U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-07-2014, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,145 posts, read 14,121,705 times
Reputation: 7075

Advertisements

I've seen the same kind of thing in NYC, Burlington, VT and Northampton, MA. But rarely in the large metros.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-07-2014, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,419 posts, read 11,920,328 times
Reputation: 10536
My brother had a friend from high school who decided he was going to be a Berkeley squatter for awhile. He didn't even last a year. One of his "roomates" flipped out and killed his girlfriend one night, and made all of them help him bury the body in the morning. He called for his dad to pick him up later that day. Sells used cars now, IIRC.

For whatever reason, the "squatter" population (plus the more defined subcultures of gutter punks and crusties) tends to avoid cities with large black populations, with New Orleans being the only major exception. Whether this is due to residual racism on the part of the "homeless by choice" kids (who often are, as noted, lifestyle tourists from suburban backgrounds), I'm not altogether sure. Certainly if you want to live well as a squatter there's plenty of low-cost options in the rust belt.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2014, 10:24 AM
 
Location: New York NY
4,266 posts, read 6,346,948 times
Reputation: 9056
I suspect what you see in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, is what's boosting homelesness everywhere:

--Rising rents in many cities means the end of skid row housing. Have you seen the Bowery in NYC rcently?
--NIMBY resistance to Section 8 housing means poor families have fewer places to live.
--Federal and state cutbacks for affordable housing in many cities means fewer homes for the poor.
--Deinstitutinalization over the past few decades has resulted in more mentally ill folks roaming streets.
--Lack of treatment for substance abuse means more addicted folks are are wandering around homeless.
--More women are homeless because of their refusal any more to stay with an abusive spouse.
--The recession has caused many families to lose their homes and gov't to cut back on services.
--In some jurisdictions laws, custom, or court rulings have kept localities from clearing the homeless from public spaces.

There have always been some folks who chose to live on the streets -- those once middle-class kids finding themselves, kids who've been kicked out or ran away from home for various reasons, alcoholics and druggies, or mentally sound but adventurous hobos and itenerants who just prefer not having a fixed address.

But the rise in the number of homeless we see today is a function of many forces -- cultural, political, and economic -- aside from just "lazy and crazy" that have boosted their number everywhere.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2014, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,419 posts, read 11,920,328 times
Reputation: 10536
The amount of homeless people is actually going down.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2014, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,701 posts, read 4,670,319 times
Reputation: 3676
Quote:
Originally Posted by GatsbyGatz View Post
This is not a problem exclusive to the PNW. They're in all major West Coast cities (and many East Coast, too). Ever been to SF or LA?

A general search on Wikipedia will give you some estimations.

In its January 2013 census, Los Angeles County counted 39,463 people sleeping on the street or in homeless shelters. When including persons sleeping on private property with permission to stay no more than 90 days, the estimated number of homeless in Los Angeles County is 57,737.

According to the Coalition for the Homeless, the homeless population of New York rose to an all-time high in 2011. A reported 113,552 people slept in the city's emergency shelters last year, including over 40,000 children; marking an 8 percent increase from the previous year and a 37 percent increase from 2002.

San Francisco's homeless population has been estimated at 10,000 people.

Seattle's homeless population is estimated at 8,000.

Last time I was in Portland, I was appalled. The streets were littered in homeless. It seemed like a bum hung around every single street corner.
Yes- what happens is that homeless people travel from other parts of the country to be here on the west coast, for two reasons. For one the weather is more mild than most of the rest of the country so it's not as uncomfortable to be outside, and two we have better social programs for them- they get more options for food, shelter, etc. here than in many other places. I don't like it, I wish they would not collect out here, it definitely makes you think twice about taking the wife and kids walking down certain streets downtown if there are homeless people hanging out there. After all, you never know what can happen- after a Seattle Sounders soccer game one evening last year a guy and his wife were walking down the street a few blocks from the stadium and a random homeless guy attacked the guy- stabbing him- because he (the homeless guy) was mentally ill and thought the guy was the devil or something like that. The guy ended up dying.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2014, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA
13,420 posts, read 16,959,899 times
Reputation: 9512
Quote:
Originally Posted by GatsbyGatz View Post
This is not a problem exclusive to the PNW. They're in all major West Coast cities (and many East Coast, too). Ever been to SF or LA?

