The Nation explores tent cities. A nugget:
While recent media accounts portrayed Tent City’s incarnations as creatures of the recession–reborn Hoovervilles for the laid off and the foreclosed–shantytowns have been a periodic but permanent feature of American urban life for at least the past two decades. They are what connects us to São Paulo, Lagos and Mumbai, physical manifestations of our growing inequality and societal neglect. Seattle saw its first Tent City in 1990. The area now boasts three, one dating back to 2000, another to 2004. Portland’s Tent City (“Dignity Village”) has been around since 2001. No one living there, says resident Gaye Reyes, is recently homeless. In California’s San Joaquin Valley, the City of Fresno last fall began distributing a $2.3 million settlement to homeless people whose property was destroyed when the city repeatedly razed its Tent City between 2004 and 2006, at the apex of the economic boom.
Read the whole thing.