About the Book

This book examines the causes of homelessness with a focus on unaffordable housing, poverty, mental illness, substance addiction, and legal reform. It examines the state and local policy environment to determine ways in which housing policy, social service programs, and employment opportunities interact to exacerbate, perpetuate, or reduce homelessness. The book also evaluates different strategies being used at the state, county, and local levels to prevent or reduce homelessness. Finally, the authors provide a mix of long-term policy solutions based on their findings that have the greatest potential to reduce homelessness.

Praise for No Way Home

“Homelessness has become the social issue of the twenty-first century, especially in California. No Way Home addresses the problem in painfully clear terms. Prepare to be infuriated, then motivated. The authors meticulously outline the role elected officials have played in creating the ever deepening disaster. Readers will soon understand the astonishing waste and callousness of the current system and the reasons more people than ever are living – and dying – on the streets. No Way Home provides the fascinating backstory of why communities in grand cities like San Francisco have descended into growing slums. Is all lost? No. No Way Home gives real hope, offering a strategy that can turn the crisis around with creative, rational, and feasible solutions.”


―Erica Sandberg, author and columnist

“Over 150,000 people are homeless in California. Homelessness in California is now a 50-year-old problem, the fault of the state’s political leaders who have wasted enormous resources trying to paper over the problem, efforts that are politically expedient and are ultimately perpetuating homelessness. No Way Home is a beautiful new book that highlights the untold tragedies that the homeless face and offers clear and compelling regulatory and legal solutions. If you read one book about California homelessness, this is it. Incredibly detailed, thought-provoking, and forceful – after reading No Way Home you will be so angry with politicians that you will demand substantial and immediate change to end this senseless human tragedy.”


―Lee Ohanian, Professor of Economics, UCLA, and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

“Homelessness is one of the most vexing problems that California and the nation face today. There are no simple solutions, but we can embrace effective and humane policies that mitigate the problem, help those living on the streets, and protect the public and the public purse. It starts with recognizing that homelessness is not merely about housing – it touches on myriad social problems including addiction and mental health. This book does yeoman’s work putting this crisis into perspective and charting a more productive path forward.”


―Steven Greenhut, Western region director for the R Street Institute and a columnist for the Southern California News Group

“The homeless crisis calls for a comprehensive effort that attacks the problem on all fronts: substance addiction and mental illness, housing affordability, and legal reform. The Pacific Research Institute’s team of experts addresses these issues and offers practical and humane reforms. An important book for those who want to understand and address homelessness in California and the nation.”


―Jim Palmer, President, Orange County Rescue Mission