The picture above isn’t one from a third world country. The above picture is a tent city in Reno Nevada and it is just one of the many tent cities that are springing up around the US. The result of the current economy in the US has resulted in an increase of Americans who find themselves homeless. This particular one in Reno is home for 150 homeless citizens who have become the latest statistic in the rise of homelessness in the US. While we read about the current state of ecomonic tumoil in the US, it is a rarity to actually see the results of these hard times that all Americans are facing. Well, guess what folks? Tent cities are on the rise throughout the US and will probably continue to increase as the economy worsens. Tent cities are becoming a landscape of the America of 2008.
To be clear, many of the homeless of our country are not seeking life on the streets because of their own desires to live in a tent next to others. Tent cities are a direct result of the rising economic fall out that is sweeping our country. Homelessness knows no economic boundaries and with increasing job layoffs the faces of our homeless include families, the middle class and even CEOs. A recent letter from one of Wanderingvets readers illustrates the fact that being homeless in America can happen to anyone.
I know this situation unfortunately. a 20+ year friend of mine who used to be a multi-millionaire is living in his SUV. i had lost touch with him for a couple of years and thought it was odd that i couldnt find him, considering his position… then when i reached him, he admitted he had been living in his SUV. we live about 2,000 miles away and i offered to let him stay at my house……… HOW can a multimillionaire be living in his car? LaurenStephens
I agree with Lauren’s question and this leads to another question…How can we stand by and let these tent cities not prompt us to come up with the means to provide shelter & assistance for Americans in the current economic crisis? America has offered humanitarian aid for others throughout the world yet we are doing nothing to help our very own citizens? Many homeless services simply can’t keep up with growing numbers of the homeless in the US. We simply have never been committed to really addressing the issue of homelessness in most communties…and now we are faced with numbers that far exceed the current services.
One thing is for certain. Homelessness in America isn’t going to be a headline that is shared with the public at large. There is little in the media about this rising problem and to date there have been no national efforts to ease the burden of those who find themselves homeless in the current economy. It seems to be some dirty little secret that we don’t want to address with a solution. (In fact, if you do a search for tent cities in the US there is more news about this problem coming from foreign press than from the American mainstream media!)
As these tent cities continue to appear throughout America I urge you to recognize the need for help in your own communities. We have a long history for helping our fellow Americans out during crisis and this situation is no different,although less publicized. Please support your local homeless organizations , contact your local community government to assure that they are doing more than merely passing prohibitive laws for those in need,buy the homeless a meal,hire those who need a job….do something that supports the many homeless Americans who are in need of our support. Each and every thing can make a difference!
For those who want to make a difference in your communties, Wanderingvets has the following articles that might give you a better insight into helping our homeless Americans:
- Not Looking Away
- A View From The Other Side of The Fence: Includes a list of ways to help the homeless
- Needed Donations for Homeless Veterans: Includes a list of supplies that are helpful for the homeless as listed by a homeless veteran,Wanderingvet.
For those Americans who are experiencing homelessness there are some tips for survival from someone who has experienced homelessness first hand. Please feel free to let Wanderingvets hear from you. You are not forgotten.