Homeless explosion on West Coast pushing cities to the brink

SEATTLE (AP) — A homeless crisis of unprecedented proportions is rocking the West Coast, and its victims are being left behind by the very things that mark the region’s success.

A roaring economy has sent housing costs skyrocketing. People who were once able to get by, even if they suffered a setback, are now pushed to the streets because rents have become so expensive.

Reporting by The Associated Press finds that the surge in the number of homeless people, from San Diego to Seattle, is overwhelming cities and nonprofits.

Public health is at risk, several cities have declared states of emergency, and cities and counties are spending millions — or even billions — of dollars in search of solutions.

Even nonprofit workers who have decades of experience with the homeless are shocked by the surge, calling the situation along the West Coast catastrophic.

Part of an ongoing examination of the homeless crisis along the West Coast.