I wrote that things were going to get worse before they get better. I had it in my notes back in 2002. I translated it into saying that there would be Hoovervilles again. Well, there are now Hoovervilles again. Oh, there have always been the homeless. I'm saying that there is a wave of newly homeless due to the unbridled greed of the capitalists. Many will end up in Hoovervilles.

The meltdown in the US mortgage market has led to record foreclosures and forced thousands from their homes. In few places is it worse than southern California, where the BBC's Rajesh Mirchandani reports on an extreme consequence of the downturn, but one that some observers fear could grow.

The population of Tent City has grown rapidly in less than a year

Forty miles east of Los Angeles, on a patch of waste ground, is the place they call Tent City.

Sandwiched between the local airport and the railway line, this really is the wrong side of the tracks.

We are on the outskirts of Ontario, a functionally pleasant commuter-city in southern California.

Last summer, local officials established this camp as a temporary base for the city's homeless population, then around two dozen.

But word spread and now some 300 people live here. It has an air of scruffy permanence, and indeed, city officials say there are no current plans to close it down.

Varied histories

Most residents live in tents, some in mobile homes in various states of disrepair, their possessions crammed in with them or spread out on the ground.

The site is basic and food is prepared on makeshift tables

Amenities are basic - no mains electricity, no plumbing, no drainage. Portable showers offer a chance to wash, but there is nowhere to prepare food, apart from makeshift tables in the open air.


Foreclosure victim

The property he lost is nearby in Ontario, which, in places, offers a middle-class suburban dream - green lawns, wide pavements, garages big enough for two cars.

Yet it is in an area known as the Inland Empire, where the rate of foreclosure is the third highest in the entire US.

No longer able to afford his mortgage payments, this man saw his lender repossess the property, and now someone else lives there.


...as more people lose their homes in what appears to be a deepening housing market collapse, more former homeowners could end up in places like Tent City

Source: "Tent city highlights US homes crisis." BBC. March 14, 2008.

There will be more and more of these popping up if there is not a huge movement of unselfishness that sweeps the greedy capitalists out of all offices. The world must be turned completely right-side up for once. The meek must inherit the Earth.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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