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Tent Cities in America

Updated on October 23, 2014

Americans are a strong people... Let us Help each other out of this homelessness crisis!

This is the most desperate our citizens have been since the great depression. Tent cities are springing up everywhere.

People are simply not able to support themselves right now.

What are we doing about it?

I am seeing a lot of blame, but is that really helping? Do we really think it is helping these people to make it a poltical issue?

It is a humanitarian issue.

Let's get down there and help our neighbors, folks.

If a group needs to camp in the property adjacent to your neighborhood and they politely ask you and you say it is okay, do not call the city and complain the next day.

If someone less fortunate than ourselves is not the right "religion" or of the political affiliation that you approve of, please do not turn your back on them.

If you have extra food in your pantry, share it. If you have an extra dollar in your wallet, give it.

This is not the time to be divisive, America.

This is the time to come together. We need each other more now than ever.

There is no more time for bickering. Save the arguments for when the house is not burning down. Let us not throw fire on fire.

Let's put this baby out.

Let's end homelessness in America now!

Shanty Town

Every Single Solitary Soul

Deserves food and a warm, dry place to sleep.

Homeless in America - Does it have to be?

Homeless In America
Homeless In America

collage of homeless people from the streets of LA.


Tent City - Sacremento

Tent City - Sacremento
Tent City - Sacremento
Under the Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America
Under the Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America

Mike and his traveling companion, Sam, set out to experience life on the streets in six different cities—from Washington D.C. to San Diego— and they put themselves to the test.


Kudos and Thanks to Veronika Scott

Veronika designed a special coat, the "Element S" , which is waterproof and transforms into a sleeping bag, especially for the homeless. Read more and support her incredible project at The Empowerment Project

Occupy Detroit
Occupy Detroit

Occupy Wall Street

A New Spin on "Tent Cities of America"

I admit, when I started this lens, I had no idea where it would go. I expected some twists and turns. This is definitely unexpected, however. The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread to the tent cities phenomenon. Now people are living in tents, not because they are forced to, but because they want to make a statement.

The beautiful thing about this, is the Wall Street and other Cities' protesters are not leaving the homeless of America's tent cities out of the movement. They are feeding them and (rightly so, I might add) including them in the movement. One cannot tell, when walking down the street, whether the protesters are college students, regular folks, or homeless.

Way to go, Y'all!

Note of Thanks

Mark Falugo, a former Marine and businessman has become a hero to about 20 homeless Rhode Island residents by allowing them to pitch tents on a vacant lot owned by his family. - Thanks Mark!

Americana - Going...going....

Americana (Contemporary American fiction)
Americana (Contemporary American fiction)

A factional reconstruction of the events leading up to John Kennedy's assassination. The antihero of the book is, of course, Lee Harvey Oswald, who is as hauntingly real in this book as he was elusive in real life.

Americana: Dispatches from the New Frontier
Americana: Dispatches from the New Frontier

