During times of economic downfall and struggle, two variables simultaneously rise. The hard times have caused the poverty rate to rise, which in turn has create encampment populations to rise as well. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than half a million people are homeless in America right now, and the numbers the steadily increasing. And it isn’t just adults that we are talking about. It has been reported that that the number of homeless children in this country has risen by 60 percent since the last recession, and Poverty USA says that a total of 1.6 million children slept either in a homeless shelter or in some other form of emergency housing at some point last year. Yes, there has been a temporary stock market boom over the past few years, but for those nationally who were in financial danger or just barely staying afloat, things have gotten worse.
Tonight and many other nights there will be countless numbers of homeless people will try to make it through another chilly night in large tent cities that have been established in the heart of major cities across America. Homelessness has gotten so bad in California that the L.A. City Council has formally asked of Governor Jerry Brown to officially declare a state of emergency. Here are just some of California’s largest encampment sites:
- New Jack City and Little Tijuana, Fresno, California
- River Haven, Ventura County, California
- Safe Ground, Sacramento, California
- The Jungle, San Jose, California
- Temporary Homeless Service Area (THSA), Ontario, California
- Tent City, banks of the American River, Sacramento, California
- The Village of Hope and Community of Hope, Fresno, California
Possibly, there will be tent cities in virtually every community in America soon. There’s signs around us forewarning the change in economic stability in contrast to the past; how hard the middle class works to stay middle class, multiple jobs, foreclosed housing, closed down family ran businesses, continual migration due to a cost of living increase or property rise in value. Certain predictions tell us if this new economic downturn continues to accelerate, our homelessness boom is going to spiral out of control.
Here at Project WeHope we believe with our “Transitional Housing Program” that are helping individuals by temporarily housing our clients with the intention of teaching them skills through our offered courses enabling them a leg up on life’s opportunities when ready to transition into permanent housing. We also offer our Dignity on Wheels service which goes into communities with homeless in need, with a mobile unit consisting of 2 private shower restrooms, and two washer and dryer laundry units, restoring self-esteem and hygiene in order to better enhance the successful probabilities of the homeless. That’s how we help, and ask about how you can too at Project WeHope, 1854 Bay RoadEast, Palo Alto, CA 94303, Main Phone: 650-330-8000.
Summary by: Carnell Simon