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Old 10-06-2019, 01:21 PM
Location: Miami, The Magic City
3,058 posts, read 2,146,088 times
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Homelessness has been in the news in recent weeks and, oddly, I never recall seeing a thread on CD about this. How is the homeless situation in your city, with the following criteria:

Is the homeless situation a major/noticeable problem in your city?
Has the situation improved or gotten worse in recent years?
Does it effect your Quality of Living, would you move as a result?

I will start. Here in Miami there are homeless people but not as widespread or as prevalent as when I lived in California. In San Diego I ran into at least 15-25/day (in a park outside my downtown condo, sitting next to me and coming up to me at coffee shops, on my way to the gym or downtown restaurants, etc) whereas I might see 1-2/day in Brickell, though there are other sections of the city where there is a larger population. I would not call it a major problem in Miami (not even in the top 10 cities for homeless population) and the situation is not getting noticeably worse. The homeless situation in CA was not THE reason I opted to move away but certainly was a contributing factor.

How is the situation like in your city ?

Last edited by elchevere; 10-06-2019 at 01:29 PM..
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:29 PM
Location: Dallas, TX and wherever planes fly
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Throughout the desirable cities in the south it is a problem. It's gotten worse in the last 10 years and I'm not sure exactly why as jobs are fairly plentiful and the economy has been good. Although a percentage are veterans and/or suffer from mental illness or drug issues. the situation is particularly bad in California. Houston, Austin, Orlando. One reason is that in the south sure it's hot for months on end but generally you won't perish if you find a shady spot under a bridge or trees and stay hydrated. north of the 40 Latitude one won't survive the winter unless you're on the west coast.
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:42 PM
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Seattle area, south King County is pretty bad. Dozens of encampments along the highways, side streets and everywhere there's some open space. I spend a lot of time downtown Seattle, south Lake Union and south Seattle port area. It's bad. 100s of individuals and on several occasions I've seen women with young children. My encounters with them are limited due to my work. I have had to repair some of the vandalism done by them though. Just a couple of weeks ago at AML I had to replace all the instrumentation in the cab of a Komatsu WA470-8 chassis being shipped to Alaska. They also busted half the cab windows with a rock and cut the operators seat to pieces.

I imagine AML is going to have to pay for it through it's insurance since the port is supposed to be "secure" and it was in their custody at the time. I'll bet you could have bought a new car for the cost of what I replaced.
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:50 PM
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Seattle is pretty bad, but much less in the north half of greater Downtown than the south parts. Belltown (where I live) is nothing like Pioneer Square or the government district. The Seattle Center is downright pristine...no tents.
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Old 10-06-2019, 02:47 PM
Location: Montreal/Miami/Toronto
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Out of the cities I lived in, Miami had the worst (although it has improved). It was the only city I lived in where I saw mini tent cities. Usually some downtown, SoBe has quite a few homeless as well and other pockets. Montreal, it has gotten a little worse but that's because our new "progressive" local government keeps closing down shelters, and the most "progressive" areas in the city keep blocking shelters from being built (virtue signalling 101). Cabot Square is a place I avoid like the plague because it's filled with homeless people shooting up, drunk and it is a public safety issue, but with the new condos being built there, I expect them to get pushed out soon. Toronto, the population has gone up but there have been days where I wouldn't see homeless people walking downtown and some days where they're everywhere. In regards to cities I visited, nothing will ever beat what I've seen in California, that's a whole new level of crisis.
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Old 10-06-2019, 03:04 PM
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I haven't been to Seattle in a looong time, but even back then it was bad. so many junkies on the streets. are they doing anything about it, it doesn't appear to be working. SF even worse I think
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Old 10-06-2019, 03:28 PM
Location: South to West
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Where I live (a city of perhaps 230,000 give or take a few hundred, in NC), we've got a noticeable homeless population but they are mainly near the 'soup kitchen', Salvation Army, and overnight shelter. These places are all within a few blocks of each other. Then there's the Rescue Mission, which is for men only. You often see men - and women - carrying duffle bags or wearing backpacks, hanging out downtown (especially at the library). Most are alcoholics, drug addicts, mentally ill, or a combination of the three. I don't see any where I live just outside the city limits, because the homeless tend to stay closer to town where they can get free food, showers (at an agency that operates one of the shelters), clothing, and shelter. You see some that live in tents in the woods, or even inside abandoned properties, but they are few and far between. It's been this way for at least a decade now.
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Old 10-06-2019, 03:34 PM
Location: Chi > DC > Reno > SEA
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Redding, CA was horrible when I visited. It actually might have been worse than SF. I saw a few separate bands of like 10-20 homeless people hanging around in parks, plus a few random individuals walking around and panhandling downtown. On an 100-degree day, too. All of this in a city of only 100k people, and what looked like a poor city where housing prices couldn't have been that high. Our society is a disgrace.
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Old 10-06-2019, 03:50 PM
Location: Northern Virginia
1,076 posts, read 381,522 times
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I live in Arlington, VA. There are some homeless folks around here for sure, but I haven't seen any major cluster of them. It's a more suburban area, so they tend to spread out. Last year I briefly saw there was a tent someone lived in in a nearby park, I think it was gone after a night or two though. This is a *very* liberal place though, so of course it's overall a place where the homeless get some incentives to stick around, and there seems to be a tolerated base population of hobos hanging near Metro stops primarily.

