Homelessness has risen in more than 100 places in the U.S. so far in 2023 amid the influx of new migrants into American cities, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Cities including Chicago, Miami, Boston and Phoenix saw surges in homelessness this year amid the end of COVID-19 programs and the continued influx of migrants across the southern border, according to the WSJ. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered more than a million migrants at the border in the first five months of fiscal year 2023.
Chicago reported 2,200 migrants were in homeless shelters early this year, which is a 58% surge from the year prior, according to the WSJ. A vote to spend $51 million supporting the city’s migrants caused a furor at a city council meeting in May as local residents complained that the city needed to focus on its homeless problem.
Denver set up temporary shelters after the entry of 4,000 migrants into the city in December resulted in homeless shelters being overrun, prompting a state of emergency. Homeless shelters in Boston have also been overwhelmed by migrants, many of whom are now being housed in hotels.
New York and Los Angeles, the cities with the highest homelessness numbers in 2022, haven’t reported this year’s homeless numbers yet, according to the WSJ. New York City has supported more than 72,000 migrants, according to Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who sought to suspend the city’s 90-day right to shelter rule because the city couldn’t accommodate the influx of migrants. About half of the city’s 93,000 individuals in shelters are migrants.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been sending buses of migrants to sanctuary cities including Denver, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. Democratic Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has been bussing migrants to New York, as has Democratic El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser.
In addition to the migrant surge, rising homelessness in American cities is also linked to high housing costs and the end of COVID-19-related protections such as the eviction moratorium, according to the WSJ.
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