Category

Homelessness

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Coronavirus Exposes How West Coast Progressives Failed the Homeless

The coronavirus has changed almost every facet of American life. It has disrupted work routines, sent children home from school, and stress-tested the global supply chain. Medical researchers have warned for weeks that the new coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, is particularly dangerous to seniors and those with underlying health conditions. But in West Coast cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, public authorities are quickly discovering another potential tinderbox for infection: homeless encampments. This has caused significant political discomfort. Three weeks ago, when Seattle radio host Jason Rantz warned about the potential for an outbreak within homeless encampments, progressive activists slammed him as a “fascist” hoping to set up concentration camps for the most vulnerable. However, within days, Read More ›

Photo by Mihály Köles

Plot Twist

In recent years, discussion about homelessness has been circumscribed around a set of premises acceptable to progressive opinion. The homeless were thrown onto the streets, we’re told, because of rising rents, heartless landlords, and a lack of economic opportunity. Activists, journalists, and political leaders have perpetuated this line of reasoning and, following it to its conclusion, have proposed investing billions in subsidized housing to solve homelessness. But new data are undermining this narrative. As residents of West Coast cities witness the disorder associated with homeless encampments, they have found it harder to accept the progressive consensus—especially in the context of the coronavirus epidemic, which has all Americans worried about contagion. An emerging body of evidence confirms what people see plainly Read More ›

Homeless man sleeping on a bench
Sofia, Bulgaria - November 4, 2014: Homeless man is sleeping on a bench in the center of Sofia. Years after joining the EU Bulgaria is still the poorest country in the union.

What’s Really Driving the Homelessness Crisis?

The homelessness crisis in America’s West Coast cities is beginning to draw national attention. There are now an estimated 166,752 people on the streets in California, Oregon, and Washington, and sensational stories of human despair and the return of medieval diseases have captured the public imagination. Even President Donald Trump has tweeted about the “very bad and dangerous conditions” in San Francisco and warned that leaders must take action “to clean up these hazardous waste and homeless sites before the whole city rots away.” There has been remarkably little clarity, however, on the key question: What’s really driving the homelessness crisis in West Coast cities? For the past decade, progressive political leaders, activists, and media organizations have insisted that housing costs are the primary cause of homelessness. There is some Read More ›

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A Brewing Rebellion in the Emerald City

For the past five years, like many of its West Coast counterparts, Seattle has endured a steady expansion of homelessness, addiction, mental illness, crime, and street disorder. But the activist class—a political and cultural elite comprising leaders in government, nonprofits, philanthropy, and media—has enforced a strict taboo on declaring the obvious: something is terribly wrong in the Emerald City. Last month, veteran Seattle reporter Eric Johnson of KOMO violated that taboo with a shocking, hour-long documentary called Seattle is Dying, which revealed how the city has allowed a small subset of the homeless population—drug-addicted and mentally-ill criminals—to wreak havoc. Johnson’s portrait is backed up by evidence from King County homelessness data, by city attorney candidate Scott Lindsay’s “prolific offender” report on 100 homeless individuals responsible for more than 3,500 criminal cases, and by my own reporting on the homelessness crisis. Read More ›
Photo by Jason Rost
Pioneer Square, Seattle, United States

Chris Rufo Interviewed on Seattle’s KUOW

Discovery Institute Research Fellow Christopher Rufo hit the airwaves on Seattle's 94.9 KUOW radio station to discuss the homeless crisis, and how the city's seemingly "compassionate" policies have only exacerbated the problem. Read More ›