Harley-Davidson bikers . . . Grand Canyon river rats. . .Mormon archaeologists. . . Spelling bee prodigiesâ¦For more than fifteen years, best-selling author and historian Hampton Sides has traveled widely across the continent exploring the America that lurks just behind the scrim of our mainstream culture. Reporting for Outside, The New Yorker, and NPR, among other national media, the award-winning journalist has established a reputation not only as a wry observer of the contemporary American scene but also as one of our more inventive and versatile practitioners of narrative non-fiction.In these two dozen pieces, collected here for the first time, Sides gives us a fresh, alluring, and at times startling America brimming with fascinating subcultures and bizarre characters who could live nowhere else. Following Sides, we crash the redwood retreat of an apparent cabal of fabulously powerful military-industrialists, drop in on the Indy 500 of bass fishing, and join a giant techno-rave at the lip of the Grand Canyon. We meet a diverse gallery of American visionariesâ from the impossibly perky founder of Tupperware to Indian radical Russell Means to skateboarding legend Tony Hawk. We retrace the route of the historic Bataan Death March with veterans from Sidesâ acclaimed WWII epic, Ghost Soldiers. Sides also examines the nation that has emerged from the ashes of September 11, recounting the harrowing journeys of three World Trade Center survivors and deciding at the last possible minute not to "embed" on the Iraqi front-lines with the U.S. Marines. Americana gives us a sparkling mosaic of our country today, in all its wild and poignant charm.Experience the many faces of America with Hampton Sides as he: AMERICAN ORIGINALS. . . drops in on the charmed life of skateboarding icon Tony Hawk; studies counter-terrorism at the G. Gordon Liddy spy school; goes Hollywood with American Indian Movement radical-turned-movie-star Russell Means; steps out of the closet with Mel White, religious right ghostwriter-turned-gay activist; mushes the Iditarod Trail with Alaska legend Joe Redington. AMERICAN EDENS. . . runs the rapids during a man-made flood in the Grand Canyon; crashes the redwood retreat of Californiaâs elite Bohemian Club; debriefs the âbio-nautsâ as they emerge from captivity in the Biosphere; dives into Americaâs greatest swimming hole; gets ecstatic with the Zippies at their secret all-night techno-rave. AMERICAN RIDES. . . ponders silver bubbles at the annual Airstream RV convention; revs it up at the Harley-Davidson rally in Sturgis, South Dakota; sails the Chesapeake with snooty owners of a rare antique sailboat known as the log canoe; roams the streets with D.C.âs hard-core band of bike couriers. AMERICAN BY BIRTH, SOUTHERN BY THE GRACE OF . . .. . . speaks in tongues with black Pentecostalists of the Memphis-based Church of God in Christ; fishes for lunkers at the Bassmasters Classic; goes underground with the worldâs greatest cave rescuer; unravels the mystery of a notorious teen murder in rural Mississippi. AMERICANS ABROAD. . . crosses the Sahara Desert with American endurance runners at the infernal Marathon des Sables; bushwhacks through MesoAmerica with Mormon archaeologists in search of lost tribes of Israel; visits a high school friend whoâs become an Uzi-toting Zionist pioneer in the West Bank; walks the route of the Bataan Death March with characters from Ghost Soldiers. AMERICAN OBSESSIONS. . . cranks it up with high-end stereophiles at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas; gets bowled over by 5,000 squealing salesladies at the annual Tupperware convention; plumbs the mysteries of the "schwa" at the National Spelling Bee; scrapes at the stucco of the neurotic architectural tradition known as Santa Fe Style. AMERICA, POST 9/11. . . traces the harrowing stories of three World Trade Center survivors; goes off-roading in the Imperial Sand Dunes; almost embeds on the Iraqi frontlines with the U.S. Marines; remembers Shane Childers, the decorated Marine who became the first American combat death in Iraq.


Another Thank you Note

Ken John of

The mission of Homeless Gear is a simple one.

Collect unwanted Outdoor Gear

(packs, sleeping bags, tents, tarps, etc),

Outdoor Basic Clothing (coats, rain gear, boots, etc)

and Hygiene Products & re-distribute these items to the


No privacy at all

No privacy at all
No privacy at all
Studies Prove Housing is Cheaper than Homelessness
Studies Prove Housing is Cheaper than Homelessness

Housing Cheaper than Homelessness

Interesting Post from Environmental Graffiti

According to recent studies, "costs associated with providing housing for individuals and families who are homeless within a program exceeds the Fair Market Rent cost of providing rental assistance without supportive services." The study lays out a really simple plan to curb costs of homelessness in America.

According to the study, Average homeless shelters costs American taxpayers $1,391 to $3,700, depending on the city. Homeless shelters are by far the most expensive solution to housing the homeless. A homeless cost study indicates that after an in-depth analysis of homelessness in America, taxpayers could save hundreds of thousands of dollars by simply housing the homeless in transitional, conventional housing.

See full article - by Asher Kade

Tent Cities in LA

Homelessness in America - Recent News and Developments

Issues that affect us all

One more note of thanks

To Diana Adams, for writing the initial article Help The Homeless: 10 Ways That Don't Cost Money! and to her reader Erin Margolin, who decided to take that ball and run with it! See her video below.

Great Example of Inexpensive Way to Help Homeless - Erin Margolin's Dollar Tree Shopping Spree

Erin took up the cause of the homeless after encouragement from an article by her friend Diana Adams. She shows us here how much prepackaged food in serving sizes (perfect for distributing to those who are homeless) she was able to buy for around 20 bucks. Two large reusable grocery bags full!

Kudos to both Erin and Diana for your encouragement and for taking positive action! Read more about Erin's work

Please tell us - How we can dig ourselves out of this

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    • blestman lm profile image

      blestman lm 4 years ago

      I saw Pinellas Hope when I was in St. Pete for a visit. Heartbreaking. But they diocese does great work there. Good to see something good happening with the catholic church for a change. Thank you for this lens

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 4 years ago

      It is terrible that people have to give back their homes and become homeless. We as a society need to help as much as we can.

