Los Angeles is experiencing a homelessness epidemic with the number of unhoused people rising 75% over the past six years.

About 54,000 of the city's four million residents are currently experiencing homelessness and the root cause is the city's lack of affordable housing. According to LAist, since 2000, renter incomes have decreased by 3% while rents have gone up 32%.

The city recently created a quarter-cent increase in its sales tax to fund programs to help house these residents, but encampments are still popping up throughout the city.


Venice Beach, a swanky West L.A. neighborhood famous for its eccentric residents, has seen one of the largest increases in unhoused people.

Shell Smith / Flickr

Venice Beach resident Johnny Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten), lead vocalist of iconic punk groups Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd, has become fed up with the unhoused people in his neighborhood and has even called the cops on them.

“They moved in en masse. They're all young, they're all like 24," Rotten told Newsweek. “They're aggressive, and because there's an awful lot of them together they're gang-y."

He recently called the police on some people for setting up an encampment in front of his house. “They came over the gate and put their tent inside, right in front of the front door. It's like... the audacity," he complained.

Rotten's outrage is ironic, given the fact he penned the authority-bashing classic “Anarchy in the U.K."

People on social media are bashing Lydon for what appears to be hypocritical coming from a man who once said, "If you give me the chance, I'll destroy America for you."

While it's easy to point a finger at Rotten for betraying his punk image, he's dealing with serious personal issues. His wife Nora Forster is in the mid-stages of Alzheimer's Disease. Lydon says his wife is “struggling to cope" with the influx of vagrants.

Lydon insists he's not a hypocrite.

“No, I'm a bloke that's worked hard for his money and I expect to be able to use my own front door," he said in his usual blunt matter.

I live in Washington, the state with the first official outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. While my family lives several hours from Seattle, it was alarming to be near the epicenter—especially early in the pandemic when we knew even less about the coronavirus than we know now.

As tracking websites went up and statistics started pouring in, things looked hairy for Washington. But not for long. We could have and should have shut everything down faster than we did, but Governor Inslee took the necessary steps to keep the virus from flying completely out of control. He's consistently gotten heat from all sides, but in general he listened to the infectious disease experts and followed the lead of public health officials—which is exactly what government needs to do in a pandemic.

As a result, we've spent the past several months watching Washington state drop from the #1 hotspot down to 23rd in the nation (as of today) for total coronavirus cases. In cases per million population, we're faring even better at number 38. We have a few counties where outbreaks are pretty bad, and cases have slowly started to rise as the state has reopened—which was to be expected—but I've felt quite satisfied with how it's been handled at the state level. The combination of strong state leadership and county-by-county reopenings has born statistically impressive results—especially considering the fact that we didn't have the lead time that other states did to prepare for the outbreak.

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