What might be the saving grace is that D.C. which is even more liberal is right next door and it's got more density and tourism, so better opportunities for begging and thieving. In D.C. I have seen packs of homeless (20-30 strong) hang out with tents and stuff set up in some locations. Very similar to CA, but I think unlike in CA they do a better job of keeping them away from the 'photo opportunity' sights. You don't really see them around the museums and memorials, Park Police probably keeping a lid on it.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:14 PM
Location: The Big Apple and Shytown and Miami and Dallas and Milwalkie and St Paul-Mineopolis n DCMV n WestBay
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LA probably has the worst (despite being second to NYC). A lot of it is quite visible. The county does a near thorough annual count and the numbers change here and there between 55,000-75,000 people. It includes all types from people living rough on the streets, people in shelters, people in cars/RVs, people on sofas, people in motels and so on.

Remember this number is for LA County (10 million population). So it is about 1/2 of 1% of the county population. LA City (4million) homeless is about over 1/2 of the county's homeless population so LA City feels like it has a bigger problem. Other counties in the Southern California region have significantly less homeless making up maybe 1/3 - 1/4 or less of 1% of the population.

For many decades LA city was the place where lowest income groups lived, especially in places like South Central LA like Watts or places like Pico Union-Westlake, NELA, Eastside communities, East SFV valley, Harbor city communities. A huge poverty class with a lot of min wage type workers, larger unemployment compared to suburbs, lots of people on welfare, high school or less education. So if you were on the skids, LA was one of the last cities you would live before you went into homelessness for whatever issue. The past 10 years or even 15+ years leading up to the recession, property prices and rents slowly crept up. This pushed a lot of people from upper income areas to middle class areas. Then middle class into lower middle, and lower income areas to working class / poor. And poor into homelessness. It was a trickling down . People who could financially move out, especially working/middle classes, they went to the Inland Empire or Palmdale or Las Vegas, Phoenix, Texan cities, etc. Gentrification happening all over, LA City specifically, because it had the lowest rents and home prices 10-20 years ago. But now it has probably some of the highest prices relative to the condition of the neighborhoods. Places like Echo Park, Koreatown, East Hollywood, West Adams, Westlake, Highland Park, Boyle Heights and others are dealing with gentrification pricing out lower incomes, making it very unaffordable everyone. It wasn't just in LA but all over LA County and LA Metropolis.

Back to the homeless. I feel that the past 10-15 years of of increased COL has forced the increase of numbers of homeless BUT also forced the visible presence of homeless. How? When the neighborhoods gentrified, people with money moved in, people from all over came to these poor neighborhoods creating an appealing area to go eat, buy, hang out, etc. While there were homeless in these areas before, little was done about it. They were left to hid in certain areas like alleys, or along freeways, in dark corners of parks, or in the hills away from the public eye. But I've noticed the past 10 years, a lot of these people were cleared out into the open. The newer and richer community knew the problem and wanted something done. When things were done, the homeless became visible in the towns main streets, sleeping in tents on side streets or parking lots very visible to the entire community. Many spread throughout LA under freeway bridges, into the riverbanks and suburban areas. Constant cleanups kept moving the homeless here and there with some returning like a few week later only to start the process again. There weren't enough homes or shelters for everyone and not everyone wanted homes or shelters to due various reasons like addiction, mental illness, criminal activity. Those who want shelter, took it. That left the streets with the most visible homeless that most people associate with homelessness, like the drug addicts, alcoholics, mentally ill.

