A STUDY OF 2009 TENT CITIES. IS ONE IN YOUR FUTURE?
ARE YOU HOMELESS YET? ABOUT TO BE? Look on the bright side,
All Tent-Cities are an Alternative to the Control Grid!
WHOPEEE! You're a radical progressive, overnight!
THIS JUST IN. THE CONTROL GRID IS actually WORSE in a TENT CITY THAN ANYWHERE!
THAT HOPEFULLY will CHANGE.
As our government wages economic warfare against Syria, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, Africa, Latin America, Immigrants
and a starvation attrition war against its own people, the existence of a middle class dwindles and disappears. Regardless of your
political outlook, the situation has become obvious and the gap between rich and poor widens everyday. In this shifting socio-economic
landscape, where WILL the middle class find themselves? You, your children --- in a tent city? On a foam mattress in a CAR?
AS THIS MAY BE THE CASE, it is important that right now, we make laws that make TENT CITIES HUMANE. (I will BOLD all inhumane things
going on now, below in blood RED.)
All around our country, phenomenon's called 'Tent-Cities' are popping up as
a response to our current economic crisis. There are large groups of people,
banding together in open spaces, and they all have one thing in common: a
desperation to survive in the growing desert that is our economy.
This is not a new story. We have all heard tales from our parents, and
grandparents about these types of encampments. In The Great Depression,
communities like Tent-City were not a phenomenon but rather the norm. Anyone
who has fallen on financial troubles has had the thought, if they could just
slow the outpour of money, they could catch their breath and start anew.
Today, living in the dawn of The New World Order - this type of self help
has become illicit.
In Sacramento, people deemed 'homeless' have been singled out by media
monsters and a government of celebrities, who couldn't be further removed
from the day to day struggles of real people. Under the guise of help,
Sacramento's Mayor Kevin Johnson and Governor of California, Arnold
Schwarzenegger have placed these refugees in their cross hairs. And how does
the attention manifest itself? Are they helping people to find jobs? NO. Do they
create programs to transition people off the street and into homes? Of
course not. It is business as usual in this bloated and corrupt government.
Money is funneled into already failing programs that do nothing more than
perpetuate the problem by placing a band-aid on an already infected wound.
Before we left for Sacramento, there was a diligent attempt to speak with
both Mayor Johnson and Governor Schwarzenegger in order to get their
comments. From both sides, we were met with resistance and told by their
publicists that both politicians would be out of town during our residency
at Tent-City. This was particularly odd because when we arrived at Tent-City
we learned that 'The Governator' had just visited the encampment, which was
contrary to his publicist's time line. Of course, approved media was politely
invited to capture this photo opportunity. Infowars was not among those
privileged journalists deemed safe enough to attend. But our special brand
of journalism allowed us to peer beyond the veil and to see this situation
for what it really is. This is the first contractions of the birth of a new
world order. Welcome to total control. Or as the Mayor's office referrs to
One of our first goals in Tent-City was to get an accurate headcount. After
several days of walking the perimeter, our numbers reflected a population of
almost 600 people. This was shocking because the million dollars earmarked
to alleviate this plight will only create 50 more beds at the winter shelter
at Cal Expo, so OVERPOPULATION!
There is no mention of what will happen to the 550 additional occupants of
Tent-City or the 10 or so new occupants arriving everyday other than threats
that they will be forced to leave. In addition to being seriously short of any
kind of real solution, this shelter only serves to control its occupants and
creates a culture that intensifies an already bad situation.
The Cal-Expo Winter Shelter is housed in the State Fairgrounds, in a old
miniature golf course and is simply a bleeding heart's money pit. The
schedule of arrival and departure from the winter shelter is a bureaucratic
nightmare, to say the least. This only serves to complicate the lives of the
small group of people eligible for help. As we watched the 100 male shelter
candidates mill about over a protracted period of 3 hours, vying for the
small amount of shade, small vans shuttled inhabitants from Tent-City to Cal
NO BEDS. Tim, an employee of Volunteers of America, the organization in charge of the
winter shelter, told us the protocol for securing a bed. He explained how
would-be residents arrive at the fenced off bus depot and sign-in. 'Newbies'
are given priority and then available beds are given to 'Repeaters'. While
sign-in is technically not until 4pm, we learned that if you aren't in line
by 2:30pm you might as well not even show,as the chances you will get a bed
are slim. The lucky few that make it are allowed to bring one bag to the
shelter. All other belongings have to be stored in large, group containers.
