Tent Cities Full Of Homeless People Are Booming In Cities All Over America As Poverty Spikes

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Just like during the last economic crisis, homeless encampments are popping up all over the nation as poverty grows at a very alarming rate.  According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than half a million people are homeless in America right now, but that figure is increasing by the day.  And it isn’t just adults that we are talking about.  It has been reported that that the number of homeless children in this country has risen by 60 percent since the last recession, and Poverty USA says that a total of 1.6 million children slept either in a homeless shelter or in some other form of emergency housing at some point last year.  Yes, the stock market may have been experiencing a temporary boom for the last couple of years, but for those on the low end of the economic scale things have just continued to deteriorate.

Tonight, countless numbers of homeless people will try to make it through another chilly night in large tent cities that have been established in the heart of major cities such as Seattle, Washington, D.C. and St. Louis.  Homelessness has gotten so bad in California that the L.A. City Council has formally asked Governor Jerry Brown to officially declare a state of emergency.   And in Portland the city has extended their “homeless emergency” for yet another year, and city officials are really struggling with how to deal with the booming tent cities that have sprung up

There have always been homeless people in Portland, but last summer Michelle Cardinal noticed a change outside her office doors.


Almost overnight, it seemed, tents popped up in the park that runs like a green carpet past the offices of her national advertising business. She saw assaults, drug deals and prostitution. Every morning, she said, she cleaned human feces off the doorstep and picked up used needles.



“It started in June and by July it was full-blown. The park was mobbed,” she said. “We’ve got a problem here and the question is how we’re going to deal with it.”

But of course it isn’t just Portland that is experiencing this.  The following list of major tent cities that have become so well-known and established that they have been given names comes from Wikipedia

Most of the time, those that establish tent cities do not want to be discovered because local authorities have a nasty habit of shutting them down and forcing homeless people out of the area.  For example, check out what just happened in Elkhart, Indiana

A group of homeless people in Elkhart has been asked to leave the place they call home. For the last time, residents of ‘Tent City’ packed up camp.


City officials gave residents just over a month to vacate the wooded area; Wednesday being the last day to do so.


The property has been on Mayor Tim Neese’s radar since he took office in January, calling it both a safety and health hazard to its residents and nearby pedestrian traffic.


“This has been their home but you can’t live on public property,” said Mayor Tim Neese, Elkhart.

If they can’t live on “public property”, where are they supposed to go?

They certainly can’t live on somebody’s “private property”.

This is the problem – people don’t want to deal with the human feces, the needles, the crime and the other problems that homeless people often bring with them.  So the instinct is often to kick them out and send them away.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t fix the problem.  It just passes it on to someone else.

As this new economic downturn continues to accelerate, our homelessness boom is going to spiral out of control.  Pretty soon, there will be tent cities in virtually every community in America.

In fact, there are people that are living comfortable middle class lifestyles right at this moment that will end up in tents.  We saw this during the last economic crisis, and it will be even worse as this next one unfolds.

Just like last time around, the signs that the middle class is really struggling can be subtle at first, but when you learn to take note of them you will notice that they are all around you.  The following comes from an excellent article in the New York Post

Do you see grocery stores closing? Do you see other retailers, like clothing stores and department stores, going out of business?


Are there shuttered storefronts along your Main Street shopping district, where you bought a tool from the hardware store or dropped off your dry cleaning or bought fruits and vegetables?


Are you making as much money annually as you did 10 years ago?


Do you see homes in neighborhoods becoming run down as the residents either were foreclosed upon, or the owner lost his or her job so he or she can’t afford to cut the grass or paint the house?


Did that same house where the Joneses once lived now become a rental property, where new people come to live every few months?


Do you know one or two people who are looking for work? Maybe professionals, who you thought were safe in their jobs?

Don’t look down on those that are living in tents, because the truth is that many “middle class Americans” will ultimately end up joining them.

