America's tent cities


56 Responses to “America's tent cities”

  1. Rider says:

    Hey at least they are doing something about obesity in children. 

  2. hassenpfeffer says:

    How much $$$ per drone again?

  3. ffabian says:

    Don’t pity those people. Just work hard and make the American Dream come true! /s

  4. Wreckrob8 says:

    There has also been a steady deterioration in the value of incomes in the US undermining people’s preparedness for economic shocks over the past 30 years or so. This is now happening in Europe too.

  5. Aaron Swain says:

    With all due respect to the Beeb, the Portland community has been around for well over a decade. While it has probably grown significantly in the last few years, the so named “Dignity Village” has not just “sprung up”.

  6. Manny says:

    See? There is a safety net!

  7. Dino Cazzo says:

    But I thought Reagan promised them a no-tax Utopia of great prosperity if they’d simply start voting republican?

    After 30 years of conservative economic policies, the white working class is beginning to look like the marginalized black population. Low workforce participation, tons of social pathologies. Truly ironic, as the white working class’ racism is what led them to abandon the liberals and start voting for conservative republicans.

    I love a karmic payback.

    • Charles Céleste Hutchins says:

       It may shock you to learn that a lot of the desperately poor are also people of colour as well as children who have never voted in their short lives. I post this understanding I may get disemvolwed, but you are a horrible person for wishing this kind of ill on anyone.

    • SedanChair says:

      I’d like it better if those same Reagan voters showed any understanding of how badly they’ve been deceived. But they’re still going on about “I saw a black person buy steak with their food stamps.”

    • MoreMoschops says:

      As a foreigner, it is astounding to watch a significant section of the US’ poorest citizens repeatedly vote for policies that will hurt them. 

      • Dino Cazzo says:

        Yes, but they THINK that their votes are hurting those OTHER people.

        That’s why their suffering is so enjoyable to me.

        Now flag my comment out of existence. That also won’t help the white working class survive their long slide to poverty.

  8. CSBD says:

    Actually there are at least 3 tent cities in Ann Arbor Michigan.  The city and University had one of the tent cities evicted because it was seen by too many people who were attending football games.

    There are tent cities by 94 and Wagner road, one off of Washtenaw behind Hillers, one by the Gandy Dancer and one that moved closer to Ypsilanti after “eviction”.

    I would suspect that if they did an actual study/account there are probably closer to 10 in the Ann Arbor area alone.

    a large number of the people who are homeless and live in these cities are mentally ill people who were thrown out of institutions and group homes by republicans.
    There are some who are drug addicts and some who are simply people (or families) who have lost their jobs and ran out of money/options before they were homeless.

    Once homeless, it becomes nearly impossible for them to break the cycle or get out of the situation.

    most employers will not hire someone who admits they are homeless or is as unkempt as many homeless people end up (through their living conditions)

    • IronEdithKidd says:

      The encampment that was located within the I-94 interchange at Ann Arbor-Saline was dismantled by the State police at the behest of MDOT &/or the road commission (possibly under pressure from U of M).  The city wasn’t involved, it’s not their jurisdiction or maintenance responsibility.  The homeless have moved to the Wagner Rd. camp you mentioned.
      Any (and maybe every) unattended patch of woods in and around Ann Arbor contain homeless people.  10 is an undercounting encampments, to be certain.  It’s certainly not a recent phenomenon, either.  I first stumbled onto a camp shortly after moving here in 1995 in Brown Park.  I’ve found many since then.  As a rule, I don’t walk alone in the woods around here.

    • Jim Saul says:

      Thanks for bringing up the mentally ill and addicted, who were once treated by a national network of medical facilities, and who were dumped on the street by St. Reagan.

      And don’t forget homeless vets. 

      How many homeless veterans are there?Although flawless counts are impossible to come by – the transient nature of homeless populations presents a major difficulty – the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) estimate that over 67,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. Over the course of a year, approximately twice that many experience homelessness. Only eight percent of the general population can claim veteran status, but nearly one-fifth of the homeless population are veterans. 

  9. coffee100 says:

    It’s made all the worse when one realizes what this country was capable of a scant 50 years ago.  The speed of this nation’s decline is shocking.  

    I’m looking forward to participating in a discussion of solutions.  With so many smart people on the web, it should be relatively simple to organize that much at least.

    Note I didn’t say a tribal shit-throwing contest.  We need a sober, reasoned discussion of self-directed independent solutions without the blaming and posturing.   That’s how Americans solved problems 50 years ago.

    Go watch Apollo 13 again for numerous simple examples.   Note the extraordinary shortage of whining, blaming and assholes in that film.  

    Note the results.

    • davidasposted says:

      “The light that burns twice as bright burns twice as fast.”

      Are you looking for potential solutions to the homelessness that is described in the BBC report? Or to the problems that caused the homelessness? Or to the decline of the U.S. during the past 50 years?

      The solution to the former two problems lies in the kind of localization some have been talking about for the past few years, only now it will become more serious for more people involved. Shopping locally at non-conglomerates? Vacationing locally? Locally-grown foods? These habits will all become the norm because they will have to be. Federal, state, and even some local governments are unwilling to address the problems of poverty and unemployment in their own communities. The folks who live in those communities, especially larger cities in which anonymity is the norm, will need to become increasingly self-reliant and fill that vacuum… but they will need to do so together. In some respects this process will be emotionally (and also practically) liberating. People will realize skills they never knew they had, they will become more directly involved in previously mundane aspects of their lives (e.g. working in a community garden). I think many communities in the U.S. could be fairly resilient.

      As for the latter issue? Pragmatically speaking, no solution will be forthcoming. The same people who have orchestrated the decline of the U.S. have the mobility and resources to leave the country when it becomes inconvenient to live there. And you can bet that they will squeeze every last drop out of the country before they leave it; they do not have to live with the consequences. Your best hope is to minimize their influence in your life as much as possible and refuse to legitimize them. Spend this 2012 election day doing something useful, like making things.