A general search on Wikipedia will give you some estimations.

In its January 2013 census, Los Angeles County counted 39,463 people sleeping on the street or in homeless shelters. When including persons sleeping on private property with permission to stay no more than 90 days, the estimated number of homeless in Los Angeles County is 57,737.

According to the Coalition for the Homeless, the homeless population of New York rose to an all-time high in 2011. A reported 113,552 people slept in the city's emergency shelters last year, including over 40,000 children; marking an 8 percent increase from the previous year and a 37 percent increase from 2002.

San Francisco's homeless population has been estimated at 10,000 people.

Seattle's homeless population is estimated at 8,000.

Last time I was in Portland, I was appalled. The streets were littered in homeless. It seemed like a bum hung around every single street corner.
I think all those numbers are WAY WAY on the low side. There are far more than 10,000 homeless in SFO. FAR more ...

And there are nearly 10 million people in LA County but only 57,000 homeless?! Balderdash!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2014, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,958 posts, read 3,818,501 times
Reputation: 3281
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm31828 View Post
Yes- what happens is that homeless people travel from other parts of the country to be here on the west coast, for two reasons. For one the weather is more mild than most of the rest of the country so it's not as uncomfortable to be outside, and two we have better social programs for them- they get more options for food, shelter, etc. here than in many other places. I don't like it, I wish they would not collect out here, it definitely makes you think twice about taking the wife and kids walking down certain streets downtown if there are homeless people hanging out there. After all, you never know what can happen- after a Seattle Sounders soccer game one evening last year a guy and his wife were walking down the street a few blocks from the stadium and a random homeless guy attacked the guy- stabbing him- because he (the homeless guy) was mentally ill and thought the guy was the devil or something like that. The guy ended up dying.
Sounds like a story last year when a female tourist walking down Hollywood BLVD was stabbed to death by a homeless man for no reason whatsoever.

Many of these people are mentally deranged and it's a disgrace that our government doesn't do something about it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2014, 03:04 PM
 
390 posts, read 784,625 times
Reputation: 504
Quote:
Originally Posted by GatsbyGatz View Post
Sounds like a story last year when a female tourist walking down Hollywood BLVD was stabbed to death by a homeless man for no reason whatsoever.

Many of these people are mentally deranged and it's a disgrace that our government doesn't do something about it.
You can thank Ronald Reagan for that.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2014, 04:25 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,970 times
Reputation: 10
Default Public spaces have become living rooms for street people

I recently visited Seattle and Portand and was so struck by the increase in numbers of homeless people gathering in the public parks and squares in both cities. These public spaces have become the living rooms for the huge number of homeless and street people that seem to have nowhere else to go. It's such a sign of the times, and I wonder what our government is doing to address the root cause of the issue? and what local governments are doing to help these people, as it appears they are not doing much!

These spaces used to be beautiful and utilized by locals and visitors, but while touring the historical Pioneer Square in Seattle, I was afraid to stand still for too long, as every place to sit in that square by the totem poll was taken by street people and I did not feel safe. Same thing in Portland, the green parks are filled with unhappy looking street people. I can only imagine how visitors from other countries perceive all this?!

The increase in poverty across our nation is showing up big time in the cities, there needs to be major change on a core level of our government to turn this situation around!! It's really sad.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-23-2014, 09:58 AM
 
1,661 posts, read 1,994,279 times
Reputation: 2141
Liberal towns that let it happen. Also for a lot of them it is the last stop before heading to Alaska or Canada.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top