California’s medical system has been struggling to cope with an influx of people on the streets, homeless and mentally unstable.
More than 300,000 people are living on the state’s streets, according to the most recent count from the California Department of Public Health and Environment.
The number of homeless people has nearly doubled in the last five years, according a study released Tuesday by the University of Southern California.
People who live on the street are not only the most vulnerable to homelessness, but also to depression and substance abuse.
In January, a homeless woman was found to have multiple drug overdoses, including heroin and morphine.
Other recent figures released by the California Attorney General’s Office revealed that more than 2,700 people are homeless in California, including more than 1,100 people in the state who are in need of psychiatric care.
California is also home to about 200,000 homeless adults, according the latest estimates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“It is time for us to do more to help people get the help they need and the services they need,” said Assemblymember Jose Huizar, a Democrat who represents parts of San Diego County.
Housing advocates say there are several things that could be done to address homelessness, including creating more supportive housing options, offering job training and mental health services.
For the past several years, the state has been grappling with a shortage of housing in its city of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles has seen a rise in homeless populations, with more than 200 people living in public housing, according U.A.E. Housing Authority, a nonprofit that provides housing to the homeless and low-income residents.
Many of the people in public shelter are homeless because of an increase in violent crime, which is a factor in the city’s population growth, according The Los Angeles Times.
A coalition of nonprofit organizations is calling for a national approach to homelessness and other issues, including increasing the availability of affordable housing and more supportive services for the chronically homeless.