Homelessness in New Orleans spiked after Hurricane Katrina, reaching 11,600 by 2007; today that number has been reduced by 90%, thanks to a "housing first" (previously) approach that starts by giving homeless people stable, permanent housing, and then addressing confounding factors like mental illness and substance addiction (on the grounds that these conditions are easier to treat when people have stable housing).
Oakland, like San Francisco, has an out-of-control homeless crisis fueled by out-of-control housing prices; like San Francisco (where aid for homelessness can include tents to make outdoor sleeping more comfortable and safe), Oakland is supplying "temporary housing" for homeless people that institutionalizes a kind of living that has heretofore been viewed as a problem in and of itself.
The largest, wealthiest cities in America are filling up with tent cities — especially on the west coast, where East Coast style right-to-shelter laws are rare — and if the spectacle of human misery doesn't alarm you, perhaps you should be thinking about communicable disease epidemics.
Seattle has America's fourth-largest homeless population and virtually everything homeless people do is illegal in Washington State, which has added 288 new offenses related to homelessness to its statute-books since 2000 — amazingly, this did not convince those homeless people to stop being homeless.
A program in Salt Lake City decided that it would be smarter — and more humane — to spend $11K/year each to house 17 chronically homeless people and provide them with social workers than it would be to waste the average of $16,670/year per person to imprison them and treat them at emergency rooms. — Read the rest