Downtown LA about 20 years ago was a ghost town after 5pm and weekends. Hardly anyone lived there and few suburban locals went there. Most businesses opened weekends were the warehouses and swapmeet type stores that lower income groups went. The homeless were everywhere yet it wasn't talked about. Skid Row has always existed. But Downtown's renaissance over the past 20 years has brought a lot money fixing up buildings for residents and bigger businesses, lots of hotels, restaurants, mainstream retail, cafes, etc. Hipsters first moved in and didnt complain as much and dealt with big city issues. Then the yuppies and then suburbanites moved in and then rich buying $1M condos. Now the tourists, locals looking for a night out, and well to do types come to downtown all the time. So the homeless issue has been very visible. The city has pushed a lot of homeless back into Skid Row borders or elsewhere, but away from many parts of gentrifying Downtown. I remember the areas outside of Union Station. Pershing Square, City Hall, LA Library, Little Tokyo Library, outside all 3 entrances of Pershing Square station having significant homeless populations, tent cities. Now so much fewer than before. Actually many parts of Downtown have so few compared to prior years. Where did they all go? Many to Skid Row or other parts of LA/County. Same thing in Hollywood. A lot of homeless but with all the new construction and businesses, many of the homeless left for other areas. dont be fooled , there are still a lot in both areas, just not as much as I remember before.

LA City has stepped up in addressing a lot of issues to solving homelessness. LA city is building lots of homeless shelters in every district rather than just concentrate all homeless and services in Downtown LA skid row. The other 88 cities in LA County and other counties of SoCal you never hear of their efforts because everyone just talks about LA City/Skid Row. So if there is any City news or USA/international articles about LA homeless, they only show Downtown's Skid Row. Im sure other cities are doing stuff to fix the problems such as in Santa Monica and Long Beach, Anaheim, Santa Ana that I know of. Building affordable housing, housing for homeless Vets at the VA facilities.

LA City's Efforts to crack down hard on homeless has been met with ACLU lawsuits that tied up the hands of City Hall. Lately LA city just renewed the ban of sleeping in cars in certain areas like residential streets overnight. LA is trying to ban sleeping on sidewalks in certain locations like near schools, parks, libraries, daycares and some other areas but is met with resistance with homeless advocacy groups. Many areas in LA city have bans on RVs or long cars of certain length overnight especially Venice which was a major problem decades before.

As I say, the homeless issue in LA is increasing in numbers, BUT also because of efforts to clean the city and fix problem areas, plus gentrification which is causing the homeless to be more visible than previous decades.

I think for those in LA City, I think Quality of Life has gotten worse, mainly do to shifting homeless populations the didnt exist before. Dealing with feces/ urine /needles/ trash on local streets, that maybe didnt exists before. Interactions with homeless is more common because more people are moving into certain areas, taking public transport, do more walking than previous decades. I constantly move for work so it isn't a choice reason to move. A lot of people with certain money bracket have moved to suburbs away from the certain parts of LA. Better schools, cleaner streets, safer. It has led these suburbs to thrive and let old LA to rot away. The renaissance of LA the past 20 years is totally changing everything about LA. Poor neighborhoods becoming nice and trendy and livable to larger percentage of the population. LA city is finally investing on fixing poor roads, fixing broken streets and sidewalks, maintaining street trees, cleaning up riverways, neighborhoods, creating city parks, planting trees, city beautification one area at a time. More investment in schools and building new schools and other things that have been on the back burner. LA is really turning 180 degrees with all the new money from property taxes, new businesses, high tourism numbers, bigger tech and media/hollywood. So LA is getting better overall, not worse. Just has to deal with all the issues that have always existed as the city improves.

Last edited by saybanana; 10-06-2019 at 05:19 PM.. Reason: changed for from p iss to urine
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