Homeless population hits record high in Newsom's California capital: report

A new report shows that the homeless population in Sacramento, California is growing, with more people than ever living without shelter.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

A new report shows that the homeless population in Sacramento, California is growing, with more people than ever living without shelter.

California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom, who once referred to himself as the "homeless czar," recently introduced a plan to house people across the state, but it only covers a fraction of what's needed.

According to the 2022 Homeless Point-In-Time Count conducted by Sacramento State University, there are currently an estimated 9,278 people living without proper shelter in the city.

This is an increase of 67 percent over 2019, when the number was 5,561.

As Capradio reports, data was collected by a team of volunteers who "canvassed shelters, streets and encampments countywide" over a period of two nights in February.

The group found that 72 percent of homeless people were found outdoors in tents, vehicles, abandoned buildings, and other such uninhabitable structures. The figures for tents and vehicles were five times higher than in 2019.

Some have speculated that COVID-19 has played a role in exacerbating the crisis, however data from the group shows that most people said they became homeless for the first time prior to the pandemic.

They noted that the results of their survey do not express the true nature of the homelessness crisis facing Sacramento, suggesting that the true number is much higher.

According to another study conducted by the group, as many as 20,000 people will "experience homelessness" in a single year, some constantly, and others on an irregular basis.

In February, Newsom announced $45 million for new "Homekey" projects in Sacramento and Los Angeles, which includes the purchase of a hotel to transform into shelter.

Sacramento and Los Angeles continue to be among the cities in California worst hit by the homelessness crisis, and though money is being poured into solutions, very little is changing.

In Los Angeles, since Prop HHH was passed in 2016 authorizing $1.2 billion for shelter, the number of homeless people has increased.


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