Trump complains about homeless people living 'on our best entrances to buildings'

The Independent Politics 1 month ago

Donald Trump reportedly complained about America’s homeless causing prominent foreign investors to flee the country after threatening a federal crackdown on homelessness in states like California.

Speaking with reporters on Air Force One before his two-day visit to the Golden State, the president lashed out at homeless people who he said were living in the nation’s “best highways, our best streets, our best entrances to buildings … where people in those buildings pay tremendous taxes, where they went to those locations because of the prestige”.

Mr Trump, who described the condition of homelessness in California as “disgusting”, added: “We can’t let Los Angeles, San Francisco and numerous other cities destroy themselves by allowing what’s happening.

“And I’m speaking to tenants — in some cases foreign people, foreign tenants — but they have, where they're tenants in buildings throughout various cities in California, and other places... where they want to leave the country. They can't believe what's happening.

“In many cases, they came from other countries and they moved to Los Angeles or they moved to San Francisco because of the prestige of the city, and all of a sudden they have tents,” he added, according to reporters who flew with the president to California. 

Relationship breakdown, usually between young people and their parents or step-parents, is a major cause of youth homelessness. Around six in ten young people who come to Centrepoint say they had to leave home because of arguments, relationship breakdown or being told to leave. Many have experienced long-term problems at home, often involving violence, leaving them without the family support networks that most of us take for granted
Young people who come to Centrepoint face a range of different and complex problems. More than a third have a mental health issue, such as depression and anxiety, another third need to tackle issues with substance misuse. A similar proportion also need to improve their physical health. These problems often overlap, making it more difficult for young people to access help and increasing the chances of them becoming homeless
Young people's chances of having to leave home are higher in areas of high deprivation and poor prospects for employment and education. Many of those who experience long spells of poverty can get into problem debt, which makes it harder for them to access housing
Homeless young people are often affected by gang-related problems. In some cases, it becomes too dangerous to stay in their local area meaning they can end up homeless. One in six young people at Centrepoint have been involved in or affected by gang crime
Not being in education can make it much more difficult for young people to access help with problems at home or health problems. Missing out on formal education can also make it more difficult for them to move into work
Almost a quarter of young people at Centrepoint have been in care. They often have little choice but to deal with the challenges and responsibilities of living independently at a young age. Traumas faced in their early lives make care leavers some of the most vulnerable young people in our communities, with higher chances of poor outcomes in education, employment and housing. Their additional needs mean they require a higher level of support to maintain their accommodation
Around 13 per cent of young people at Centrepoint are refugees or have leave to remain, meaning it isn't safe to return home. This includes young people who come to the UK as unaccompanied minors, fleeing violence or persecution in their own country. After being granted asylum, young people sometimes find themselves with nowhere to go and can end up homeless

The state has among the highest rates of homelessness in the country despite taxpayer-funded efforts and both state and federal initiatives to combat the crisis. 

The president has reportedly considered launching a task force to help solve the issue of nationwide homelessness while focusing his criticisms on Democratic-majority states like California, where the administration says policies like its so-called Right to Shelter laws are counterproductive. 

Mr Trump went on to claim there were “hundreds and hundreds of tents and people living at the entrance” of office buildings, claiming those people now “want to leave” because of the issue and “the people of San Francisco are fed up, and the people of Los Angeles are fed up".

Before he departed for the trip, Mr Trump told a meeting of House Republicans last week about homelessness: “We are going to have to step in and do something about it.

“We can’t allow it. And in the not too distant future, you are going to see we are going to step in."

The president’s comments came as he was locked in a contentious disagreement with the state over its right to set its own emissions standards. 

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The Environmental Protection Agency ended the state’s ability to set higher standards for car emissions this week. 

The state was previously given permission to set its own regulations in order to deal with poor air quality in cities like Los Angeles.

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