Then, once the inhabitants enter the shelter, they are searched and told to
submit to electronic scan to check for weapons. The schedule dictated by the
shelter makes having, or getting a job an impossibility. As we were told
countless times that unless you can find a flexible position that will allow
you to work between the hours of 5am and 2:30pm there is nothing to do but
give yourself up to this constricting schedule. Imprisoned by this schedule,
inhabitants become wards of the system, and soon loose the ability to make
decisions for themselves. And thus the mentality of homelessness is
solidified and the refugees become less inhabitants and more inmates. But
the control doesn't stop there. Men and women are separated at the shelter
and not allowed to interact. Intense searches are conducted andpets are
denied asylum with their human companions. In the downward trajectory, these
people have had almost all their humanity stripped away. In many cases, it
starts with the inability to pay into the institutions that most of us also
labor to satiate. When they lose the ability to pay rents or mortgages,
their homes are lost. When they stop paying auto insurance, their cars are
impounded and auctioned. When they try to survive on the street, their
children and pets are snatched by government institutions.
During one particularly startling interview with met with a young man who
had his RV taken without warning because he had to make the choice between
maintaining his vehicle and paying high insurance premiums. After losing his
job as the marketing director of a flooring company, Jason moved into an RV
in an attempt to streamline his overhead. While repairing the vehicle, Jason
made the mistake of not procuring insurance. When he was pulled over,
instead of receiving a fix-it ticket, his car was immediately impounded, and
he was left on the side of the road with only the possessions he could carry
and the clothes on his back. Because of his situation, he was forced into
'homelessness' and unable to get his RV out of impound. As a result, all his
worldly possessions were auctioned. He had no idea where the money that was
raised by auction went and simply became somber at the mention of it. The
money, his previous life, and a part of his soul were simply gone. Jason's
life had been gobbled up by a system that makes sure that is void of human
Another facet of life in Tent-City revolves around relationships between men
and women. Most of the women we encountered were victims of domestic abuse,
fleeing their abusers.
In order to successfully reside in Tent-City, these women had to forge bonds
with men. This is one of the main problems of separating men from women at
the shelter. Only a few women survived One we met, with the help of a pit
bull and a small group of women who looked out for one another like sisters.
Repeatedly, we were told that by these women that they felt safe where they
were. Societal bonds at work, even in this microcosm.
Another overlying theme was the self segregation of the tent city residents.
We were informed of four different areas - The snake pit a grassy area with
lots of shade and about 30 -35 tents. The suburbs (45 tents) inhabited
mostly by long time campers the tents had the most space between them. One
citizen Mobilehome Dave had manged to procure electricity and had a modest
settlement of five tents, a propane space heater, and a private toilet. The
newbies area was populated with 50 tents and was set between the levee and a
fenced off area. The largest area set under the power lines was called the
ghetto by several residents and contained about 85 tents. We were told not
to go there unless we knew someone there and definitely not to go in after
dark. While we were there, a large bonfire consumed a couple of tents in the
"ghetto" area promoting a visit from the fire department.
Beyond these obvious flaws in the system, there is the very real issue of
misinformation presented as solution. Repeatedly, it is inferred that the
winter shelter is a permanent solution to Tent-City. However, it is all too
clear from the proposal that this is at best only a temporary solution,
since its time line will only be extended to early June. There is also the
very clear discrepancy of the numbers helped. 50 beds will barely make a
dent in the number living in the encampment. In the end, we are not talking
about a well thought out plan to get these people off the street and restore
their dignity. This is more about creating inmates of a system that
perpetuates helplessness and the hijacking of tax-payer monies in a state
that repeatedly has trouble balancing its own books. So what is the answer?
Tent-City, while not ideal, is the closest solution to the problem while
still maintaining some sense of freedom. The infrastructure for aid is
already present in the immediate community with Loaves & Fishes - a faith
based organization living in the trenches with the inhabitants of Tent-City.
At Loaves & Fishes, (residents can eat, shower, make calls, and get medical
help. Volunteers from local churches drive out on the levee every evening to
pass out hot food and clean water to the gracious campers. It really comes
down to the simple question, do you want to be an inhabitant of a community
or an inmate of a system? While it is not pretty at Tent-City, there is the
very real sense that these people are living by their own accord the best
the can. They answer to no one, and the only price they pay is sharing the
burden with their fellow campers. It may not be middle Americas best answer
for the homeless epidemic, but tent cities are happening and in the next few
years as the economy continues to spiral downward you may find yourself
pitching a tent.
Oprah did a show on the Homeless, Feb 2009, and on what they need. Google THAT show, themed "TENT CITIES"
VIDEO may exist. Let's write her in Sta Barbara to make a show library available for downloading free, online.
Research related links LOAVES AND FISHES founded 1980
http://www.loavesfishes.org To meet with them or donate, write firstname.lastname@example.org
. Ontario, CA, Tent City Residents Required to Wear Wristbands
. Schwarzenegger Opens California Fairgrounds to Homeless Camp
. Alternative Currencies Grow in Popularity
. Sacramento struggles with spiralling homelessness problem
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