Analysis: Democrats Ignore Homelessness Crisis At Own Peril

Democrats run the risk of a public relations crisis due to the ongoing homelessness crisis that is often found within cities run by their party. Cities along the Pacific coast are among the most high-profile in attempting to aid hundreds of thousands of homeless, often to limited success.

Homelessness is a nationwide issue, but cities and states dominated by Democrats are disproportionately represented.

Cities such as San Francisco and Portland received considerable attention due to the growing homelessness crisis within their borders.

Many San Francisco residents cite homelessness as one of the worst problems facing the city. The city alone has about 40,000 people living on its street on average, and this number has increased by more than a third over the last four years.

Furthermore, the city faces several factors that are common among large cities dominated by the Democratic Party. High costs of living due to restrictive building policies have made it more difficult to buy or rent living space. 

Furthermore, many cities face a significant increase in the homeless population addicted to opioids. 

A significant number of the homeless population are considered “chronically” so, which often finds individuals given help by the state or cities back on the streets.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D) announced a major funding package to deal with the ongoing homeless situation.

However, California’s approach has not achieved considerable success. Both the state and individual cities have increased funding considerably, yet saw the number of homeless increase. 

While Sacramento spent almost $10 billion on homelessness between 2018 and 2021, the large majority of those it was intended to help have not received permanent housing. Nearly a quarter of the money spent has not been fully accounted for.

San Francisco is not the only California city to face a significant homeless crisis. Los Angeles is host to a large tent city. The city attempted to shrink the encampment by passing a number of restrictions on living in tents.

However, the city has had limited enforcement of its own anti-homelessness laws.

While California votes heavily Democratic, the surprising strength of radio host and Republican Larry Elder’s campaign for governor could show that many residents desire a solution to the ongoing homelessness crisis.