For Immediate Release Contact:
Thursday, March 4, 2010 Neil Donovan
National Coalition for the Homeless
Tent Cities in America: A Pacific Coast Report
The National Coalition for the Homeless announces the first in a series of reports on the growing number of tent cities across the United States. The new report released today is focusing on west coast encampments. Tent Cities in America: A Pacific Coast Report looks at how current tent cities have emerged and operate on a daily basis, highlighting the community organizing efforts at work within these settlements and the growing need for affordable and accessible housing nationwide.
As the United States continues to react to the worst economy since the Great Depression,
both leading and lagging indicators of this crisis continue to grow. Home foreclosures, unemployment, and the regional poverty rates continue to rise, as newly homelessness families see a double digit increase.
44% of people experiencing homeless in America are unsheltered (USHUD 2009). A growing number of unsheltered Americans are congregating in tent cities for safety, community and as locations of last resort.
“Tent Cities are American’s de facto waiting room for affordable and accessible housing. The idea of someone living in a tent in this country says little about the decisions made by those who dwell within and so much more about our nation’s inability to adequately respond to our fellow residents in need.” -Neil Donovan, National Coalition for the Homeless Executive Director.
This report is the first in a series of National Coalition for the Homeless publications that explore the tent city phenomenon. In future reports, NCH will profile homeless encampments nationwide and include a section on policy recommendations for local, regional and national policy and decision makers.
“In the absence of proper shelter, it is the basic right of any living being
to construct a temporary one.” – Resident of Nickelsville, Seattle
Click here to download the report in pdf form.