live on the streets or in their cars. The disease is spread through a liver-damaging virus that lives in feces.

Homeless populations in California, Oregon and Washington grew by 14% over the past two years, meanwhile the segment of that population considered unsheltered climbed 23% to 108,000. That is in part due a shortage of affordable housing. The unsheltered population in Seattle, the city that’s home to, grew by 44% over two years to nearly 5,500.

The homeless service area that includes most of Los Angeles County, the epicenter of the crisis, saw its total homeless count top 55,000 people, up by more than 13,000 from 2016. Of these, four out of every five are considered unsheltered, meaning tens of thousands of people have no place to sleep other than the streets or parks.

By comparison, while New York City’s homeless population grew to more than 76,000, only about 5 percent are considered unsheltered thanks to a system that can get people a cot under a roof immediately. In the West Coast states, the surge in homelessness has become part of the fabric of daily life.

For many business owners on the west coast – particularly in areas near downtown LA where the infamous Skid Row is home to thousands of homeless people – the burgeoning population of people living in the open air routinely intrudes on daily life and business.

The Monty, a bar in the Westlake neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles, usually doesn’t open until 8 p.m. Partner and general manager Corey Allen said that’s because a nearby shelter requires people staying there to be in the building by 7. Waiting until after that to open means the streets outside are calmer.


Allen said the homeless have come into his bar to bathe in the restroom wash basins, and employees have developed a strategy for stopping people from coming in to panhandle among customers.


Seventy-eight-year-old Theodore Neubauer sees the other side of it. Neubauer says he served in Vietnam but now lives in a tent in downtown Los Angeles. He is surrounded by thriving business and entertainment districts, and new apartments that are attracting scores of young people to the heart of the nation’s second most populous city.


“Well, there’s a million-dollar view,” he said.


Helping those like Neubauer is a top policy priority and political issue in Los Angeles.

One of the most interesting characteristics of the spike in homelessness is the concentration of homeless populations in places like LA. If one were to exclude the nation’s second largest city from the data, the national homelessness rate would’ve dropped 1.5%.

Of course, it makes sense that homeless people would gravitate towards cities on the west coast where services for the indigent are plentiful and the risk of dying from exposure is significantly reduced.

However, in cities like Sacramento, where rising housing costs are forcing students at Sacramento State to give up their apartments in sleep in the 24-hour study lounge. Sacramento and Alameda County each saw increases of more than 1,000 homeless individuals over the past year.

Last year, voters in the city and Los Angeles County passed a pair of tax-boosting ballot initiatives to raise an expected $4.7 billion over the next decade for affordable housing and services for the homeless.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson praised the region for dealing with the issue and not relying solely on the federal government, but LA mayor Eric Garcetti responded that insufficient federal funding for affordable housing was one of the drivers of the crisis.

“We need to move a little bit away from the concept that only the government can solve the problem,” Carson said.


But Mayor Eric Garcetti said that insufficient federal funding for affordable housing and anti-homelessness programs are part of the reason for the city’s current crisis.


“Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis was not created in a vacuum, and it cannot be solved by L.A. alone,” Garcetti said in a statement.

Meanwhile, areas that recorded a decline in homelessness, according to the survey, include Atlanta, Philadelphia, Miami, the Denver area and Hawaii, which declared a statewide homelessness emergency in 2015.


Endgame Napoleon Five Star Thu, 12/07/2017 - 18:11 Permalink

A mere apartment, resulting in no financial asset, is likewise impossible for many to afford unless they have kids that qualify them for free or reduced-cost housing and many other freebiess, like free food, free electricity, monthly cash assistance and child tax credits between $3,400 and $6,318. It all goes to people with kids, with zero going to those with no womb productivity. States like CA have no problem taking federal money to finance womb-productivity freebies for citizens and immigrants, both legal and illegal, but just not for citizens who do not have children, hence their homelessness problem, which will only grow. I do feel a little sorry for people who want houses in this era, though. It is hard to hold a marriage together in a tiny apartment with no privacy, much less adding other noisy humans. Houses cost too much. They do not build enough modest, but stylish, houses in safer areas, of which there are fewer all the time, as the middle class declines, and people just keep getting paid for having more kids than they can afford. Millennials seem to like industrial design, a simple style. it seems like builders could accommodate it without enticing people into mortgages or houses too big for their bank accounts. But people really cannot afford much of anything anymore in this country.

