As of 2020, there were approximately 580,466 homeless people in the United States, either living out in the streets or staying the night in shelters all over the country. Around 70 percent of these homeless people are individuals, while the remaining are families with children.
The collection of accurate data regarding homelessness in America has stopped since 2020 due to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. But it is generally agreed that the number of homeless people in the U.S. has likely increased.
"If things are this bad now, how many of our fellow citizens will be sleeping in the streets when economic conditions are much worse a year or two from today?" a post for The Economic Collapse Blog stated. "We are supposed to be the greatest nation on the planet, but with each passing day, even more tent cities are established. Our system is failing, and the widespread economic suffering that we are witnessing right now is truly difficult to comprehend."
California has by far the most homeless people in the United States. As of 2020, there were 161,548 homeless people in the country, which is nearly double the 91,271 homeless population of New York. (Related: Poll: San Francisco residents most likely to move to different city due to high crime rate and homelessness.)
The state's major population centers like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento have some of the largest homeless populations in the country.
By the rate of homelessness, Humboldt County in northern California has the highest rate with 125.5 homeless people out of every 10,000. San Francisco has the fourth highest rate, with 92.2 homeless out of every 10,000. Mendocino, Imperial, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles Counties have the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th highest rates of homelessness, with 86.6, 84.3, 82.9 and 69 homeless people out of every 10,000 people, respectively.
Local, county and state-level programs to deal with California's homelessness crisis are also being severely hampered by a variety of factors, including politics and corruption.
For example, the California State Auditor released a report in Nov. 2020 criticizing state and local agencies for their "mismanagement and ultimate waste" of $2.7 billion in taxpayer-funded bonds intended to support affordable housing efforts.
The auditor released a similar report the following year, condemning the mismanagement of efforts to deal with the homelessness crisis in the state and reiterating that the state holds the record for the largest homeless population in the U.S. "likely in part because its approach to addressing homelessness has been disjointed" and mired in too much bureaucracy.
"At least nine state agencies administer and oversee 41 different programs that provide funding to mitigate homelessness, yet no single entity oversees the state's efforts or is responsible for developing a statewide strategic plan," read the 2021 audit.
As Michele Steeb noted in an opinion piece for Fox News, both state audit reports show the need to provide local authorities with a lot more "flexibility, innovation and accountability" to tackle the state's homeless crisis.
"As with many government-centric programs, lack of an overall plan and duplicative efforts result in bureaucratic red tape and largesse, with beleaguered results," she wrote.
Read more news about homelessness at Collapse.news.
Watch this episode of the "Health Ranger Report" as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, discusses how giant homeless encampments are set to explode across the United States.