Tent Cities Full Of Homeless People Are Booming In Cities All Over America As Poverty Spikes

By Michael Snyder, the Economic Collapse Blog.

HomelessJust like during the last economic crisis, homeless encampments are popping up all over the nation as poverty grows at a very alarming rate.  According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than half a million people are homeless in America right now, but that figure is increasing by the day.  And it isn’t just adults that we are talking about.  It has been reported that that the number of homeless children in this country has risen by 60 percent since the last recession, and Poverty USA says that a total of 1.6 million children slept either in a homeless shelter or in some other form of emergency housing at some point last year.  Yes, the stock market may have been experiencing a temporary boom for the last couple of years, but for those on the low end of the economic scale things have just continued to deteriorate.

Tonight, countless numbers of homeless people will try to make it through another chilly night in large tent cities that have been established in the heart of major cities such as Seattle, Washington, D.C. and St. Louis.  Homelessness has gotten so bad in California that the L.A. City Council has formally asked Governor Jerry Brown to officially declare a state of emergency.   And in Portland the city has extended their “homeless emergency” for yet another year, and city officials are really struggling with how to deal with the booming tent cities that have sprung up

There have always been homeless people in Portland, but last summer Michelle Cardinal noticed a change outside her office doors.

Almost overnight, it seemed, tents popped up in the park that runs like a green carpet past the offices of her national advertising business. She saw assaults, drug deals and prostitution. Every morning, she said, she cleaned human feces off the doorstep and picked up used needles.

“It started in June and by July it was full-blown. The park was mobbed,” she said. “We’ve got a problem here and the question is how we’re going to deal with it.”

But of course it isn’t just Portland that is experiencing this.  The following list of major tent cities that have become so well-known and established that they have been given names comes from Wikipedia

Most of the time, those that establish tent cities do not want to be discovered because local authorities have a nasty habit of shutting them down and forcing homeless people out of the area.  For example, check out what just happened in Elkhart, Indiana

A group of homeless people in Elkhart has been asked to leave the place they call home. For the last time, residents of ‘Tent City’ packed up camp.

City officials gave residents just over a month to vacate the wooded area; Wednesday being the last day to do so.

The property has been on Mayor Tim Neese’s radar since he took office in January, calling it both a safety and health hazard to its residents and nearby pedestrian traffic.

“This has been their home but you can’t live on public property,” said Mayor Tim Neese, Elkhart.

If they can’t live on “public property”, where are they supposed to go?

They certainly can’t live on somebody’s “private property”.

This is the problem – people don’t want to deal with the human feces, the needles, the crime and the other problems that homeless people often bring with them.  So the instinct is often to kick them out and send them away.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t fix the problem.  It just passes it on to someone else.

As this new economic downturn continues to accelerate, our homelessness boom is going to spiral out of control.  Pretty soon, there will be tent cities in virtually every community in America.

In fact, there are people that are living comfortable middle class lifestyles right at this moment that will end up in tents.  We saw this during the last economic crisis, and it will be even worse as this next one unfolds.

Just like last time around, the signs that the middle class is really struggling can be subtle at first, but when you learn to take note of them you will notice that they are all around you.  The following comes from an excellent article in the New York Post

Do you see grocery stores closing? Do you see other retailers, like clothing stores and department stores, going out of business?

Are there shuttered storefronts along your Main Street shopping district, where you bought a tool from the hardware store or dropped off your dry cleaning or bought fruits and vegetables?

Are you making as much money annually as you did 10 years ago?

Do you see homes in neighborhoods becoming run down as the residents either were foreclosed upon, or the owner lost his or her job so he or she can’t afford to cut the grass or paint the house?

Did that same house where the Joneses once lived now become a rental property, where new people come to live every few months?

Do you know one or two people who are looking for work? Maybe professionals, who you thought were safe in their jobs?

Don’t look down on those that are living in tents, because the truth is that many “middle class Americans” will ultimately end up joining them.

The correct response to those that are hurting is love and compassion.  We all need help at some point in our lives, and I know that I am certainly grateful to those that have given me a helping hand at various points along my journey.

Sadly, hearts are growing cold all over the nation, and the weather is only going to get colder over the months ahead.  Let us pray for health and safety for the hundreds of thousands of Americans that will be sleeping in tents and on the streets this winter.

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  • David S

    The only reason we don’t see mile-long lines of people standing outside “soup kitchens” and the similar types of charity food operations we saw during the FIRST Depression is that all these lines now stretch from the cash registers at Walmart and other stores and are being “funded” by plastic EBT cards and massive theft from the American productive sector.

    • Nexusfast123

      Deliberate strategy to hide what is happening for as long as possible. Also a strategy to ‘individualise’ the misery via an individualised card. This reduces the likelihood that groups of people will form self help communities to barter food and skills. This obviously makes people less and less able to fend for themselves.

      • diogenes

        Large successful self-help organizations involving hundreds of thousands of people were features of the depression of the 1930s in many American cities, including Los Angeles, Oakland, and Seattle. But the American economy is much more locked down now by the same forces that shut them down then, as soon as they could.

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        • David S

          So-called “mutual aid societies” have been around since the late 1800s to aid and assist newly arrived groups of foreigners and others. While these were quite ethnically specific (ie – the Irish, the Italians, etc.) they absolutely served the needed purpose, achieved their goals WITHOUT government assistance or meddling, and provided a truly solid “leg up” for the new immigrants. These branched out into medical aid as well, and formed the backbone of a very prosperous and effective health care establishment that provided outstanding care to both immigrants and minority communities. Of course these things threatened the established medical structure so government intervention (via a multitude of mechanisms), eventually destroyed all of this local, responsive infrastructure and put all the power back into the hands of the governmetn and the protected establishment. Nothing scares the government or their crony capitalist friends like people being able to solve their own problems WITHOUT THEIR “help.”

  • Nexusfast123

    In stark contrast to the US talking heads jerking on about the US being the richest country in the world. Life might be nice for a few percent at the top with their wealth increased via the stock market bubble but for a growing number of people it appears to be an increasing struggle to survive.

    • tom

      Ah, but the reigning ideology insists that the greater the wealth, the greater the inequality! So, you see, the more destitute people are forced to live on the streets, the wealthier the nation becomes.

  • diogenes

    Oh, and swarms of investors from China (obvious) and Wall Street (less obvious) are buying up American real estate.

  • Deplorable Oxco

    Yet they still vote Democrat………

  • tom

    “Poverty USA says that a total of 1.6 million children slept either in a homeless shelter or in some other form of emergency housing at some point last year”.

    Has anyone pointed out to NATO the urgent need for it to bomb the USA, in order to effect regime change and help all those poor people suffering under the evil hand of the monstrous dictator Obama?

  • tom

    ‘Don’t look down on those that are living in tents, because the truth is that many “middle class Americans” will ultimately end up joining them’.

    Nearly 400 years ago, John Donne wrote:

    “No man is an iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee….”

    In today’s ideological climate, it would be hard to find a more politically incorrect statement. We should all take it to heart.

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