    • OrlandoTipster profile image

      OrlandoTipster 5 years ago

      It's a shame many of the homeless are vets

    • profile image

      gods_grace_notes 5 years ago

      You've been Pinned... Thank-you for this wonderful lens, and for your passion to help the homeless! Connie

      Squidoo Lensmasters Who Care About Helping The Homeless In America

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      housing is a basic human need, yet the statistics of united nations commission on human rights in 2005 notes that, an estimated 100 million people -one-quarter of the world's population- live without shelter or in unhealthy and unacceptable conditions. ~really shame

    • profile image

      Terrie_Schultz 5 years ago

      Thank you for making this lens. Homelessness is a tragedy. And what really grieves and angers me is that cities will raze homeless camps, destroy their tent cities and force them to leave, when they have nowhere else to go. It is indeed shameful when there is so much wealth in this country. People are so lacking in compassion and empathy.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 5 years ago

      Karen, such a shame that anyone anywhere is homeless and starving. Shameful. ...In its early stages, the OWS movement is meant to teach. ...Corporate media is without compassion. It feeds greed and self-centeredness to the masses. So one step for people might be to quit watching it. Quit listening to its lies that tell us we are not all connected or responsible for one another.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Not all are rich in America, the world needs to understand this, hope that we all live and reach equal all round the world.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you for shining the spotlight on this important and growing issue, what a tragedy for out nation.

    • profile image

      dellgirl 6 years ago

      Nice lens with lots of helpful information. Have a great week!

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 6 years ago

      I b'lieve most Americans are only one or two paychecks away from being homeless, so it would certainly make sense to provide a workable solution. I really like the way this was taken care of in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In the process of making better arrangements for people without homes, the mayor in Sao Paulo incorporated a system whereby those with homes were helping those without. Meanwhile, those without homes were also helping those who had homes. It was a win/win situation, all the way around.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      thank you for taking the time to educate us on stuff like this in America .... glad I browsed over this. If you like to browse lens too, mine has a great educational topic too with poll questions for my readers to enjoy.

    • profile image

      squidoolover76 6 years ago

      A great and helpful lens indeed,provided some valuable information.

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 6 years ago from Jackson, MS

      @Countryluthier: Thanks so much my Mississippi friend!

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 6 years ago from Virginia

      I'd like to say thank you for your inspiring personal initiative. I have a homeless friend. I know it is tough out there for him and I don't take having a semi-permanent roof over my head for granted. Much success to you in your efforts to help others. Looking to see all your lenses in the near future. As we say in the Navy, BZ or Bravo Zulu, well done squid!

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 6 years ago from Jackson, MS

      @sushitune: Well said, Sushitune! Thanks for your comment!

    • profile image

      sushitune 6 years ago

      Politics is a luxury, not a right. Whoever and however these people reached the depths of despair, government and money funneled to bailout rich bankers and their preferred clients must find its way to these people. We don't need political parties to diivide us any more than we already are.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Thank you for writing this. I believe that Erin Margolin's Dollar Tree Shopping Spree video is a good example for us.

      There are a few good things happening in a little town near where I live. We have a drop-off place called the Food Bank where homeless people can come for food. We also have a farmer who has a section of his land partitioned off for community gardens. (Free) There is also a store owner who has put a vegetable garden where his flowers used to grow and the homeless and less fortunate are encouraged to take what they need from it.

      Our biggest problem here is shelter for homeless people. There are barns but since a barn was burned down by someone who was careless, not many farmers want to let people stay in theirs. It gets very cold here in the winter, so many people move down South where it is warmer but we need a solution for those who cannot move.

      Our council is working on some low-income housing which may solve some of the problem but I don't believe will solve most.

      Homelessness will always be with us, I fear.

      Thank you for sharing this information. It helps us to be informed.

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 6 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      The powers that be released us from our SquidAngel neighborhoods for the Labor Day Weekend so I'm stopping back to give this lens on tent cities in America a "blessing" while I may. Thank you for writing it!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      The masses of homeless (I've been one from time to time..with kids no less) is a symptom if a unsustainable system that creates false scarcity and greed. House, food, healthcare, education...should be Rights, not privileges. Time to evolve as a country, race and planet. With the eminent collapse of environment, oil and economy, be not sure you and yours are not next, bound for the tent cities, internment camps, prison camps. Corporations have more rights to lfe than you, and our government works hard to keep it that way. Www.zeitgeist be the change...I am!

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 6 years ago

      This would open the eyes for many and touch someone who has a heart of gold. Sundae ;-)

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 6 years ago from South Africa

      This is a great lens for highlighting a universal problem. The poverty we have in South Africa is similarly heartbreaking!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      A well-made lens about an unfortunate subject that too many people would be glad to ignore. Thank you for sharing this.

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 6 years ago

      This is a tragedy that is largely ignored by the mainstream press.

    • sushilkin lm profile image

      sushilkin lm 6 years ago

      Thanks Allot for sharing valuable knowledge on Squidoo!! PRAY FOR JAPAN Please

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      It's very good that the kids are chipping in to "educate" the homeless. However, many of the homeless are very qualified and have education. What we need are JOBS and money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      In my situation, I NEED SOME LEGAL HELP, as I'm BARRED from any viable work. That would have saved me six years of having a stomach empty and being cold. Please, use your efforts for where it's needed.

