December 19, 2018
CONDITIONS ON THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO ARE COMPARABLE TO “THE SLUMS OF MUMBAI, JAKARTA…MANILA”
June 25th, 2019
The Economic Collapse Blog
This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog.
Once upon a time, some of the most beautiful cities in the entire world were on the west coast, but now those same cities are degenerating into drug-infested cesspools of filth and garbage right in front of our eyes. San Francisco is known as the epicenter for our tech industry, and Los Angeles produces more entertainment than anyone else in the world, and yet both cities are making headlines all over the world for other reasons these days.
Right now, nearly a quarter of the nation’s homeless population lives in the state of California, and more are arriving with each passing day. When you walk the streets of San Francisco or Los Angeles, you can’t help but notice the open air drug markets, the giant mountains of trash, and the discarded needles and piles of human feces that are seemingly everywhere. If this is what things look like when the U.S. economy is still relatively stable, how bad are things going to get when the economy tanks?
When Leilani Farha paid a visit to San Francisco in January, she knew the grim reputation of the city’s homeless encampments. In her four years as the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Adequate Housing, Farha has visited the slums of Mumbai, Delhi, Mexico City, Jakarta, and Manila. The crisis in San Francisco, she said, is comparable to these conditions.
I have never been to Mumbai, Delhi, Mexico City, Jakarta, or Manila, and so I will just have to take her word for what the conditions are like there.
But how can this be happening in one of the wealthiest cities in the entire country?
Sadly, to a large degree, San Francisco has done this to itself. Every single day drugs are openly bought and sold at “an outdoor market of sorts” right in the heart of the city, and authorities know exactly where it is happening…
To drill down on the epicenter of the crisis, a recent New York Times inquiry set out to find the dirtiest block in San Francisco. After asking statisticians to compile a list of streets with the most neighborhood complaints regarding sidewalk cleanliness, the Times landed on a winner: Hyde Street’s 300 block, which received more than 2,200 complaints over the last decade.
A visit to the block yields a harrowing sight of drug addicts and mentally ill residents, many of whom are part of the city’s overwhelmingly large homeless population. During the day, drug users host an outdoor market of sorts, selling heroin, crack cocaine, and amphetamines along the sidewalks.
They could shut down the drug dealing if they really wanted to do so.
And anywhere the illegal drug trade is thriving, you are also going to have a lot of property crime. At this point, no city in America has a higher rate of property crime than San Francisco does…
San Francisco is the nation’s leader in property crime. Burglary, larceny, shoplifting, and vandalism are included under this ugly umbrella. The rate of car break-ins is particularly striking: in 2017 over 30,000 reports were filed, and the current average is 51 per day. Other low-level offenses, including drug dealing, street harassment, encampments, indecent exposure, public intoxication, simple assault, and disorderly conduct are also rampant.
Meanwhile, things are not much better in Los Angeles. In fact, many would argue that L.A. is in even worse condition.
The homeless population in the city has risen 16 percent since last year, and it is taking over neighborhood after neighborhood. Los Angeles was once one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world, but now it is rapidly being transformed into a hellhole…
If someone predicted half a century ago that a Los Angeles police station or indeed L.A. City Hall would be in danger of periodic, flea-borne infectious typhus outbreaks, he would have been considered unhinged. After all, the city that gave us the modern freeway system is not supposed to resemble Justinian’s sixth-century Constantinople. Yet typhus, along with outbreaks of infectious hepatitis A, are in the news on California streets. The sidewalks of the state’s major cities are homes to piles of used needles, feces, and refuse. Hygienists warn that permissive municipal governments are setting the stage — through spiking populations of history’s banes of fleas, lice, and rats — for possible dark-age outbreaks of plague or worse.
Skid Row is the epicenter of the homeless problem in L.A., and I highly recommend that you do not go down there to check it out for yourself.
It is hard to believe that people are actually living this way in America in 2019. This is what one reporter witnessed during his visit to the neighborhood…
If you want to know how bad the homelessness crisis has gotten in California, just turn to 4 squares miles east of Main Street in downtown Los Angeles. The area, known as Skid Row, has long been inhabited by the city’s poorest residents. These days it resembles something akin to a nightmare.
Residents sleep in tents surrounded by discarded needles and feces, their belongings tucked into trash bags and shopping carts. Some shade themselves with tarps or use nearby light poles to connect to power. Others have contracted typhus from rats scurrying across the sidewalk. One resident was even found bathing in the water from a broken fire hydrant.
This is where the rest of the country is headed if we are not very careful. Bad policies have bad consequences, and our leaders have been taking us in the wrong direction for a very long time.
And instead of getting to the root of our problems, most of our politicians seem to think that engaging in bizarre social experiments will somehow solve our problems.
