California’s homeless crisis grows in numbers and violence

As homelessness surged to crisis levels in California in 2019, so did the violent attacks on people living in tents and on sidewalks and the political and law enforcement efforts to keep homeless encampments off the streets.

Physical assaults and criminalization efforts combined have made 2019 a particularly grim and terrifying year for many Californians struggling to survive without a roof over their head.

“They are trying to shove us underneath the carpet, and it’s just not fair,” said Shanna Couper Orona, 46, who is currently living out of an RV in San Francisco. “San Francisco is supposed to be progressive, a place where you love everyone, take care of everyone … But they’ve turned their backs on us just because we’re unhoused. They are leaving us with nothing.”

Amid expanding crisis, a surge in homeless victims

In a state with the world’s fifth largest economy, an IPO tech boom and some of the richest people on earth, California’s severe affordable housing shortage has become what advocates describe as a moral failing and public health emergency. …

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