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Politics America's Tent Cities

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by genuinemommy, Dec 13, 2013.


Have you seen a tent community in-person?

  1. Yes

    6 vote(s)
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
  1. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member

    America's homeless poor are growing in numbers daily. Stereotypes of a mentally disturbed and drug-addicted homeless population are shattering. More and more recent college grads are filling the ever-expanding tent cities. As much as politicians can pat themselves on the back for this new budget, nothing new will be done for these people.

    Have you or any of your loved ones ever been homeless?
    Do you know anyone who has actively chosen this lifestyle, or was it imposed upon them?
    What services are offered the homeless in your area?
    What can be done to help them?

    This thread was inspired by this (admittedly slanted) news article.
    Exclusive: America Has Now Become a Nation of “Tent Cities” | Ben Swann Truth In Media

    Here is a striking slide show of a tent city in NJ:
    AMERICA TODAY: Heartbreaking Pictures From New Jersey's Homeless 'Tent City' - Business Insider
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  2. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Foggy Bottom
    The number of homeless in the US has seen a modest decline in the last few years, primarily as a result of a new federal strategy that was launched in 2010 through a new U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). The USICH coordinates the homeless prevention efforts of 19 federal agencies and partner with state and local governments to help maximize the effectiveness of homeless prevention programs.

    The plan does not call for additional funding for homeless prevention (currently at $2+ billion). Instead, it details five overarching strategies to serve as a better road map for using existing funds. The strategies include helping local governments and others build greater capacity to intervene and prevent homelessness, providing better support for affordable and permanent supportive housing, expanding sustainable employment opportunities and access to eligible federal support, linking health care with homeless assistance programs and retooling the homeless response system.

    The key, in the short term, is the getting folks into stable (and subsidized) rental housing rather than shelters ASAP and combining that with social service case workers, employment training, health services, etc. It has been particularly successful in assisting homeless veterans, where the VA plays a much greater role than in the past.

    Here is a story on Salt Lake City's success.

    The long term solution, in part, is a continued federal investment in education/retraining, health services, affordable housing, and a strong social safety net to prevent more folks from failing through the cracks rather than cutting these programs in the short-sighted goal of debt reduction, continued collaboration between public and private (non profit) partners and a community focus on solutions that work rather than stigmatizing the victims.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    I could have been homeless 10 years ago, if I wasn't being supported/loaned money by my parents to pay for my cheap apartment.

    The biggest thing back then was getting over the "being a failure" thing. And it isn't the "you tried, and it just didn't work" type of failure.

    Now, I have watched movies like "Into The Wild", "Hold Fast", and survivor TV shows. I also have enough money saved up that I wouldn't have anxiety attacks about not having money to buy food.

    I have also realized that there are many people who choose this type of nomadic lifestyle. RV'ers, sailboat cruisers, and bike tourists. I've even met a backpacker who was on her third year and a bike tourist on his second in my travels. I did not know much about this at all when I was poor. Not, that you can be poor and do any of those things, you do need some money up front to get started living the low-cost, low-tax, low-fee lifestyle.

    I do wonder, does it ever get boring having to be on the move all the time? Is the grass really greener...but sitting in my cold house that I own 45% of, instead of my bike/tent or a boat in Florida right now, seems like an easy sell.

    But, I'm not sure how well you can re-integrate into the house owning, steady job type of lifestyle after you go and do something like that for a few years if you need to. What quality of job could you get? Would you have enough money to pay for some type of medical expense? What about all the healthcare premiums and food costs over the years? Qualifying for medicaid, food stamps and food banks isn't a lifestyle strategy that should be promoted... I could see it if you were going to come back and live with your aging parents to take care of them in 20-30 years, or if you were going to find a commune an live off the land. It's just that these alternatives are never promoted or brought up. You can only "be successful" and have nice things if you have a steady job...the quality of your life doesn't matter, just how big your paycheck is and how much power you have at your job. Then again, what has "success" gotten me. I can go back to my high school reunion, and I have more money saved up than almost anyone else there. I don't show it off, but have had a steady job. A lot of them have a few kids and never were able to leave my hometown. But, having a low paying job for your working years makes more money than getting burnt out at a high paying one in a few years.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  4. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member

  5. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage

    We had a tent city in Toronto and I visited it. Home Depot bought the land and the city cleared it of the tents.

    As far as I know, the land is still vacant.

    While we have homeless in the streets that you can see on a daily basis and shelters for them to sleep in, many choose to live in our many ravines and valleys.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  6. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    The question is, what is the step up from living in the woods*? Cheap housing in crime filled neighborhoods? Run-down apartments? Homeless shelters? Shipping container homes? Eco-friendly rammed earth homes (like all new construction should be)? Boats in the bay?

    The main issue is dealing with an unstable income. Do you lose your home if you can't pay utilities, mortgage, and property taxes for a year or two if you don't have any income?

    *Unless you choose to camp in a tent in the woods like I have many times.
  7. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    My family has one member who's chosen this lifestyle.
    Not one of the core...but one that came out of the blue into our lives for a few years, a cousin of the older generation.

    But he was always getting into trouble, couldn't keep a job, wouldn't keep clean/sanitary.
    The family helped for quite some time, but he went his own way...last we heard, he had traveled down south.

    We have another closer one, with some emotional issues, he's had a colorful past.
    But when we brought him back in, he got his act together...fended for himself for years.
    Although, his living conditions in his apt are questionable...he's a hoarder.
    And he's recently lost his job...so we're attempting to help him get through it. We don't want him falling back into hard times.

    There were always a few places like that growing up in Connecticut.
    As a child, we were always curious about the structures...almost as if they were a fort.

    In San Diego, they just chilled on the beaches.
    Homeless, don't have it as difficult out there...plus there are always tweaker or stoner joints to hang at, if I remember correctly.

    I don't know of anyone on my father's side...or of friends' family or acquaintances.

    You see them pan-handling quite a bit in DC...but no tent cities that I've seen.
    Nor the ones in Baltimore...but I don't know that as well.
  8. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & don't criticize. Donor

    Large City, TX
    We have at leat two communities of homeless people living very near us. I can say with certainty a fair number of them have mental issues and/or addiction problems.
  9. ralphie250

    ralphie250 Fully Erect Donor

    At work..
    Sounds like my family