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How Bad Is It? California Homelessness Worsens And Governor Newsom Looks To Shut Down Oakland Encampment

Like bees are attracted to honey, so are America’s homeless to California. And while the mostly pleasant weather in the Golden State is particularly appealing to someone without a roof over their head, it is the state’s welcoming public policies of tolerance and assistance that is the true draw. As a result, California’s problem with homelessness dwarfs that of any other state, and the numbers aren’t particularly close.

California has become a haven for lawlessness, with far-left prosecutors refusing to enforce criminal laws, and anyone who breaks the law there can reasonably expect to receive a slap on the wrist and little if any, accountability… if they’re even caught in the first place. Welfare state handouts, a commitment to ignoring immigration laws, and a complete disregard for the rights of citizens expecting safe and feces-free streets are just a few aspects serving as a draw for street dwellers.

As a result, California’s homeless problem has reached critical mass. Just prior to the advent of the COVID pandemic when Donald Trump was still in the White House, homelessness in the United States had been increasing slightly, but the problem was due largely to California. As of December 2019, all of that increase and more was happening in California. In the other 49 states, homelessness was actually on the decline. Since that time, due to a multitude of causes, homelessness in California has gotten even worse. And it appears now they may have reached critical mass.

According to a report from the Bay Area NBC News affiliate, a federal judge has put a halt to the attempt of Governor Gavin Newsom to shut down an Oakland homelessness encampment known as Wood Street. Approximately 200 homeless live in makeshift shelters in the area located underneath an interstate highway overpass, and after an intense fire at the site a few weeks ago, Newsom has apparently decided he’s had enough.

According to The Sacramento Bee:

“Governor Gavin Newsom criticized [the] ruling that temporarily stopped the California Department of Transportation from clearing a homeless encampment in Oakland. Caltrans announced last week that it planned to clear 200 unhoused people from a sprawling homeless encampment on Oakland’s Wood Street. The agency cited dangerous conditions that have led to numerous fires, including one in early July that damaged vehicles on Interstate 880. Caltrans officials had planned to empty the camp by Aug. 1, with the first phase beginning July 20.”

The homeless folks, represented by various advocacy groups, had petitioned the court for a restraining order against Newsom and the state. They claim to have a constitutional right to live on the public land. They claim that housing itself is, in fact, a human right. But there is no such right.

We each have a right to freedom of speech, to bear arms, and privacy from government intrusion. We each have the right to purchase land and to build a house that complies with building ordinances. But we don’t have the right to compel others – the taxpayers – to provide land and/or shelter to us. That land on Wood Street belongs to the people of California, not to any individual. And the fact that the situation has deteriorated to the point that even the far-left Newsom is calling for it to be shut down illustrates how problematic the camp has become.

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What neither Newsom, nor his administration, nor any other California official seems willing to recognize is that it is not the responsibility of the taxpayers to provide housing for their fellow citizens. The government is not the solution to all our problems, and we all have the right to equal access to public property. The more government tries to fix a problem, generally speaking, the worse it becomes, and the predicament at Wood Street in Oakland is a perfect example.

By Jess Lawson

Jess Lawson is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative and a passionate, conservative millennial who loves America.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Blue State Conservative. The BSC is not responsible for, and does not verify the accuracy of, any information presented.

Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author’s opinion.

Featured photo is a screengrab from YouTube and has been cropped.