Homelessness isn’t about not having a home. It has much to do with mental illness and alcohol and drug abuse, neither is being handled properly in the United States. Reagan has been blamed for a lot of the problems treating mental illness as he invoked policies to alter the social welfare state for conservatives. There are arguments that he just carried on policies that were already being implemented. No matter, the problem exists, just take a bike ride along the Venice Beach bike path. Drug and alcohol abuse are also key issues, so it’s not about housing and jobs, it’s about dealing with these problems properly.
The problem in Los Angeles is abysmal and doesn’t appear to being dealt with in any substantial manner. The enclaves are getting bigger…and bigger. A local politician made the uninformed suggestion to move the homeless to real estate in the eastern part of Los Angeles where land is cheaper and build housing and factories for them. If you look at the ‘homeless’ there are few that want to or are capable of work. Maybe he was thinking of an AIR JORDAN factory.
It’s tough to find proper stats about the specific problems. The easiest and most accessible statistics put the number of mentally ill and users at far more than fifty percent. An independent researcher in Portland put the figure in the high nineties.
Conventional wisdom is that the homeless are poor people that cannot afford a home. Los Angeles has absorbed millions of Hispanic people over the past few years and none are homeless. That simply means that the problem can be dealt with by human feelings.