Why Won’t Policymakers Talk More About Drugs and Homelessness?
A Strict ‘Housing First’ Approach Oversimplifies the Complexity of a West Coast Epidemic
More than half of America’s unsheltered population lives in just three states—California, Oregon, and Washington—and West Coast voters are demanding a response. Homelessness ranked as the top concern in a recent poll of likely voters in the Los Angeles mayor’s race. Last year, Seattle residents replaced a long-serving progressive city attorney with a Democrat-turned-Republican who vowed to clear encampments. And San Francisco’s progressive district attorney may be headed for defeat in an upcoming recall election, in part because of spiraling crime rates in neighborhoods with large homeless populations.
Much of the …