    • Good luck trying to take blaming and posturing out of a political discussion….although I do appreciate your intent.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      Uh, note that completely different policies of 50 years ago while you’re at it.  Note that it was before bored boomers started flirting with neoliberal policy making as well.

  10. atimoshenko says:

    People need to start their lives with something to their name. This is particularly true in the modern world in which some sort of tools or capital is needed to be able to produce almost any type of value.

    Start life with something and you have a seed that you can grow, grow, and grow. Start life with nothing, and you are hanging on from pay check to pay check, one bad day away from disaster. 

  11. JonCarter says:

    One can rent a two bedroom home in Poinciana FL starting at about $500. Two couples could live in there pretty cheaply.

    • ocschwar says:

      To get the money, you need a job.
      To get a job, you need an address. 


    • MoreMoschops says:

      So that requires what, three months’ rent deposit to the landlord plus the first month’s rent up front – two thousand dollars. Add to that the approval of the landlord, who will want to see evidence that you can keep paying, so you need to have a steady job (some of them even run credit checks). The landlord doesn’t want two couples living in there, so if you’re going to do that you run the constant risk of being discovered and kicked out. So let’s recap – you need two thousand dollars, a steady job and good credit, and if you go halves with some other couple you run the constant risk of losing it. How many homeless people do you think have two thousand dollars, a steady job and good credit?

  12. Andy Heben says:

    Ann Arbor’s Camp Take Notice has been around for years.  It is not simply a result of recent austerity members.  


  13. manicbassman says:

    so many apologists for the corporatocracy… so sickening…

  14. Christopher Bon says:

    For those who aren’t in the UK

  15. Thebes says:

    The US Federal Government spends an amount equal to 94% of all personal income taxes on the military and “homeland” security. If we didn’t, maybe we’d still be a great nation.

  16. SarahKH says:

    Disgusting, absolutely disgusting and no, I’m not taking the moral high ground here because I know we have similar social issues and have done for quite a while. 

    I realise charities can only do so much but, considering just how much tax my ‘representatives’ rip out of my paws every damn year nobody in this sodding country should be living on the streets; fine, they shouldn’t all have 3 bedroom houses (channeling a shade of Daily Mail) but jesus h christ. 

  17. ZA_SF says:

    The interview with the hungry schoolchildren is deeply saddening and frustrating. The Obama administration has taken a lot of hits for keeping federal funding flowing to SNAP and other public assistance programs. I can only wonder at what those children’s parents are thinking that avoiding SNAP and feeding their kids rats is the ‘better’ choice.

  18. mike says:

    The system is broken,has been for years.You lose your job,fall behind on some payments,they take your house,which ruins your credit.Then,when you go and try to find work,the employers do credit checks,finds out your credit is less than perfect..throws your application/resume in the trash….  

  19. Navin_Johnson says:

     Decidedly right wing attitude for somebody who seems to be critical conservatism.

  20. Layne says:

    Yeah! Round all those nasty white conservatives up and put em into CAMPS! It’ll be awesome! 
    Wow. Do you guys actually take :01 to think about the words you’re formulating before you type em out? Or is it all just an instant rush to slather kneejerk political/racial stereotypes on people to scapegoat for the issue du jour?

    Maybe we can all back up and apply ANY objectivism to the statement in the first paragraph that gets tossed out as a fact: All these homeless people are the direct result of states who are trying to institute “austere” balanced budgets. Really? 

    So suddenly, a municipality begins to reign in deficit spending to match reduced tax receipts due to an economic downturn and *POOF*: homeless camps? Certainly it couldn’t be: “Rampant  overspending on public projects, insane public-sector employee salary/pensions, and loss of investments in hyper-inflated real estate speculation leads cities scrambling to close budget gaps and return to some fiscal sanity.”? Nah, too nuanced, let’s just blame the 1%, Banks, Koch Bros, Illuminati, Bilderberg Group, etc. etc… 

  21. Guest says:

    Certainly it couldn’t be: “Rampant  overspending on public projects, insane public-sector employee salary/pensions, and loss of investments in hyper-inflated real estate speculation leads cities scrambling to close budget gaps and return to some fiscal sanity.”

    It’s funny on what you choose to focus on. You tellingly left out the Bush tax cuts for the rich and spending on wars.

    From the Onion in JANUARY 17, 2001:

    Bush: ‘Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over’

    Seriously, to hell with conservative corporatists in either party.  They caused this.  This did not have to happen.

    And, yes, to hell with every idiot that voted in Bush.  We’re never going to recover until we from our past mistakes.

    For the love of God, educate yourself:

  22. Dino Cazzo says:

    Hey, if people want to vote for conservatives out of some racist ignorance that the poor minorities are causing them grief, let them live in tents for all I care.

    White working class conservatives are a cancer.

  23. Cowicide says:

    Weird, I was trying to edit the grammar of my post here:

     …and it turned my name into Guest and says I anonymized it when I click on the profile.  Damn you, Disqus!

  24. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Open a ticket with Disqus about it. I’d be interested to hear what they say.

    Or do the same thing again and see if it reverses it. Like the Like button.

  25. Cowicide says:

    Ah, I think I must have hit the “delete” button by accident in the Disqus dashboard. There doesn’t appear to be any way to reverse it. It doesn’t really delete it, it just removes your identity from the post and turns it into “Guest”. I was even able to “Like” my own anonymized post afterwards, heh.

  26. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Weird. Good to know, though. People e-mail me all the time because they accidentally posted their drug history under their real name.

  27. Cowicide says:

    they accidentally posted their drug history under their real name.

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