Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bread Lines forming in California along with Tent Cities

- Many say a depression doesn't have to be great, that the economy can sink into a milder depression. The Salvation Army says it's happening now, and in San Diego County, people are standing in line outside a Salvation Army waiting for donated bread.

Salvation Army director of communications Suzi Woodruff Lacey said they are seeing people from all walks of life: "white collar, blue collar, people who have lost their jobs, people who are in danger of losing their homes."

Bread lines were regularly seen in the 1930s during the Great Depression, when unemployment peaked at more than 25 percent and the stock market lost 90 percent of its value. Today, California's unemployment rate hit 8.4 percent.

Tent cities reminiscent of the "Hoovervilles" of the Great Depression have been springing up in cities across the United States - from Reno in Nevada to Tampa in Florida - as foreclosures and redundancies force middle-class families from their homes.

"Where the tent city is now is literally a toxic waste dump, it's unsafe, but these people are very resourceful," Burke said. "Some people are living in squalor, with just a tarp tied to a chainlink fence. But then you'll see someone with several tents: The tent they live in, plus some outbuilding tents. And they couldn't be more neat and more tidy. They're working hard to create a sense of home."

Many of the 200 residents of Sacramento's Tent City, as with those around the country, are not recent victims of the downturn: They are the chronically homeless, some of them mentally ill. But the encampment seized national attention after Oprah Winfrey featured it on her daytime television show, part of a series of reports she has been running on the "new faces" of homelessness.

Embarrassed by an influx of television crews, Arnold Schwarzenegger this week announced plans to house the tent-dwellers in a nearby convention centre until a $1m (£690,000) plan for more permanent shelter can be implemented.

The California governor told reporters he had "personally delivered a letter to President Barack Obama last week, to request that economic stimulus funds for the homeless be fast-tracked".

Obama grappled with the phenomenon on Tuesday, when a reporter at his primetime news conference asked him about the "tent cities sprouting up across the country". The president said he was "heartbroken that any child in America is homeless", adding: "The most important thing I can do on their behalf is to make sure their parents have a job."


  1. Mish Shedlock reminds everyone that the 'official' unemployment statistics mask the really grim true situation:

    A total of seven states have passed the 10% unemployment rate as the Jobless Slump Spreads.

    The number of U.S. states with a jobless rate exceeding 10 percent almost doubled in February as the worst employment slump in the postwar era spread.

    Nevada, North Carolina and Oregon last month joined the four other states that had previously climbed above 10 percent, according to Labor Department data released today in Washington. Michigan, at 12 percent, remained the state with the highest unemployment rate, followed by South Carolina at 11 percent and Oregon at 10.8. California and Rhode Island bring the total number of states to seven.

    Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia registered increases in the unemployment rate last month, led by Oregon, North Carolina and New Jersey, the Labor Department said. Nebraska was the only state to post a decrease after the rate jumped the prior month.


    The government is reporting 8.1% [U-3]but a far better approximation is 14.8% [U-6]. Many economists expect the "official" number to hit 10%. If and when that happens where will U-6 be?

    The pattern is pretty unmistakable. In one year the official unemployment rate rose from 4.8 to 8.1 (3.3) while U6 rose from 9.0 to 14.8 (5.8).

    Assuming U3 hits 10%, U6 is likely to be approaching 20%. How bad Michigan, California, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, and Rhode Island are by then is anyone's guess.

    These are depression level statistics.

  2. "the constitutionally-illegimate president is heartbroken"?


    have they seen the "community work" he did in his district in Chicago? .. the buildings with no heat in the winters, some tenets were severely ill or died.. and btw.. those buildings were owned by his friend Reszko..

    this country is in trouble and we have a narcissict clown in the WH who wants to feed his ego by going on Leno and this week he will be on the Univision Awards.

  3. What's with all the Chemtrails in that picture?

  4. either that is near a runway or they are trying to keep the tent cities in line chemically ;-)

  5. Gotta love the hope billboard in the background

  6. so the big man Obama is going to give all the homeless..Jobs..
    What are you waiting for Obama ????

    What a joke he is..

    and as for Arnold... I cant believe he runs to Obama for economic stimulus funds for the homeless to be fast-tracked". Cry Cry CRy Arnold you POS..

    you are probally the worse Gov. Calif. has ever seen..



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