For example, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is convinced that we can solve the homeless problem by building tiny housing units in the backyards of private homeowners…
As part of this mission, the city is pursuing a pilot program, made possible by a $1 million Bloomberg Philanthropies grant, that would help homeowners install backyard units on their properties. In exchange for a $10,000 to $30,000 stipend, homeowners would be able to charge a small rent to homeless tenants, who would pay their share through vouchers or their own income. The city also plans to institute a matchmaking process that pairs owners and tenants.
“Our homeless crisis demands that we get creative,” the mayor said. If the backyard pilot works, he added, the idea could be adopted anywhere.
So if you live in Los Angeles, soon you will be able to bring the needles and piles of human feces from Skid Row into your own backyard.
Meanwhile, homeless people keep dropping dead night after night in Los Angeles. Just check out these staggering numbers…
A record number of homeless people — 918 last year alone — are dying across Los Angeles County, on bus benches, hillsides, railroad tracks and sidewalks.
Deaths have jumped 76% in the past five years, outpacing the growth of the homeless population, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of the coroner’s data.
Year after year, this homelessness crisis is only getting worse.
The fabric of our society is literally coming apart right in front of our eyes, and we can all see what is happening, and yet our leaders seem absolutely powerless to fix it.
If we continue on this trajectory, what is our nation going to look like in a few years?
Just something to think about…
Michael Snyder is the author of the book Get Prepared Now!: Why A Great Crisis Is Coming & How You Can Survive It. In the book, economic expert Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse Blog and Barbara Fix, author of Survival: Prepare Before Disaster Strikes, address the whys and the hows of getting prepared for the coming crisis in their new book. Topics include looming economic collapse, Ebola, drought andincreasing weather-related disasters, our extremely vulnerable power grid, civil unrest, and practical steps for storing food and supplies that you will need.
W. O. Belfield, Jr.
April 9, 2009
I live in LA, and have not heard Gracetti’s idea, but it it totally absurd. City codes on guests houses and what they call granny flats are strict. Guest houses can not have kitchens and it’s illegal to rent out guest houses. Reason is homes are single family zoning, limiting a guest house codes so you do not become 2 on a lot status. Sq footage is limited on guest houses, many people try to bootleg in kitchen or cooking, and rent them out, but one neighbor complaint they will make you tear out any kitchen capabilities. All this would require city planning to rezone to allow more than one home on a lot. I’ve owned my home 45 years and have had to fight proposed zoning changes to let developers overbuild the lots with high density housing. What’s next, a socialist law that says if I have extra rooms I have to allow the homeless to live here under a voucher program, or have my block turn into backyard encampments, when one permitted sneaks in 5 more and it’s impossible to evict them? Plus the trust issue of the element they would be infiltrating your neighborhood with? Garcetti is an idiot. Not about to let my block have this and have these people dragging in drug addiction and crime, break ins, you couldn’t even go to the market and trust who is in the backyard stealing from you. It I’m allowed to rent out a guest house it’s not going to be to someone on vouchers, and problems. All these housing programs are filled with problems, and the abuse is appalling. If you think taking someone off skid row would not be a big problem, you are fooling yourself.
April 9, 2009
Being from California, where are the minds of the elected people who mostly are millionaires out of touch with real people and problems, and affluent people preach about social issues. they advocate gun laws for instance, while they live with armed body guards and live in gated communities, but say borders should be open. Walls and gates are OK for them with security forces, but we are racists for wanting illegal immigration to be stopped.
With a major homeless problem, what are they thinking, to let millions in, who will instantly be on welfare, get subsidized medical, enroll their kids in our schools for free, and probably get section 8 housing, food stamps, and every other social program. It becomes an art to qualify for all these things, and engineer themselves to stay under monetary thresholds to no be disqualified, in other words work under the table for cash, and have no job.
Many of the homeless, do get monthly checks or food cards, and they adapt to street living, and do not want to get out of that. They adapt to this life, they get there drugs or alcohol, and do not want to change. Yes, some are circumstances of job loss, get evicted, and live in cars with no place to go. I just went to Home Depot in a industrial area, and the street like many in industrial areas are lined with motor homes. I couldn't even turn left exiting the place. Those are different kinds of encampments from skid row tents. People left homes in trashy motor homes, and park them. The police are overwhelmed with other problems so its pretty much ignored by the cops, who are directed by the mayor and other politicians to just let it alone. Its like the illegal population, they just say leave it alone, so they all just are a drain on city facilities and things real taxpayers support.
Now that the situation is out of control, they want to allow, little shacks to be built in back yards, and homeowners paid with a voucher. I have seen abandoned or foreclosed homes end up with squatters just moving in, and it takes months to evict them. On our block the homeless were coming off the RR tracks and snuck into a guest house of a empty home for sale. they jumped fences in the large back yards to break in. These are the homeless we are supposed to feel sorry for, who break into homes, live in encampments with feces all other the place, and thousands and thousands of needles all over the ground in them.