Friday, March 13, 2009

Tent City Grows in California - Reminiscent of the Great Depression

See detailed story from the UK Times

By the wide stretch of the American River in Sacramento, history is repeating itself. Here, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, men and women who had lost everything and despaired of finding work built rough shelters and huddled around fires.

Now the spiral of job losses and house repossessions has left another wave of Americans homeless, and a new tent city is growing rapidly on lumpy, derelict land between the river and the railway tracks here in the capital of California.

There are more than 300 people living in scattered encampments stretching a couple of miles along the river bank. As many as 50 more arrive each week. Unemployment in Sacramento reached 10.4 per cent in January and California is suffering some of the worst repossession rates in the country, with as many as 500 people losing their homes every day last year.

Charity workers in the city can no longer cope with the number of people coming to them for help. The shelters are full, with one home that caters for women and children turning away 200 people a night.
Continue to full report


Allison Miranda said...

Tent cities in America, in 2009??!! I just don't see an end to this tragedy called our economy.

Truthiz said...

There’s no denying. As more Americans lose their jobs and their homes_the homeless rate increases.

But just how “big” of a problem IS first-time homelessness?

BTW: I’ve not seen any pictures of Blacks being shown in those tent cities?

Judging from the news media's LACK of covergae regardidng the "chronically homeless" it seems to me that the main reason “tent cities are getting so much attention NOW is because the story centers on “first-time” homeless (formerly) “middle-class” White people.

H*ll, not even homeless WAR VETS get this much media coverage!

And NO WAY does a predominantly BLACK tent city receive anywhere near the same amount of coverage_ EXCEPT to “determine” if they’re “breaking the law.” It certainly wouldn’t be driven from a humanitarian perspective.

Given that Most Blacks, regardless of socio-economic status, know about_and have already experienced “HARD-times” at some point, throughout our lives_you won’t find many of us in “tent” cities. We learned to “make do” with less, during those "challenging" times, from the cradle to the grave.

Oprah was born in 1954 “in rural Mississippi to a poor teenage single mother and later raised in an inner city Milwaukee neighborhood” and I’ve no doubt that she is keenly aware that she is but ONE generation removed from having Not had the opportunities she was given _had she born 40 or 50 years earlier.

But I digress.

I’m curious: Of the total population of all currently homeless people in the U.S. what is the actual percentage of “first-time” homeless people among that population?_versus_the actual percentage of people who are chronically homeless?

That would indicate just how “big” of a problem first-time homelessness really is.