The largest homeless population in the country lives in California: Over 150k.
Every summer I take around 30 family members and friends to a group of condominiums in Imperial Beach California, a small town about 10 miles North of the Tijuana border.
But something I never noticed before this trip was the number of homeless who live in Imperial Beach. And I know they were there last year and the year before; I just didn't pay attention.
This year it seemed like they were everywhere, on every corner. Some of them didn't seem to have it so bad. They had tents and shelters that looked more like a group of friends camping as opposed to people who couldn't afford better quarters elsewhere.
What was interesting to me was that many homeless encampments were right out in the open; some even next to freeway off ramps or on the borders of shopping centers. Like they didn't care about being homeless; like it was a normal state of affairs.
TLC has a large homeless population; at least 90% of them have no permanent address when they arrive. But they at least have an excuse when they get to us - they spend the bulk of their money on drugs or alcohol which is their priority. Nearly everything else is secondary.
We do our best to teach them to live normal lives. But I know that everyone doesn't make it. In fact, it doesn't surprise me when on occasion I encounter one of our former residents trudging along the street pushing a shopping cart.