Lack of the Safety Net: Homelessness and America's Tent Cities

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The ripple effect of the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis and a chronically sluggish economy have changed the face of poverty in America. Sections of the population who never previously utilized the "safety net" have experienced long periods of under, or unemployment and struggled to get by. According to recent Census data, 47 million Americans now live below the poverty line. In 55 cities across the country, the new urban poor have responded by living in tent cities.

Pastor Steve Brigham is the founder of Tent City, a makeshift village for homeless people near Lakewood, New Jersey.


Steve Brigham

Produced by:

Alex Collins

Comments [8]

DTorre from Manhattan

BBC Poor America

Feb. 16 2012 01:30 PM
c olson from mpls, mn

Good news found researching this story. It appeared aug 2011 in the Huffington Post and Principal Gahn appeared on Ellen Degeneress' show and she contributed 1000's of $ and Justin Bieber contributed $100.000. We can contribute also - address at Degeneress site.

Feb. 16 2012 10:27 AM
Linda Archuleta

The economic cries belong to all of us. We should have folks employed who oversee scandalous means of dishonest business. However with reliance of modern technology some people perform dishonestly because there is no human oversight, computers accept what is posted. How about employing folks to oversee and actually provide world class honest services.

Just as there is life/term insurance when an individual dies,there should be policies in place for home buyers to stay afloat when the national economy goes south; i.e., 911 downward spiral.

Furthermore, there should be restitution from lenders who dishonestly allowed buyers to qualify for houses well above their means. The opportunistic means to turn a quick buck cost many of us dearly.

Feb. 15 2012 01:15 PM
robert from NJ

A moving piece. I want to help those poor little kids.

Feb. 15 2012 12:10 PM

The "progressive" media is desperately trying to distract from this President's economic record and that of his party and they know it. How sad when someone embarks on a noble and essential calling like journalism to honestly inform their fellow citizens in a free society to only betray their talents and degenerate into a sordid magician deliberately misdirecting the public they once sought to serve.

Feb. 15 2012 11:49 AM
Mike Howell from Oklahoma

@listener: Their comment about Romney was an answer to his statement "I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I'll fix it." The point of the article is that the very poor just do *not* have a safety net. And that massive unemployment, which leads to homelessness and poverty, can be incredibly difficult to overcome. That should be a major *DUH* to any listener. I think blaming the Democrats or Republicans alone is puffed-up, political nonsense. The mortgage bubble didn't pop because of government--*we* the people did it. Rather than wave your fist at (fill-in-the-politician-you-hate), why don't you donate money and food to shelters, or start a business and employ some people?

Feb. 15 2012 11:07 AM
c olson from mpls, mn

what a tragedy - how can we help

Feb. 15 2012 10:53 AM

Disgraceful and manipulative propaganda. Don't blame the President who you dutifully praise and his minions who who created these conditions for poverty to rise including much of the housing crisis and extreme federal regulations that target businesses and massive debt. No, blame "poor Mitt Romney" and the nation and her people and anyone else but not our dear"progressive" leadership who were the authors of this crisis.
Why not call the tent city "Obamavilles"? Will we have another nine months of this forced, desperate and mendacious political slight-of-hand from the media?

Feb. 15 2012 09:06 AM

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