Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tent Cities on Oprah Today at 4PM....

Lisa Ling's Special Investigation:

Most of those in tent cities are not typical homeless, they are usually families, and underemployed or newly unemployed....Most shelters do not allow families, they are not set up for families....it is almost impossible for many families to pay first and last monthes rent and also utility deposits. And as this Housing and Crisis and Job Crisis continues we all need to be aware of what is happening to families in this country...Our Country..

Linked to the Title is my Depression 2009 Blog, there are many Tent City Videos....They are all over from Chicago to Boston to Texas to California to Seattle...

7 comments:

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

yep it is only just starting

Fran said...

I always hope that someone with the power & audience that Oprah has uses it to highlight these kinds of issues.
Hearing the stories & seeing these tent cities are gut wrenching. The clips I have seen, someone usually has a 3 x 5 U.S. Flag displayed in their tent city neighborhood.
A tent city is no way to live-- it is hardly a safety net.
It physically taxes people, who are now more susceptible to getting ill, and certainly depressed.

Equally depressing, was a PBS segment I watched last night. Soldiers who are suicidal, diagnosed with PTSD- have to overcome the stigma of going for psychological help, given a few weeks of counseling, then shipped back to Iraq for another tour of duty.

With O's angel network & huge @, maybe they can begin to get some of these families help.

Yes, since the jobs are vanishing... the classifieds are mighty thin. Even something like part time dishwasher is getting 60+ applicants.
They can require a college degree to get the job!

But I still don't understand, how or why we have money for war? It's always been the elephant in the room.

They are planning on drawing down troops in Iran, but leaving 30-50 thousand troops there, for the next "few years". Really? How much will that cost?

enigma4ever said...

fran:::
over on my Depression 2009 Blog I have whole posts on different Tent Cities ( Ontario California is one of the largest in the country and then also Seattle Tent City which has moved around Seattle for years...)

In my hood - families sleep in cars....they almost worry me more as they have no community or even a tent city...Most people in tent cities WORK...but can not afford rent...they also as families can not always get into Shelters...many Shelters are set up for single people and are gender sorted..this fails families actually leaving them on the streets...yet if they have NO address they can not get Food at the Food Banks...

Tent Cities really bring up the Crisis for Families and also Being UnderEmployed and Underpaid puts families at risk...and Elderly and Children....

How Can ANYONE say that we are NOT in a Depression????

( about the War Costs....I dont know enough I want to see the Plans and hear the REAL costs from the pentagon and also how much was spent the last 8 years...I do hope that 50,000 are not left there that is TOO much,....I hope that is not accurate).

Torrance:::
hmm,,,,,,actually it has been going on for a long time...it is getting worse...but is finally getting noticed...FINALLY....

Fran said...

Thanks for mentioning this, I asked my husband to please tape the show as I was at work.

The whole topic is heartbreaking. That family dragging black yard/garbage bags with their stuff moving from the day shelter to the night shelter, soup kitchen... it is exhausting just schlepping from one place to the other. Having to go into scary neighborhoods, being frisked & scanned at the shelters.... maybe that is a comfort, but not something you want your children going through.


I was stunned about the closing thing, the guy who runs a business clearing out people's stuff from foreclosed homes- the volume of stuff is so great, they can't even salvage perfectly good stuff.
Not that I care so much about the stuff.... but hell, if they could at least auction off or somehow sell it so money could help with something to help the homeless..... just seems so wrong, emotionally , environmentally- it seems someone needs to make the connection- somewhere there is an empty warehouse, we know a lot of people are out of work, and all this perfectly good stuff going to the landfill.

There is a whole entity that could create jobs right off the bat.

Anyway....I can't imaging a tent city in Seattle... the Pacific NW gets lots of rain & ice/snow storms......it's been raining so heavily, no way one could tent in this heavy rain.

It's very hard to wrap your head around people living 3rd world style all across this country.

the walking man said...

Bush gets a 4000 square foot house in a gated community and I get a tent. Sounds about right to me.

enigma4ever said...

ahhh Walking man...
always putting it in perspective...

Fran::
there are tent Cities all over....there have been for years...but now they are flourishing growing...Portland has them too...and Eugene too...they are all over Cali- I saw them when I took the train in 2005 up the coast....that was the first time I realized how they are so expansive...but now they are different....

in many states yes they are considered illegal..in Seattle it is why they move their tent city all over- because the mayor keeps making them move- Mayor Nickel...there are more Tent Cities there now- they call them Nickelvilles...

Here they have them too....smaller gatherings of tented folks they are by the overpasses ....What boggles me- is all of the empty buildings downtown and people sleeping on grates in front of the empty buildings....( the grates are where the steam comes out...a bit of warmth...)

A guy in my hood does foreclosure clean out- he actually asked if I wanted to help do clean out- cause he knows I also clean houses, but I said no- it would break my heart....and he can't keep up with the work...he has plenty...

We need to take Repugs on a Tour of Reality .....show them the full shelters with their waiting lists and the people sleeping in cars .....and food banks....

but so many of us are on the brink of this......it is so worrisome....and kids growing up like this...

and Slumdog Millionaire wins and people can pretend it doesn't happen here...that there are no poor or no slums....but there are ...it is a just different kind of poverty...

In a way ...we are all being Katrinaed now...and still there are many in DC and Repugs who don't see it....or ignore it....

In my heart I KNOW that Obama sees it and saw it when he traveled around the country for 2 years...

Fran said...

Eugene tried to have tent & RV camper cities, but there were issues, the weather for one.... it's too harsh in the winter here-- we get rainforest rain.... heavy all day rain, you really can't tent in. There were garbage costs, animal (pet issues) costs to have port-a-potties, drug & alcohol issues, the need for security.... they tried it a couple times in some different ways, but in the end, allowed churches to let people stay in their facilities for limited times. At some point they officially shut down the tent city here- to the point of giving official notices of eviction & a warning they would be towed- those in funky, not roadworthy old campers.

this town has always had a *move-em-along* approach. They do have a mission that runs a homeless shelter. They require the people using it to go to a christian prayer service, and it's packed to capacity in bad weather.
Some local churches were doing a rotating schedule of letting families circulate, and there is a "day center" that has laundry facilities, phones for job searches & showers.... but it is all piecemeal.
the mission night shelter is across town, far from the day center & the official soup kitchen is somewhere in between the two, although the mission does serve meals.

So we no longer have a tent city....
but I see homeless people, sleeping on the street, in the woods, in the park during the day & hanging out in the library.

But I do know this is happening, and all the shelters safety nets are bursting at the seams with an overflow of need.