'Tent Cities' Rising Across United States

Discussion in 'Economics' started by ByLoSellHi, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. Friday, September 19, 2008


    Towns from Reno to Chattanooga see spike in encampments

    Evelyn Nieves / Associated Press

    RENO, Nev. --
    A few tents cropped up hard by the railroad tracks, pitched by men left with nowhere to go once the emergency winter shelter closed for the summer.

    Then others appeared -- people who had lost their jobs to the ailing economy, or newcomers who had moved to Reno for work and discovered no one was hiring.
    Within weeks, more than 150 people were living in tents big and small, barely a foot apart in a patch of dirt slated to be a parking lot for a campus of shelters Reno is building for its homeless population. Like many other cities, Reno has found itself with a "tent city" -- an encampment of people who had nowhere else to go.


    From Seattle to Athens, Ga., homeless advocacy groups and city agencies are reporting the most visible rise in homeless encampments in a generation.

    Nearly 61 percent of local and state homeless coalitions say they've experienced a rise in homelessness since the foreclosure crisis began in 2007, according to a report by the National Coalition for the Homeless. "It's clear that poverty and homelessness have increased," said Michael Stoops, acting executive director of the coalition.

    "The economy is in chaos, we're in an unofficial recession and Americans are worried, from the homeless to the middle class, about their future."
    The phenomenon of encampments has caught advocacy groups somewhat by surprise, largely because of how quickly they have sprung up.

    The relatively tony city of Santa Barbara has given over a parking lot to people who sleep in cars and vans. The city of Fresno, Calif., is trying to manage several proliferating tent cities, including an encampment where people have made shelters out of scrap wood.

    In Portland, Ore., and Seattle, homeless advocacy groups have paired with nonprofits or faith-based groups to manage tent cities as outdoor shelters. Other cities where tent cities have either appeared or expanded include Chattanooga, Tenn., San Diego, and Columbus, Ohio.

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently reported a 12 percent drop in homelessness nationally in two years, from about 754,000 in January 2005 to 666,000 in January 2007. Out of a dozen people interviewed in the tent city, six had come to Reno from California or elsewhere over the last year, hoping for casino jobs.

    "I figured this would be a great place for a job," said Max Perez, a 19-year-old from Iowa. He couldn't find one and ended up taking showers at the men's shelter and sleeping in a pup tent barely big enough to cover his body.

    The casinos are actually starting to lay off employees.

    The city will shut down the tent city as soon as early October because the tents sit on what will be a parking lot for a complex of shelters and services for homeless people.

  2. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

    Thomas Jefferson
  3. Very appropriate.
  4. The disconnect for me is asking "How will this affect me?" It doesn't. I don't think it's a societal problem that low skilled workers can't find jobs. There has to be some benefit to education and investing in human capital. These tent cities I consider an example of that.

    That is to say, "If you go to school, you probably won't end up in a tent city."
  5. We're going camping kids!
  6. unless you get replaced by an h-1b, then you might

    but the company that replaced you will get bailed out

    (AIG was one of the first documented cases of replaceing AMericans with H-1bs)
  7. Maybe the foreigners had better skills. And I think the key word, was probably.
  8. gucci


    The word `probably´ is indeed an appropriate one . Sooner or later the higher education will be particularly useful only for the classification of rat races on various stages. God bless Globalization and Ricardo!!! God bless economic theorization. Welcome in the jungle of civilized.:mad:
  9. Only in america can you be considered destitute, but still have enough money to live in a 200 dollar tent, have money for cigarettes (like the guy in the first pic) and have the means to take care of a pet (guy in the second pic).

    The funny thing is, that when you are that poor, you get free medical (medicaid) You get free education if you want it (pell grant will pay for all your classes & books at pretty much any J.C. where you can learn an in demand job like Nursing which is only 2 years and then start making 60k+ per year with a 12k signing bonus) and since you are not working, you dont have the stress of a "job" while you go to school. All you gotta really worry about is finding a couple bucks for food....Oh wait...it only costs about 2k for 5 classes + books at a JC in nevada so you would have 2800 left over from your pell grant for food to last you 5 months...hope that person can live on 560 per month for food (18$ per day)

    yeah i think some of those "Poor" people have it better than some middle class.
    #10     Sep 19, 2008