America’s homeless: The rise of Tent City, USA

Thursday, May 22, 2014
By Paul Martin

By Blake Ellis
CNN.com
May 16, 2014

Homeless encampments known as “tent cities” are popping up across the country.

Formed as an alternative to shelters and street-living, these makeshift communities are often set up off of highways, under bridges and in the woods. Some have “mayors” who determine the rules of the camp and who can and can’t join, others are a free-for-all. Some are overflowing with trash, old food, human waste and drug paraphernalia, others are relatively clean and drug-free.

The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty documented media accounts of tent cities between 2008 and 2013, and estimated that there are more than 100 tent communities in the United States — and it says the encampments are on the rise.
“[T]here have been increasing reports of homeless encampments emerging in communities across the country, primarily in urban and suburban areas and spanning states as diverse as Hawaii, Alaska, California, and Connecticut,” the organization’s study states.

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