After two years of explosive growth, U.S. cities begin cracking down on spread of homelessness

Progressive leaders have largely tolerated major expansion of homeless camps, activity.
Homeless camp in California.

Multiple city leaders across the United States are cracking down on the spread of homelessness and homeless activity within their city centers, reversing roughly two years of high tolerance that has seen many urban areas become at times dangerous tent cities.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, for instance, recently banned camping along certain roadways in his city, Fox News reports, while in nearby Seattle authorities recently cleared out “two blocks worth of tents and belongings.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, meanwhile, recently announced a stepped-up zero-tolerance policy for individuals sleeping on the city’s subway system and loitering in subway stations. The city has seen widespread reports of homeless individuals attacking pedestrians and subway riders over the last two years. 

“People tell me about their fear of using the system and we are going to ensure that fear is not New York’s reality,” Adams said of the proposal. 

Other cities are working to provide homeless individuals with alternative housing options. Burlington, Vt., this week announced the creation of a “shelter pod community” in a downtown parking lot in order to accommodate the city’s homeless population.