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article imageTent cities of middleclass families mushroom in US, Canada

By Adriana Stuijt     Mar 14, 2009 in Health
The US recession began as a crisis of homeowners defaulting on mortgages and now spreads to every part of the economy. Around 650,000 Americans' jobs were lost in February, and unemployment climbed to a 25-year peak of 8.1 per cent.
That's more than the population of the state of Pennsylvania. And this rapid poverty-epidemic is spreading just as fast into Canada. Both countries also have the largest number of top-educated people on the planet put together. Yet half of American families now are only two paychecks away from homelessness and starvation. see
The result is a proliferation of tent cities, from Sacramento, to Florida and even Edmonton, in Alberta Canada. California, with its milder weather, has always attracted its fair share of people living on the streets and empty lots.
But the Golden State is now being hit hard by the recession. In February it had the highest number of repossession filings - 80,775 - of anywhere in the US, up 51 per cent in a year according to the website RealtyTrac. Auction sale notices almost tripled to 18,831. Thousands of families now are out on the streets, with no place to go, and find themselves setting up tents wherever they won't get chased off in a hurry - empty parking lots, public parks, beaches.
See this tent city which arose in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: -- the authorities fenced it in and were planning to move these people 'out of sight' - however where can these people go, who will feed the children, where can they go to school? see
In Los Angeles alone, some 60,000 houses were repossessed - and families now are living out in the streets, in tent cities, reports the BBC. (see video above).
Especially top-educated, middleclass American families have become poor so rapidly that it's a full-time job just keeping up with all the tent-cities which are mushrooming all across the United States as these families take their camping equipment and turn them into permanent homes - where-ever they can find an empty spot.
Also see the tent city in Ontario, California here and the shanty town in Miami, Florida here There are dozens of YouTube movies of these tent cities, and new ones added each day.
A particularly vicious incident happened in St. Petersburg, where Florida resident Tiny May filmed police officers with box-cutters, who showed up and proceeded to carve up these families' only roofs over their heads.
The cops slashed their tents to the ground as residents watched in shock.
Right now, all these hundreds of thousands of homeless people still are reasonably well-fed and healthy. Two more months of this lifestyle, and the rib-cages will start showing. I've seen it all before -- all over Africa.
More about Tent cities, Florida, Edmonton, Alberta, Los angeles
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