What’s Behind California’s Sudden Urge to Help the Homeless?

It’s the Rich, Now Crowded Next to the Destitute in the Housing-Crunched State, Who Are Driving Politicians’ Newfound Attentiveness

Taking a break

How did homelessness suddenly become such a hot issue across California? There are many reasons, and few of them have anything to do with people who are homeless.

Those reasons—economic anxiety, budget surpluses, tax schemes, housing prices, prison reform, health care expansion, urban wealth, and political opportunism have combined to create today’s “homeless moment” in California.

For decades, combating homelessness has been a civic obsession in the San Francisco Bay Area, with its long tradition of progressive politics and generous homeless services. Now that homeless hubbub has spread statewide. To the …

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