The correct response to those that are hurting is love and compassion.  We all need help at some point in our lives, and I know that I am certainly grateful to those that have given me a helping hand at various points along my journey.

Sadly, hearts are growing cold all over the nation, and the weather is only going to get colder over the months ahead.  Let us pray for health and safety for the hundreds of thousands of Americans that will be sleeping in tents and on the streets this winter.

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SomethingSomethingDarkSide's picture

Wonder what % of these people are Democrats.  How deserved that would be, homeless while Sharia bound immigrants rape and pillage all with cosy government funded living.

Takeaction2's picture

Here in Portland, Or it is an absolute disaster.  These homeless people are flooding everywhere.  Under Bridges, on our park trails...even camping in the middle of freeways.  It is horrible.  Do I have the answer...No.  The first thing that we need to do is create a law that "FINES PEOPLE WHO GIVE TO THESE PEOPLE BEGGING ON EVERY OFF RAMP of OUR FREEWAYS."  You need to atttack the "Johns" to get rid of the prostitutes just like this begging problem.  Don't go after the people holding the signs...go after the people who enable them.  Simple.  Also...please don't move to Oregon.  Our traffic is now clogged...homeless everywhere...Rent for a small place is now $1400 to $1800 a month...(Was $800 to $1000)  It is getting crazy...

SomethingSomethingDarkSide's picture

Dizzamn.  Heard some dark news about Portland, OR lately but that is downright 3rd World shit right there.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Let this be a lesson to everyone here.  

If you are paying rent/paying a mortgage ... seriously consider setting some fiat aside for the exclusive purpose of picking up cheap accomidations (even if you have to leave the city where you live) if the option is face homelessness.  

For example, for German ZH readers, housing in the former East is quite affordable, and in times of collapse ... will be even moreso.

See, this as an example in Thüringen, this as example in MeckPom, this as an example in Sachsen and this as an example in Sachsen-Anhalt.

I am confident if you move to less densly populated areas with 100 oz of silver or so (ca., $2,000 in today's money) you could find similar listing in the US. 

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

This is why Scott Adams, author of the Dilbert cartoons, says that our government needs to invest in a state of the art housing program that utilizes the latest advancements in construction technology and sustainable development. The government would allocate a large budget to the project, and hire the best architects and engineers the country has to offer, giving them the resources they require to produce the most efficient housing project the world has ever seen. Of course, we would need to hold them to strict time and budget constraints, but with an elite team of government regulators in charge, this should be easily achievable.


Haus-Targaryen's picture

Damnit, forgot Brandenburg, see here


de3de8's picture

It's just a coincidence that California and most of rest are libtard strongholds. Will they ever learn

Bastiat's picture

A former SF mayor suggested using a mothballed aircraft carrier!  Actually it was used for emergency housing after the Loma Prieta earthquake and worked well.

Fukushima Sam's picture

The best prevention of tent cities is a deathly cold winter.

new game's picture

living here in mn-snota, i can atest indeed it does freeze the rif raf south. and if they come back they can donate blood to the skeeters during summer. we have a few that tough it out and have to hit the sal army when sub zero.

hey at least they are tough parasites.

TeamDepends's picture

Behold the Obamavilles, Change You Can Believe In!

e_goldstein's picture

Nah, Democrats still vote even after they are dead.

Shocker's picture

Sad to see, and nothing has "really" improved / been fixed since 08.

Layoff List: http://www.dailyjobcuts.com


bleu's picture
bleu (not verified) Shocker Sep 12, 2016 9:49 PM

The CURSE is in FULL THROTTLE now. http://wp.me/p4OZ4v-3z

Déjà view's picture

Tents Made In China...they are 'Contributing'...

Multi's picture

Guess what the good times are for? for saving for the bad ones!

"The typical American couple has only $5,000 saved for retirement" (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-typical-american-couple-has-only-50...)

