It is a new progressive era.
In Denver in Decay, we saw that progressive politicians had a 10 year plan to end homelessness before 2015. And yet, a new study has found that homelessness was rising in Denver for years before COVID, which hasn’t led to any similar sharp rise in homelessness in Southern states.
“Denver’s annual per-capita spending on the unhoused is at least twice as high as the cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city, a new report finds.
Researchers at the University of Colorado Denver and the business-oriented, “free-enterprise” advocacy group Common Sense Institute said Thursday that Denver spends between $42,000 and $104,000 each year per person experiencing homelessness. That total includes city government spending and spending on homelessness by charitable groups and Denver Health.
Rental housing groups estimate the average annual rent for a one-bedroom unit is about $20,000. …”
“DENVER — More than 4,100 people called the streets of Denver home in 2020, the highest it’s been in six years, according to a Point-in-Time count of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night.
On Wednesday, following more than a year of public input, the city’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST) issued a draft review version of its Five-Year Strategic Plan to reduce that number by 50%. The plan’s lofty goals also includes the creation and preservation of 7,000 homes and securing 950 income-restricted rentals. …”
It would be less expensive in Colorado for taxpayers just to put them up in single bedroom apartments. The Top 10 States for Homelessness are New York, Hawaii, California, Vermont, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Alaska and Colorado. 9 out of 10 of these states are Blue States.
Why are there so many homeless people camped out in tents in downtown Denver and in right-of-ways in residential neighborhoods and the Colorado State Capitol? It turns out that at least a quarter of these people are homeless by choice. It is a lifestyle for them. They prefer to live this way in these conditions. The thing that has attracted so many of them to Colorado is generous welfare and legalized marijuana.
In most cases, this is not due to unaffordable housing or poverty or an inability to find a job. There are plenty of poor people with low job prospects in the rural South, but they have housing. This is overwhelmingly a drug addiction problem and a mental illness problem. It is a cultural problem. It is above all else an urban problem. It is subsidized and tolerated by these big cities.