A growing number of US cities are declaring states of emergency as the number of people becoming homeless continues to rise
Portland, Oregon; Denver, Colorado; and Seattle, Washington as well as the entire state of Hawaii have become the latest to take drastic measures to fight the growing crisis.
Press TV reports:
Los Angeles has yet to declare its own state of emergency, but campaigners describe its current condition as “the worst man-made disaster in the US.”
The 50-block area of downtown LA, called Skid Row, has been a national emblem of homelessness for over a decade.
However, the shambolic shanty town of tents and cardboard boxes is expanding and while the official figures show homelessness in the area has soared by 12 percent, experts believe the increase is much greater.
“The violence, the chaos has greatly increased. It is startling. Most of all we need a change of heart about these precious people who are dying on our streets,” Reverend Andy Bales, the chief executive of the Union Rescue Mission, told Sky News.
In its annual survey last week, the US Conference of Mayors concluded that homelessness had increased by 1.6 percent over the previous year.
The survey included Los Angeles and Washington DC as well as 22 other cities experiencing the problem.
The largest increase in homelessness was in Washington, DC, the nation’s capital, where the number of people experiencing homelessness rose by 28 percent and the number of homeless families went up by 60 percent.
Other US cities including, Chicago, Illinois; Baltimore, Maryland; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and San Francisco, California are suffering from the same problem.