Of course there are homeless, but my wife and I wouldn't be about to be homeless for the same amount per month that we're paying in California. There's a huge difference between $2000 per month for a 1 bdr vs $800 a month in the states you listed.
And as I've stated before, have you actually gone through the process of getting "socialized" help in California? It takes forever to get approved, and that's after you pass their insane application process.
I've lived in a lot of states, and I've been rich by no means, and I'd much rather be in a state with lower cost of living such as Alabama or South Carolina than a state that supposedly has my back like California
I'll make a few points:
-- I use to volunteer a lot. It's shockingly easy to get "socialized help" -- obviously you've never applied for such. The state very liberally hands out EBT food & cash, no-cost health insurance, Section 8 housing vouchers, expanded meals for children, etc. It's these benefits that make SoCal the #1 destination of choice for both legal & illegal immigrants from undeveloped countries, in spite of the high cost of living. Many live in large groups within small spaces (e.g. a dozen people in a small, one-bedroom apartment), given the living accommodations are often more generous and far superior to where they came from. What shocked me most... was the number of immigrants who spoke little or no English but knew about the benefits and how to game the system -> e.g. the government will pay up to 40 hrs. per week (at minimum wage) to "assist" a needy relative. And of course, they knew that they could claim exempt and not pay state of Federal taxes (just payroll). But yes. it's much more difficult to score a subsidized apartments -- waiting lists are long, lotteries are often rigged, etc.
-- People rarely wind up homeless because they can't pay their rent - and typically, that's just temporary; there's plenty of assistance available. Nearly everyone living on the streets has a substance abuse problem and/or mental illness (hence why communities such as Venice are experiencing an explosive growth in drug paraphernalia). Very few of these people are from California -- most of them moved here for the same reasons everyone else did (weather, beaches, etc.). Kudos to the state for trying to help these people, but the reality is few of them truly want to be helped. There is (was?) an organization that tried to connect homeless people with friends/family, and offered a Greyhound ticket + cash incentive to go home to that family/friend. There have been few takers -- the homeless WANT to live here.
-- California suffers from a supply and demand issue -- more people want to live here than there is housing. Housing prices swelled to the highest in the nation during the 70s and 80s. The Republican Party's decision to close military bases, move defense contracts, etc. away from SoCal in the early 1990s lead to an economic collapse in the region, causing housing prices to free fall. SoCal later rebuilt its economy among highly compensated/educated service employees, which lead to an economic rebound. Since then, people seeking high compensation packages as well as the already rich (plenty of wealthy people from China and the Middle East, etc.) have moved here in doves.
-- People are willing to pay a premium to live here. Even with the soaring housing prices, throughout most of the Midwest you can get a mortgage on a nice home for several hundred dollars less than one a one-bedroom rents for. And that payment isn't going to go up next year... If you realize you can't afford to live here, it's best you move -- most of the people that moved away from CA didn't want to move, but did so because they could no longer afford to live here (or they were cashing in on the equity within their home). I will never feel sorry for somebody making $15/hr. who's whining about his $2,500 monthly rent payment....