That’s only a little short of the starting salary of an FDNY firefighter at $39,000.
More money will be spent on the homeless than on the firefighters who save New Yorkers from burning buildings. The FDNY will have to make do with $2.04 billion, and the health department with $1.6 billion.
That’s impressive for DHS, a department that was only created in 1993 by the disgraced Dinkins administration and is now burning through more cash than agencies fulfilling actual vital city functions.
Two years ago, DHS had over 2,600 employees. That’s 1 employee to every 23 homeless people. Meanwhile 234 New Yorkers get only 1 police officer to serve and protect them from criminals.
Has this vast infusion of cash solved homelessness in the city? Nope.
New York’s homeless population has kept on growing until it now has more homeless people than any other city. New York City’s homeless growth rate is also faster than that of any other city.
Maybe because it spends more than any other city. But Los Angeles is catching up.
Its $4.6 billion package of homeless tax increases are staggering. Los Angeles doubled its homeless budget to $450 million. Los Angeles County plans to spend $374 million. That’s 1 percent of a budget meant to service a population of over 10 million going to just 53,193 people.
As Los Angeles threw more money at the homeless problem, its homeless population increased 26%.
New York City and Los Angeles only account for 3 to 5 percent of the country’s population, but for a quarter of the country’s homeless population. Even considering inflated real estate prices in both cities, a national problem should not be this disproportionately concentrated in only two cities.
San Francisco will be spending $279 million on 7,499 homeless people. Seattle is spending $63 million, up from $39 million four years ago, while the Puget Sound area may be spending up to $1.06 billion.
New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Portland, Seattle and the Bay Area are responsible for much of the national growth in homelessness. Activists blame the crisis on soaring real estate prices. While those are some of the most expensive cities in the country, they’ve been that way for quite some time.
Rapid gentrification may catch local residents by surprise in cities with more recent booms. But no one is likely to be surprised by the cost of living in the Bay Area, Los Angeles or New York City. And those cities are also dedicating the most resource to fighting homelessness while only making the problem worse.
The statistics on homelessness are full of such curious mysteries. Why do New York and California have more homeless people than 30 states combined?
Why does Texas have only 17% of the homeless population of California? Why does Colorado have four times the homeless population of Utah? Why do Oregon and Washington have more homeless than Montana, Idaho, South and North Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Nebraska, Kansas, and Iowa combined?
The pattern is political. And lucrative.
Social crises justify huge spending and expansions of the government. The homeless crisis is largely a problem in lefty cities where it’s heavily subsidized.
Federal HUD homeless grants hit $2 billion in 2018.
Read the full story from Front Page Mag
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