‘Don’t I Have A Right To My Safety?’: Blue State Residents Sound Off On Homelessness Crisis

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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Brandon Poulter Contributor
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Residents in several California counties are growing increasingly disillusioned with homeless encampments in the state, according to Bay Area News Group poll results reported by The Mercury News.

Of those polled, 75% said that homelessness had gotten “somewhat worse” or “much worse” in their area, according to The Mercury News. The poll questioned residents of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. (RELATED: ‘Sick And Tired’: Dem Mayor Demands Reversal Of Injunction On Homeless Ordinances)

“Yes, they have a constitutional right to be there, but don’t I have a right to my safety?” poll respondent Larry Sekuler told The Mercury News.

Federal courts have blocked the enforcement of local homelessness ordinances and ruled that officials must provide accommodations before clearing encampments, according to The Mercury News.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 28: People are gathered at a homeless encampment in the Skid Row community on September 28, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. State and local lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, are seeking to overturn lower court decisions which currently block their power to clear encampments with unhoused people. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Approximately 73% of respondents responded that “communities should prevent people from living in public places,” and 59% percent of residents said to have had “an experience with a homeless person” that made them “feel unsafe,” according to the poll results.

Democrat and Republican respondents both had similar approval levels for the CARE Court, a program that creates a court system aimed at putting those with mental illness into treatment programs, according to The Mercury News.

“How do we help people who don’t want to help themselves while also balancing public safety,” Rishabh Kumar, poll respondent and Democrat, told The Mercury News.

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom called on the Supreme Court in September to take up the issue of homelessness ordinance bans by federal courts.

“You see mayors across the state that are coming up with more carceral approaches, coming up with more reactionary approaches, because of exactly what you’re finding in this poll: Non-homeless constituents are tired of seeing so much homelessness,” Jennifer Loving, chief executive of Destination: Home, told The Mercury News.

The poll had a sample size of 1,802 registered voters and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, according to The Mercury News. The survey was conducted between Aug. 29-Sept.6.

Newsom did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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