New York provides one answer for West Coast homeless crisis

NEW YORK (AP) — New York, the nation’s most populous city, also has the nation’s largest homeless population.

But there is one key difference between New York and cities along the West Coast that are struggling to address an exploding homeless population: The homeless are less visible thanks to a massive daily effort to get them off the street and into a system that has the capacity to shelter anyone who needs a place to stay.

Of New York’s 75,000 homeless, fewer than 4,000 were unsheltered in an official count taken in January. That amounts to only about 1 in 20 homeless people being unsheltered.

By comparison, 15 of every 20 homeless people in Los Angeles sleep on the streets or in tents, vehicles or abandoned buildings. In California, Oregon and Washington combined, 12 out of every 20 homeless people have no shelter at night.

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