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POLITICS (State, Local): California, local city (neighborhood) gentrification, homelessness?: Analysis, "As gentrification escalates in Calif., people wonder: Where can the homeless go?" ....

***California, local city (neighborhood) gentrification, homelessness?

* Washington Post (Scott Wilson):  "As gentrification escalates in Calif., people wonder: Where can the homeless go?" - From the WP:

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — The search party pulled out of a McDonald’s parking lot, a collection of homeless men and women and their advocates squeezed into VW station wagons and old SUVs. They sought a patch of land or a spare building, a place — any place — where dozens of people might live for a while. The cars passed neighborhoods of two-story homes along a ridgeline with views of the Pacific Ocean surf and then wound through a business park. They stopped next to a field of knee-high grass that the guide warned was off-limits because of rattlesnakes.

No bus line runs here, and the nearest grocery is a hilly two-mile walk. The only real virtue of the one-acre lot was that, while people work in the neighboring tech warehouses, no one actually lives anywhere near here.  “We need our own area without a lot of people around,” Jennifer Juarez, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and has been homeless for years, said as she surveyed the field. “But this? I don’t know.”

That this remote lot is even a temporary housing option for some of Orange County’s 5,000 homeless people speaks to the growing compassion fatigue that California is confronting. Frustrated with the slow pace of politics and demanding immediate, street-level action, residents in the wealthiest counties along California’s coast have been agitating for a solution — which increasingly involves pushing homeless people out of sight. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) recently called it “the greatest moral and humanitarian crisis of our time.”

In recent weeks, local governments from the northern city of San Francisco to here in Orange County have cleared out homeless camps, some of them years old and long considered public safety and health concerns. The regions have little in common politically but share a characteristic: extraordinarily expensive housing, which in March reached record highs in Orange County.


Many of the state’s cities are thriving. But the gentrification that is taking place along the coast has made it far more difficult for local governments to afford housing options for those without homes. Hundreds of homeless people, now marooned in wealthy urban neighborhoods, have tested the patience of new residents, who have spent small fortunes on the condos and townhouses in the city centers.


Nearly a quarter of the nation’s homeless population lives in California .....................