By latest count, some 109,089 people are sleeping on the streets of major cities in California, Oregon and Washington. The homelessness crisis in these cities has generated headlines and speculation about “root causes.” Progressives allege that tech companies have inflated housing costs and forced middle-class people onto the streets.
Declaring that “no two people living on Skid Row . . . ended up there for the same reasons,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, for his part, blames a housing shortage, stagnant wages, cuts to mental health services, domestic and sexual abuse, shortcomings in criminal justice and a lack of resources for veterans. These factors may all have played a role, but the most pervasive cause of West Coast homelessness is clear: heroin, fentanyl and synthetic opioids.
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