The endless litany of things folks like to point at as the "root cause" of the massive number of unhoused Californians is all bullshit. This study, the largest of its sort thus far, shows that people are not in housing because they can not afford it. Everything that people like to claim is "why" someone doesn't have a home is much easier for someone in a home to cope with. Providing housing should not be as hard as we've made it.
More than 171,000 people experience homelessness daily in California, about twice as many as the next highest state, New York. While California is home to 12% of the overall U.S. population, it hosts 30% of the nation's homeless population and half of its unsheltered population.
Homelessness in California results from a confluence of factors driven by high housing costs, the study found, corresponding with reports showing only 24 housing units available for every 100 extremely low-income families. The authors quoted other scholars who said finding housing is like a game of musical chairs — with not enough spots and individuals with challenges such as health conditions or exposure to structural racism less likely to win.
"We have got to bring housing costs down, and we've got to bring incomes up," said Dr. Margot Kushel, the study's principal investigator and director of UCSF's Benioff Institute. "We need to solve the fundamental problem — the rent is just too high."
An essential item this new study debunks is the idea that the people you see on the streets in California are not Californians, as if that matters because they are also "people," but this should end that argument.
Contrary to the "myth of homeless migration," the report said, 90% of participants lost their last housing in California and 75% still lived in the same county. A majority of participants — 66% — were born in California.