The grove by the side of the highway on the outskirts of the picturesque town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, hiding the camp of 30 tents of various House, for those who either do not have a job, but their wages are so low that they can not afford to pay for rental housing.
Terms and Conditions – unsanitary. There are no toilets, and electricity is only available in a communal tent, where residents gather in the cold weather to warm up near the wood stove. The ice pressure on the roof of the tents, and water is dripping on the faces of sleeping campers. Tent cities exist around at least 55 U.S. cities – they are a grim reality of the crisis – the spread of poverty in America.
According to census data, 47 million Americans live in poverty – the highest number in the last half century, fueled by high unemployment the last few years.
One of the largest camps of the country is located in Florida, currently there are about 300 people. Campgrounds also appeared in New Jersey and Portland.
Camp in Ann Arbor, dry cough tormented Alan Geringer (23 years) in the last four months.
Black mold – it is everywhere, on our pillows, blankets on, we just sleep in the face of the mold every night,” says Alan, who lived in a tent this winter.
The camp is supported and maintained by the inhabitants, with the help of a local charity. Sometimes a call from the hospital from the emergency department of the local police and a shelter for the homeless, find out whether it is possible to send more people into the camp.
Last night, for example, we called and were told that they have six people, which they can not be placed in a shelter … They were hoping that we could take … We usually get 9 – 10 calls per night,” said Brian Durance, the organizer of the camp.
Republicans controlled the government of Michigan, trying to balance its budget has been compelled to adopt a program of drastic spending cuts.
By reducing the benefits were for many of the poorest people in the state.
Abbreviations and worsening economic conditions increase the pressure on shelters for the homeless.
Vice-Governor of Michigan, Brian Calley, was asked about the real state of affairs in the departments and services of its staff, who offer the homeless living in tents.
This is totally unacceptable and we must take steps to ensure that these people have the necessary skills with which they could be independent, but it does not happen overnight,” he said.
It is estimated that now, in dozens of camps that have sprung up all over America, home to around 5,000 people.
The largest camp, Pinella’s Hope in central Florida (region more famous glamorous Disneyland), is a neat rows of tents arranged in a 13-acre site.
Catholic charitable organization that works there, a laundry, and made it possible to access to computers and telephones.
Many of the camps self-organize and hold regular meetings to share the responsibilities of residents and to agree on the rules of the community. They have become almost a permanent home for those residents who have little chance to get a job soon.
These tent cities, and this level of poverty – these are the images that many Americans associate with the Great Depression.
Today, unemployment in America reaches astronomical levels of the 1930s, but except for a brief spike in 1982, it has never been this high since the Great Depression.
At present, there are 13 million unemployed Americans, which is three million more than in the year when U.S. President Barack Obama was elected.
The harsh reality is that many of them – those people who until recently lived a comfortable middle class life.
For them, the economic crisis came too quickly, and many were forced to sell their nice homes and live in shelters, in motels or, in the most extreme – in the camps.