Interesting piece/maps about homelessness from the Seattle Times
In response to a reader's question about how does the number of homeless in Seattle/King County compare to other places, the Seattle Times looked more deeply into the question, ("Is Seattle’s homeless crisis the worst in the country?") comparing their community to others at different scales. Interestingly, DC in one of the rankings comes out as the #1 place for homelessness, as having the greatest number of homeless measured as a rate per 10,000 residents.
Observationally, I've always felt that homelessness is "worse" out west, but maybe that's because it is more visible, because more people "sleep outside" and not within shelters, in large part because of the weather.
While out this morning to grocery shop (since I had access to a car), I saw a couple people panhandling, which surprised me since these are neighborhood areas, not central business districts.
Similarly, there was a "brazen" burglary of a neighborhood 7-11 a couple days ago, where people drove a truck into the building and stole the ATM.
Generally, these kinds of acts are a measure of desperation and tend to increase as times get rougher (e.g., back in the 1990s when people were breaking into/stealing parking meters--"Remembering the District's great parking meter massacre," Washington Post).
Separately, as Orange County, California removes homeless encampments, advocates there are trying to organize opposition to the action ("Advocates launch last ditch effort to change public opinion about river bed homeless encampments," Orange County Register).