Story by Bailee Hill

California cities have battled a homeless crisis for years, while still throwing billions of dollars at the spiraling tragedy to help those who are in dire need of housing. 

But one city has defied the odds, reporting the lowest homeless population in the state. 

Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey (R) said there are no vagrants in his city at all, and he joined “Fox & Friends First” to describe how he has reinforced a no-encampment policy while still upholding the rule of law. 

“The policies that are in place at the regional and statewide level that are tolerating this type of behavior that is personally destructive and also destructive to the surrounding communities are really enabling this situation to increase throughout our entire state, and throughout our entire region,” Bailey told Ashley Strohmier.

“Changing these policies will actually have a major impact,” he continued. 

Bailey explained that the city works with the police department and a homeless service provider to give the homeless only one option – to get the help they need. 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JANUARY 13: Homeless tents and homeless people are seen by the Polk Street near the City Hall during rainy day in San Francisco on January 13, 2023 as atmospheric river storms hit California, United States. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images© Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Coronado funds “reasonable” services to help those struggling get “back on their feet,” but noted the city also has a no-tolerance policy for violating municipal codes. 

“We also make it very clear that we don’t tolerate encampments along our sidewalks, and we don’t tolerate other code violations such as being drunk in public or urinating in public or defecating in public,” Bailey said. “We just simply don’t tolerate these basic code violations. What ends up happening is an individual either chooses to get help or they end up leaving.”

Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey

Coronado previously reported only one homeless person within the city, according to data from the San Diego Regional Task Force on Homelessness. 

But Bailey says that person, fortunately, got the help that was needed and is no longer on the streets. 

“The fact of the matter is there, although there are a myriad of reasons that people end up homeless, they eventually only fall into two camps, those that want help and those that do not want help,” Bailey said. “And if those that are refusing to get help… shouldn’t be granted additional the ability to break law such as tent encampments on the sidewalk or urinating or defecating in public.”

“We need to be enforcing these policies to ultimately kind of help them get into that other camp that eventually get help,” he continued. 

California allocated $10 billion to curb the homeless crisis from 2018 to 2012. 

But even despite the massive government spending dedicated to alleviating the crisis, the Golden State still has 30% of the entire country’s homeless population. 

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