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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-26-09 06:29 AM
Original message
Cities Deal With a Surge in Shanty Towns
"Bushvilles" sounds more appropriate to me...


Cities Deal With a Surge in Shanty Towns

Jim Wilson/The New York Times

An encampment of tents under an overpass in Fresno. More Photos >

By JESSE McKINLEY
Published: March 25, 2009


FRESNO, Calif. As the operations manager of an outreach center for the homeless here, Paul Stack is used to seeing people down on their luck. What he had never seen before was people living in tents and lean-tos on the railroad lot across from the center.

They just popped up about 18 months ago, Mr. Stack said. One day it was empty. The next day, there were people living there.

Like a dozen or so other cities across the nation, Fresno is dealing with an unhappy dj vu: the arrival of modern-day Hoovervilles, illegal encampments of homeless people that are reminiscent, on a far smaller scale, of Depression-era shantytowns. At his news conference on Tuesday night, President Obama was asked directly about the tent cities and responded by saying that it was not acceptable for children and families to be without a roof over their heads in a country as wealthy as ours.

While encampments and street living have always been a part of the landscape in big cities like Los Angeles and New York, these new tent cities have taken root or grown from smaller enclaves of the homeless as more people lose jobs and housing in such disparate places as Nashville, Olympia, Wash., and St. Petersburg, Fla.

In Seattle, homeless residents in the citys 100-person encampment call it Nickelsville, an unflattering reference to the mayor, Greg Nickels. A tent city in Sacramento prompted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to announce a plan Wednesday to shift the entire 125-person encampment to a nearby fairground. That came after a recent visit by The Oprah Winfrey Show set off such a news media stampede that some fed-up homeless people complained of overexposure and said they just wanted to be left alone.

The problem in Fresno is different in that it is both chronic and largely outside the national limelight. Homelessness here has long been fed by the ups and downs in seasonal and subsistence jobs in agriculture, but now the recession has cast a wider net and drawn in hundreds of the newly homeless from hitchhikers to truck drivers to electricians.

more...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/us/26tents.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-26-09 02:49 PM
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1. k+r, n/t
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-26-09 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
2. This is disgraceful. This is criminal. This is obscene. We see some
fat jackal get a half billion dollar retirement package (that slug from Exxon who's name escapes me right now) and here is what is happening to American citizens.

Yes folks, those fucking bonuses ARE a big deal. How many people here could have been sheltered in permanent housing with that money?
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guitar man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-26-09 02:56 PM
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3. what will it take?
How much more of this will it take to spark a revolt...a real revolt against the disgusting plutocracy that this country has become? :grr:
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-26-09 03:03 PM
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4. I wonder if Rim Job visits the Fresno encampment?
Fresno runs homeless people out of the places and destroys their property.
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WeDidIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-26-09 03:53 PM
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5. Bushburgs
Do you want Freedom Fries with that?
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