Tent Cities Are Growing Throughout The U.S.
The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP), a non-profit advocacy group, recently released a comprehensive study called “Welcome Home: The Rise of Tent Cities in America.”
The report found that there were more than 100 tent cities in 46 different states. These tent cities are popping up all over the country, as the increasing number of homeless are seeking shelter. The NLCHP blames the rampant rise in homelessness on the financial and mortgage crisis of 2007 and 2008. The number of homeless families in the U.S. increased by 20% between 2007 and 2010, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Department of Education also reports that over 1,000,000 school children were homeless in 2011-2012, which was a 75 percent increase since 2007.
These transient communities are often lacking adequate housing or shelter, according the report. A lot of people turn to tent cities for the security, community, and freedom not often found at homeless shelters. Some of the encampments were very unruly, but then some others were safe, orderly, and being run efficiently with official leaders and rules.
“Homeless encampments often reflect the lack of adequate housing or shelter in the community. Our research indicates that in addition to the simple lack of available beds, the shelter systems often does not meet the needs of homeless individuals, especially over the long-term.