Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shanty Towns

by Bill McBride on 3/25/2009 07:43:00 PM

Earlier today, I commented that I hadn't seen any "Reaganvilles" like in the early '80s.

Oops ... spoke too soon.

From the NY Times: Cities Deal With a Surge in Shanty Towns

... Like a dozen or so other cities across the nation, Fresno is dealing with an unhappy déjà vu: the arrival of modern-day Hoovervilles, illegal encampments of homeless people that are reminiscent, on a far smaller scale, of Depression-era shanty towns. ...

While encampments and street living have always been a part of the landscape in big cities like Los Angeles and New York, these new tent cities have taken root — or grown from smaller homeless enclaves as more people lose jobs and housing — in such disparate places as Nashville, Olympia, Wash., and St. Petersburg, Fla.

In Seattle, homeless residents unhappy with the city’s 100-person encampment dubbed it Nickelsville, an unflattering reference to the mayor, Greg Nickels. ...

The sudden and surging number of homeless people in Fresno, a city of 500,000 people, has been a surprise. City officials say they have three major encampments near downtown, and smaller settlements along two local highways. All told, as many 2,000 people are homeless here ...
I guess I need to get out more. Still it's nothing like the early '80s, at least not yet.