      Please don't waste another dime on waste, fraud and greed.

    • patriciapeppy profile image

      patriciapeppy 6 years ago

      It's really sad that there are so many homeless people. I am very blessed to have a roof over my head.

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 6 years ago from Missouri

      This is so sad. Too many people cannot find work and cannot pay for housing. My heart goes out to them. I do what I can to help, but don't have the means to help much.

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I'd just recently begun hearing about these tent cities in America, SOOO tragic! The 'what to do about it' is very complicated, will require some very different ways of thinking than in the past. Learning the truth outside of mainstream media is a start, for most people don't have a clue what's really happening.

    • jackieb99 profile image

      jackieb99 6 years ago

      Very sad...I feel so helpless in a situation like this.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great coverage of a tough subject. We so need more jobs!

    • steveffeo lm profile image

      steveffeo lm 7 years ago

      Excellent lens about a situation which should not be happening. You listed some great NonProfits I will be checking out.

      Blessed by Squidoo Angel

    • Mrmakingusmile LM profile image

      Mrmakingusmile LM 7 years ago

      You have a very nice collection of lenses. Thank you for making me smile

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 7 years ago from Jackson, MS

      @anonymous: Great point. It is not a complicated issue.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      JOBS! Viable JOBS for the "disabled"! JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!

      Start with someone know - and HELP!

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 7 years ago from Jackson, MS

      @lollyj lm: You did an awesome Job Lolly, and your parents are our heroes! The "greatest generation" taught us so much about how to cope with our current issues.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 7 years ago from Washington KS

      Thank you for stopping by my Homeless in America lens and leaving a comment. I know this seems like a HUGE insurmountable problem, but small gestures can be a blessing. My philosophy stems from how my grandparents dealt with homeless transients during the Great Depression. They could barely feed, clothe, and keep a roof over their four kids' heads back then, but always found a bite to eat and a bit of work for homeless men.

      Whatever our situation, if we have food, clothing, and shelter, we can lend a helping hand.

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 7 years ago from Jackson, MS

      @resabi: Awesome! Thank you for sharing your great news and resources!

    • profile image

      resabi 7 years ago

      My sister is involved with the St. Bernard project that, with volunteer help and donations, is rebuilding houses in New Orleans. An amazing effort. A group called Growing Power (dot org) is teaching poor neighborhoods to feed themselves via urban farming -- you wouldn't believe what they've accomplished. And the site is devoted to ways that ordinary individuals -- with limited resources and time -- can make an impact. Thanks for creating a lens on this important topic. Blessed.

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 7 years ago from Jackson, MS

      @julieannbrady: Thanks Julie. I think its the little things we can do to help, that, when added up, might help us pull through this. Like my friend who asked a young homeless girl what she needed most - turns out it was a new pair of flip flops..... so he bought her some. And another friend, Wendi, who stopped to talked to some homeless kids while biking on her way to an event, asked them a few questions, and being the beautiful person she is managed to "validate" them in a matter of a few short minutes. Or a lady I work with, who keeps McDonald's gift certificates to give out to people asking for help at traffic lights, or another friend who found out the church she goes to has an outreach desk that had no coverage during lunchtime, so she takes her lunch break there once a week....... I could go on and on. People can really be so wonderful!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Well, well, well! Yes indeed ... what vallain has said about this being a truly "SAD commentary on the current hard economic times." It almost makes me think of The Great Depression, but in a different sort of way. It is difficult to comprehend all this!

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 7 years ago from Jackson, MS

      @Virginia Allain: Very true re: govt moving slowly. We do need to take some action to help folks right now. Thanks vallain.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      This is a sad commentary on the current hard economic times. I'm glad to see some grassroots efforts to help with this. Government usually moves too slowly, just because of its size.

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 7 years ago from Jackson, MS

      @anonymous: Thank you Whistler.... I appreciate the thumbs up!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      An informative lens. Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: You don't think the economy was ruined until Obama became president? Maybe you didn't feel it until Obama was president but the tracks were already laid.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Vote out all democrats in November. Then the republicans can impeach the Muslim Marxist and get us out of this hell we are in. I do blame Obama because he ruined our economy on purpose. Read Pivens & Cloward, two university professors who came up with a theory on how to bring in socialism. Obama is a stubborn ideologue. His ideas are nothing but failed ideas that have been tried many times before. Capitalism works. We just need to get decent people in congress and a decent president.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Good lens and information.

      used canopy tent

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Your page is really interesting and I wish I could have the same set up in Miami

      Good luck

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