San Francisco’s residents continued to flee the region’s escalating homeless crisis this week; with new statistics showing the local transient population increasing by 17% since 2017 as officials pledge more than $300 million annually to regain control.
“Despite creating hundreds of new shelter beds and spending more than $300 million annually on homelessness, San Francisco has seen the number of homeless people in the city rise by 17% since 2017 — with a whopping amount of that increase coming from people living in vehicles,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
“The number of people living in cars, RVs and other vehicles has risen by 45% since the last one-night count was taken two years ago. That much has been anecdotally evident for months, particularly in industrial Bayview neighborhoods, where vehicle colonies have sprouted in ever-increasing numbers over the past year,” adds the newspaper.
Homelessness soars in three San Francisco Bay Area counties where affordable housing is hard to find and divisions about how to solve the crisis abound. https://t.co/bNc3rZkjQW
— AP West Region (@APWestRegion) May 17, 2019
Los Angeles continued its own ongoing struggle with rampant homelessness and crumbling infrastructure this week, with residents complaining of “rotting trash piles” that are attacking rats and posing a major risk to the health of residents and tourists.
“Rat-infested piles of rotting garbage left uncollected by the city of Los Angeles, even after promises to clean it up, are fueling concerns about a new epidemic after last year’s record number of flea-borne typhus cases,” reports NBC Los Angeles.
“Even the city’s most notorious trash pile, located between downtown LA’s busy Fashion and Produce districts, continues to be a magnet for rats after it was cleaned up months ago. The rodents can carry typhus-infected fleas, which can spread the disease to humans through bacteria rubbed into the eyes or cuts and scrapes on the skin, resulting in severe flu-like symptoms,” adds the article.
“I can’t walk down the street without thinking that a flea could jump on me,” complained a local business owner.
“It’s something that we’ll look into,” said Pepe Garica, of Los Angeles’ bureau of sanitation.
Read the full report at the San Francisco Chronicle.