"The average savings account balance in the U.S. was $5,923 in 2011" (http://finance.zacks.com/much-money-average-american-family-savings-7304...)

"As of 2013, the average bank account balance hovered around $4,436", "Approximately 26% of adults have no savings set aside for emergencies" (https://www.creditdonkey.com/average-american-savings-statistics.html)

If TWO (2) fucking people are unable to save in their WHOLE life more than $5.000...   where do you expect them to live when disaster strikes?

If two persons, both working, are incapable of saving $5.000 in ONE year, they are doing something wrong. It's like some of my coworkers who keep buying shit in Amazon: mountain bikes, electronics appliances, tennis racquets, musical instruments, and so on and on. Not to mention people with mortgages spending holidays in freaking expensive exotic locations (pay your house first motherfucker). All these are not examples out of my arse, I saw it with my eyes.  WTF? it's like money burns a hole in their pocket.

But I guess I'm expected to pay for their well-being when shit hits the fan, so everything is alright.

checkessential's picture

Is this imported homelessness or home grown?  This is George Soros and the globalists vision of equality with the rest of the world.  They must be quite pleased.   

NumberNone's picture

Brought in a local contractor to do some work in my home.  He brought in his best crew for the job.  The floor guy was Gerardo.  The electrician was Alfaro.  The painter was Garza.  The lady that cleaned up was Esparza.  All great people, all did great work..but I did notice a pattern.  Ironically it will be liberals screaming loudest about the lack of opportunities for Americans and at the same time demanding open borders.  

Offthebeach's picture

Democrats need more 80 IQ voters, plus it's insurance incase the black vote walks out or tries for a better deal. Bring on Muslims,and the Party could afford to tell blacks to go ahead, walk.

zebra77a's picture

Great Travesty. If I was President of the United States I would cancel ALL DEBT.  To pull it off grant you I'd probably have to arrest hundreds of insider leeches and bankers.


But it must be done. There is no other option. ALL DEBT must be cancelled!

HardAssets's picture

The idea of debt cancellation, Jubilee, is one that most people can't wrap their minds around. This is even true for those who intellectually know that the 'debt' was made up outta thin air Nothing. Furthermore, if the banksters who fabricated this 'debt' get in trouble, they are bailed out on the backs of the people. Yet, those same people are stuck with their own 'debts' with no escape. They are truly debt slaves forced into using bankster debt notes in all their daily economic transactions.

The brainwashing is so thorough on this subject, that the entire US and the rest of the West would likely have to collapse before any fundamental change could occur. Then we could reset and start over with sound money.

joe90's picture

Without debt, savings is the crusty old useless dry accumulation of seeds, gold or the shit you keep in the basement.  None  pays any interest.  That debt, made out of thin air, yes, it's a number on a piece of paper but it's backed by optimism and your promise to pay it back.  Sound money is only as good as the promises, same as it is now.

Mr.BlingBling's picture

Sophistry. Sound money savings is stored labor. Let me know how much optimism it takes to fill your belly when you can't work and can't service your debt.

ersatz007's picture

yep-tougher than the parasites that work for the MIC or the banks or wall street - that's for sure. 

WorkingClassMan's picture

Hopefully you're never rightsized.

ufos8mycow's picture

@MillionDollarHookers - Sounds suspiciously like The Fountainhead

MopWater's picture

They usually hide out in the woods along the riverbanks down...I've wondered why they don't try to throw together a shack, but I digress. MN, at least smaller towns, don't have the issue as badly, but I'm sure plenty couch surf.


buttmint's picture

FukuSam +1,000

.... you will NOT find tent cities in Chicago, Detoilet or New York this winter. Hail Phoenix, San Diego and along the Mexican border! Near Quartzite, Arizona, near the Colorado River will be a winter-long TENT CITY BBQ! Yes...all ZHers are invited!


markitect's picture

Well unfortunately in Chicago and NYC there are a lot of underground utility tunnels and streets where large buildings' machinery dump heated air.  They find these places out.  Also in Chicago there is a large piece of forested land that was a former railyard, hundred acres Id guess, secluded from the city around it.  There is a sizable population year round in those woods along the south branch of the river.  And like this article states, that encampment seems to be full of somewhat normal people organizing a little village with rules.  The true nut jobs are out on the streets.