In reply to by Five Star

God Emperor Endgame Napoleon Thu, 12/07/2017 - 18:39 Permalink

Let me tell you who's gonna end up homeless: All those lazy millennials that have only pot and avocado on toast in their head.Especially the beta males and those third genders will get fucked bigtime, while most of the millennial girls might save themselves by marriage or selling their assets.Patriots Cheerleader Jodi Ricci Leaked Nude Selfies

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

Bes bamawatson Thu, 12/07/2017 - 18:18 Permalink

maybe the US economy is like his net worth..........dependent on his emotions"Q. Let me just understand that a little bit. Let’s talk about net worth for a second. You said that the net worth goes up and down based upon your own feelings? A. Yes, even my own feelings, as to where the world is, where the world is going, and that can change rapidly from day to day. Then you have a September 11th, and you don’t feel so good about yourself and you don’t feel so good about the world and you don’t feel so good about New York City. Then you have a year later, and the city is as hot as a pistol. Even months after that it was a different feeling. So yeah, even my own feelings affect my value to myself.Q. When you publicly state what you’re worth, what do you base that number on?A. I would say it’s my general attitude at the time that the question may be asked. And as I say, it varies."…

In reply to by bamawatson

Solosides Thu, 12/07/2017 - 17:29 Permalink

First time since 2010??? Then why have I seen literally tens of thousands of people camping under all of the bridges and overpasses in Seattle (and on the side of literally every single highway in the metro area) for the last 4 years?

cynicalskeptic rickv404 Thu, 12/07/2017 - 18:15 Permalink

They've been lying about unemployment - it's at 24% - worse than 1932.Hard to afford anyplace if you're not working. Both parties found out it was easier to lie about everything after Carter.  Gov stats haven't been worth crap since. AND the jobs that ARE out there pay crap.......   just finished a book about the whole mobile subculture living in cars, vans and crappy old RV's working seasonal jobs all over th country.   A good number arer ove 60 or 65 - can't afford to retire and will do damn near anything.Wondering when they'll open the euthanasia centers a la SOYLENT GREEN

In reply to by rickv404

two hoots NoDebt Thu, 12/07/2017 - 18:10 Permalink

More jobs, more homeless?   The manipulator's want the fed, not them or the state, to do something with all these people that migrated to their liberal West Coast areas because that's where the giveaway mindset exist.  The are all talk on compassion until it gets in their face.  

In reply to by NoDebt

The Alarmist Thu, 12/07/2017 - 17:35 Permalink

Right. Got it. There was no new homelessness under the Obama regime. No increase in opioid abuse too. These things have only sprung up under the moribund Trump economy.

buzzsaw99 Thu, 12/07/2017 - 17:54 Permalink

they want their housing bubble (because that makes their residents rich, or so they think) AND federal gubbermint subsidized "affordable" housing?  so let's say the fed gub builds and just gives 100,000 people in LA a housing project house with all paid utilities.  that would make a million more homeless people pour in there, so then we build a million, and then...those people really are messed up in the head.

Bay Area Guy Thu, 12/07/2017 - 18:05 Permalink

There are times i’m Convinced there are 500k homeless just in San Francisco given the issues they create. But I call bullshit that this is the first year since 2010 that the number has risen. I see far too much anecdotal evidence that the number has been steadily creeping up.

Mena Arkansas Thu, 12/07/2017 - 18:54 Permalink

The Great Recession technically ended in 2009, but even eight years later many Americans are still coping with the aftershocks. Virtually half, or 49 percent, of all Americans are still living paycheck-to-paycheck. Here's how many Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck… the bubble implodes the first thing employers will do is cut expenses through mass layoffs so they can save their stock prices and CEO compensation. Approximately 160 million americans appear to be living paycheck to paycheck and won't be able to hang on if their income goes to zero. Expect homelessness to explode. Not that the bankers give a fuck. They'll be toasting the "bums" from the balcony with Dom.Plus those who turn a blind eye to the homeless issue mainly caused by unbelievably stupid progressive policies may not be able to avoid the blowback caused by hygiene related diseases.In San Diego, homeless woes result in deadly outbreak…

Peak Finance Thu, 12/07/2017 - 18:54 Permalink

LOLZ! I have been following this homeless issue for some time and it's been exploding for YEARS now. It's now ok to report on it since Trump is in the WH 

SummerSausage Thu, 12/07/2017 - 19:28 Permalink

This says the tallies were done in JANUARY.  Wasn't OBAMA the president until January 20?  How is this an uptick under Trump????Damn lying left wing media cock suckers.Tell the truth. The homeless increase is in far left cities where the 1% did very well under Obama and 99% ate shit under the Kenyan.