Gentrification Claims Another Victim - Homelessness

Homelessness in California has been called "the greatest moral and humanitarian crisis of our time" by dozens of politicians seeking to gain votes and raise money off the issue. But, even as the crisis grows in the Golden State, officials are finding fewer and fewer places to put the homeless without angering constituents or supporters. 

And as California's economy continues to grow and accelerate, the dilapidated neighborhoods where homeless people would stay and set up camp have become richer over time, with raising rents helping to push the homeless out to another cheap neighborhood further away. 

Hundreds of homeless were cleared out of a tent camp that had been set up along a mile-and-a-half stretch of the Santa Ana River, but a judge ordered that the county would have to conduct any eviction "humanely and with dignity." 

The county agreed, paying for extra beds in several shelters around town and extending 30-day motel vouchers to hundreds of homeless. The Orange County Board of Supervisors says they plan on spending nearly $100 million to help shelter those who were displaced by clearing the Santa Ana riverbed. And as part of the lawsuit, county officials had to find new locations for the homeless to live. 

But, finding places to house the homeless have been filled with challenges, including strong opposition from Orange County residents who object to having new shelters set up in their backyards. 

Photo: Getty Images

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