Skateboarder's picture

So true that those keeping up their human spirit and dignity battle on in groups and look out for each other, whether in tent cities, in wooded areas, or even as makeshitft RV communities. I have an example of the latter.

There has been a massive increase in the Bay Area's homeless population as the rents have gone through the stratosphere. Recently there was a big poster put up on Lawrence Expwy in Cupertino saying "Look out for the homeless... you could be next!" It was humbling to see that, literally a block from where I grew up.

Mountain View and Sunnyvale, CA have been hit real hard by the influences of Sploogle, Fartbook, et al. On Crisanto Ave, next to Rengstorff Park, my "home" skatepark (considering there were no others in neighboring cities until the mid 2000s), the entire lengthy street running parallel to the train tracks has been inundated with RVs and campers. There are "landlords" to these RVs, btw - most are not owned by the people themselves.

On a recent trip to the skatepark after not having visited it for a year or more, I heard from a distance a guy across the street hollering. Another skater heard him first and was already en-route, jumping the fence to help him out. Guy looked like he was dumping a mattress - into a bush - at the corner of Central Expwy and Rengstorff Ave, one of the busiest intersections in all of the South Bay. When fellow skater jumped back into the park, I got the run down. Guy was an ex-Cupertino resident, an uncle of an older professional skateboarder. Years ago he gave free stickers to my friends and I, when he lived right to Cupertino High School (don't even ask how much rent costs there now...). "OMG, I know that guy!", I said.

Turns out guy's brother had already been living in the bush, and the mattress was for him. Now guy will be joining him too.

I found this recent report of a vehicle dweller survey conducted in Mountain View. I am quite sure the numbers only indicate the tip of the iceberg rather than the whole thing, but the report does some justice in breaking down the information from the participants that were approached and consulted. There are so many hardworking employed people on the edge of being pushed out into the streets in the Bay - not everyone shows it publicly.


More and more of the west coast will be looking a lot like the metropolitan cities from the BRICS - a hodgepodge of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th world elements.

To all the homeless out there - wishing you safety, health, and a good night's sleep.
Love, Skateboarder.

chunga's picture

+1 good to see you skateboarder

Escrava Isaura's picture



Watch for the next step:



Skateboarder's picture

Good to see you too chunga - hope all has been well.

I have one more story to share:

From 2011 to 2014 I helped my friend stay alive by paying his rent and expenses every month. It was a huge financial and emotional drain for myself and my family, and he was let go because of his unwillingness to find employment and rise up on his own feet after three years of unconditional giving. Having felonies (non-harmful to anyone, and he took the hit and 6 mos. of prison time on one of those instances for the sake of his friend's (he turned out to be a backstabbing mvthrfvcker) future career prospects) on his record prevented him from employment and housing at most places despite his ridiculously high IQ and work abilities, and alcoholism was his eventual fate. The powerlessness and inability to change things is great when the odds are so heavily against you and there are jillions of others with "perfect record"s who cannot find employment either. With that background info being stated,

I know what it is like through him to have $2500 in your hands (well, my $2500 in his hands) and not be able to have a roof over your head in a college town.

Finding housing does not happen in a day or even a week, especially when you have "history" that puts you at the bottom of the list. The housing you do find, co-tenants tend to be sketchy.

One visit when I went to give him his month's allowance, I came to find that he had finally become homeless and had found a spot in a bush.

All hotels in town cost $80-100/night. He had already blown thousands of my money living in hotel rooms because he had no other choice except the street, and having exhausted the money, gone to the bush. We had a choice that night I visited him - I could put us up in a hotel room, or we sleep in the bush like he had been doing. We slept in the bush, he with $2500 cash in his pocket.

