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Roughly Half of America's 'Unsheltered' Homeless People Reside in One State

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Last month, Townhall reported how homeless encampments have been set up inside of the terminal buildings at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport as the city’s homeless population saw an uptick. The homeless encampments inside the airport sparked “serious safety concerns” among airport staff and passengers. However, according to a report this week, about half of America’s “unsheltered” homeless people live in one state. 

According to a Fox News report this week, a third of the United States’ entire homeless population and half of all “unsheltered” homeless people live in California. And, the state’s homeless population grew about 6 percent since 2020, while the rest of the country increased about 0.4 percent (via Fox News):

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's "Point in Time" survey, conducted in January 2022 and released at year's end, indicated that at least 30% of all of America's homeless population live in the Golden State, with homeless tents and encampments prevalent in some urban centers.

The survey showed that around 115,500 "unsheltered" people – half of the total roughly 233,800 "unsheltered" population – reside in California. 

The Public Policy Institute of California analyzed the data and compared it to the two years prior, finding a "new snapshot of California’s homeless population." 

Primarily, California’s homeless population increased by roughly 6% since 2020 compared to just 0.4% in the rest of the country. The biggest change occurred in the “homeless but sheltered” population, which spiked 17% in that period, while the “unsheltered” population rose by around 2%.

This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to handle the state’s homelessness problem by distributing “tiny homes” that “can be easily placed on empty lots to provide temporary housing for those being cleared from the street.” Reportedly, Newsom’s administration wants to begin installing the homes this fall. 

According to Capital Public Radio, Sacramento will receive 350 homes, Los Angeles will receive 500, San Jose will receive 200, and San Diego County will receive 150 homes. 

“The one thing we are lacking are [shelter] beds,” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg told the outlet. “We are maxed out. When I started as mayor, we had less than 100 beds a night that the city was funding. Now we’re up to 1,100 a night. But they are full.” 


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