The situation on the streets of famous megacities was spoiled by the housing problem
A picture: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS
Buying or renting a house in the United States is a very tricky business: you have to collect and fill out piles of documents, conduct interviews, hire a lawyer and make recommendations in good faith. But recently, Americans moving from one city to another have started asking realtors a somewhat unexpected question: Is your mayor a Democrat or a Republican?
It turned out that party membership can have an important impact on the safety of life in cities. In New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and other big cities where the Democrats traditionally win, there are masses of homeless people on the streets and a high crime rate. But where the Republicans are at the helm, the situation is calmer.
Most homeless people live in sunny California. The local authorities attribute the citizens’ dissatisfaction to the comfortable weather all year round. But how do you explain it then – why in windy New York, where the temperature drops well below zero in winter, there aren’t much fewer homeless people?
The city of the Big Apple is the perpetual fiefdom of the Democrats. Their frankly socialist slogans have always called for concern for the poor. It’s profitable for the poor in New York – you can get free food, a free bed in a shelter, free health insurance, and even free housing. But, as they say, instead of giving a fish, it is better to give a fishing rod. And in America’s largest city, no one cares about educating the poor or finding jobs.
Homeless people feel comfortable in train cars and subway stations, steps of temples and busy intersections. Some of them disperse to bunk beds at night, and some spend the night on the street or subway, often terrorizing the townspeople and tourists.
The city’s structure for serving the homeless is impressive: New York City’s publicly funded rooming houses provide beds for more than 80,000 people. Indeed, there are people among them who found themselves in a difficult life situation, having lost their housing due to the high costs or violence of the other half. But oddly enough, on the street you will never find a couple begging with children or a single mother with a baby in her arms. They all find the strength to find a corner relatively quickly and cope with the difficulties that arise. Why, then, has America experienced a real influx of homeless people in recent years?
Expensive housing and quality pills
Of course, the number 1 factor is incredibly skyrocketing house prices. Buying your own apartment, and sometimes even renting it, has become absolutely out of reach for the poorest sections of the population. Played a role in banning the once-popular communal apartments in the United States. Since there is a high demand from all over the world, developers of US metropolitan areas prefer to build large apartments. In 1960 there were 130 thousand studios and one-room apartments in New York, now there are 10 times fewer, despite the fact that the housing stock has increased by at least 10 times.
The second most influential factor in the problem of homelessness has, strangely enough, become a factor of progress in the treatment of mental illness. With the development of pharmacology, silent madmen cannot be kept in specialized hospitals. After a short course of treatment, they are discharged, handing out prescriptions and recommendations to take medicines to not quite normal people, after which a large part of them take to the streets and scare passers-by with their behavior.
The more drug addicts, the more homeless. This law is just as true as Newton’s binomial law. The first wave of homeless people hit America in the mid-1990s, when Mexican drug cartels brought heroin and cocaine across the border, sparking a drug epidemic. And the federal government recognizes that with a certain wistfulness: people addicted to a needle sank to the bottom of life.
But the second spike, which happened last year, in the United States is being shyly obscured by the coronavirus – so they say, many have lost their jobs and, as a result, their homes. But this is cunning – the authorities themselves imposed a ban on the eviction of tenants from apartments rented or purchased on credit. But the fact that many states legalized smoking marijuana played a role. Affordable weed has predictably become the first rung of the downward ladder for many Americans. Bypassing expensive cocaine and hard-to-use heroin, young people quickly moved from marijuana to synthetic drugs, which come in abundance from the same Mexico. Overdose deaths in the United States rose a record 32% last year, the highest ever. Those who still manage to survive in the dope often find themselves on the streets, preferring to move to big cities, where local authorities allocate money to give them free doses in hopes of protecting the townspeople from robberies.
All lives are important, but some are more important
And finally, how do you get around the racial factor? The nonprofit Coalition for Homeless estimates that two-thirds of Americans who are homeless are black; whites – only 7%, the rest – representatives of other races.
With the arrival of such a destructive player as the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement on the American political scene, any touch of a police officer with a homeless black man could bring an entire country to its knees. A vivid example of this is the pogroms and riots that swept across the United States following the tragic detention of George Floyd, a drug addict repeatedly convicted of robbery and violence. Great America was accused by BLM supporters of misbehaving towards black people. And they promised to repeat all this on a much larger scale if something like this happened again. So every police officer will think a hundred times whether to mess with a black homeless person, even if he clearly violates public order.