Society and "the rules" are not kind to those with "marks on their record," even if those individuals are kind-hearted and of potential great use to society when given the right chances to better themselves.

Sleep well, <name of friend> Dogg, wherever you are.
Love, Skateboarder.

chunga's picture

Making it worse is one can be in another "class", political/gov, for example and commit every crime in the book without consequence. We don't have much but count our blessings every day for our little mountain hideaway.

willwork4food's picture

Wow Skate, you are very generous. I wouldn't put up with anything more than a few months of helping him out. Then he's on his own. Life's rough and then you die.

general ambivalent's picture

Damn, even NASA employees are living in their cars.

Dame Ednas Possum's picture


It's good to see there are still some humans here on ZH.

4freedom78's picture

and to all the leftist pigs in silicon Valley where the fuck is your "progress"?! Bill gate is giving free vaccine to Africa kids when kids in us are selling their body for food!?And half of the food produced is been trashed because it not looks " perfect" or out of date ?!

buttmint's picture

Skateboarder---great tale of humanity.

Years ago, I had a crappy VW Convertible that I would drive down to Mexico and camp along the beaches. I was scooting along I-10 between Tucson and Las Cruces----saw a few Mexicans walking along the road. I motioned them to get in...they were delirious with dehydration. I had scads of water vessels. I gave em what food I had. Got them as far as they could go, prior to the next check point. Felt I did what I could....maybe we are all doing things this way?

Blankman's picture

Skateboarder, why stayin CA.  I'm in Illinois Midwest's own version of CA.  We are on a 3 year plan to move to Wisconsinland.  Not great but better than IL.  Make a plan and get out of CA.

HardAssets's picture

@Skateboarder - the lack of compassion shown by some will someday be 'rewarded'. The USA is trillions in debt and that grows by $3 billion every day. When the day finally arrives when the banks stay closed, the ATMs don't work, and neither do their credit cards - - they will come to experience the fate of many in tent cities today. Then 'those people' will be them.

cheka's picture

It has been reported that that the number of homeless children in this country has risen by 60 percent since the last recession, and Poverty USA says that a total of 1.6 million children slept either in a homeless shelter or in some other form of emergency housing at some point last year.


let me teach you something -- the 'homeless' children are from self declaration (by parent), primarily at the skoolz.  once they claim homeless = JACKPOT.  the gov benefits rain down like nothing else.  the surge in homeless kid claims is 100 percent fsa seeking max benefits

Nunya Bidness Gogl's picture

Why not claim whatever you can? It's everyone's patriotic duty at this point to draw out as much as possible, while paying in as little as possible. Starve the beast.

crossroaddemon's picture

Agreed. Taking their money is a form of resistance... one of the very few realistic ones available.

Okienomics's picture

I see you've been widely upvoted so my sentiment will probably fall on deaf ears in this forum.  Nonetheless, two wrongs do not make a right and "taking everything you can get" is repugnant.  It is the virtue of criminals whether on main street or wall street.  Do right and accept only what you must.  If you don't need it, don't take it, whether from a charity or a government.  There is nothing free and what you take for yourself you have deprived of someone else.

ed31337's picture

On the surface, I would tend to agree with your argument. Take the moral high road - use only what you must and avoid depriving others. Do unto them as you'd have them do unto you, right?

Unfortunately, that course of action will not stop evil and corrupt people from taking what you left and using it to do their wicked deeds. Everybody is forced at gun point to pay into the gov't coffers, and the gov't in turn uses a little bit of that money for good deeds but a lot of that money for evil deeds. We can not control what the beast does with our taxes, but starving the beast reduces the overall amount of (mostly evil) activity it can do. You can still contribute to good deeds by voluntarily helping people around you that you can personally vet to know they are not doing evil.