When it comes to American cities, San Francisco and Seattle are remarkably similar. They’re both known for their stunningly beautiful waterfront locations, their liberal politics and the tech booms that have jolted them from quirky little “left coast” tourist destinations into global economic powerhouses.
The might-as-well-be-twin cities also share some less attractive qualities: high costs of living, stark income inequality and big, in-your-face homeless populations.
But the new homeless count reports for both cities show Seattle is making a little progress — and San Francisco certainly isn’t.
The January tallies showed San Francisco’s count soared 17% in two years alone, whereas King County, which includes Seattle, saw an 8% dip.
The portion of San Francisco’s homeless population that is unsheltered — those living on the streets, in parks or in cars — jumped, whereas Seattle’s dropped. In San Francisco, that figure rose from 4,353 in 2017 to 5,180 this year. In Seattle alone — not including the rest of King County — the number dropped from 3,841 in 2017 to 3,558 this year.
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