I’ve lived in New York my entire life except for three years where I lived in Los Angeles. I recently came back from a nice long visit to LA, and I feel I can definitively say that the homeless people in LA are far scarier than the ones in NYC.
In New York, we notice them more often because we ride subways and walk around, and in LA people are in their cars constantly. Plus the average Angelino likely doesn’t spend a good deal of time walking around tourist areas. We New Yorkers also have a constant variation in our weather. That means that sometimes, the homeless have to find a place to go. In Los Angeles, it’s like they’re all extra crazy from the non-stop sun! I used public transportation and supplemented that with my own two legs and there were some damn crazy homeless people.
But the most important thing to remember is that research indicates that around 40% of homeless people are children, 20-40% (depending on the study) of homeless people are veterans, and about 25% are mentally ill (of that, only a small percentage need to be institutionalized because they are dangerous, the rest need medication and a supportive environment). So think of that next time you pass by a homeless person and think “get a job.”