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More Homeless Americans Living in Cars and Campers

 
Susie
User ID: 795136
United States
02/14/2010 04:04 PM
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More Homeless Americans Living in Cars and Campers
Tim Barker never thought he'd have to live in his truck. Four months ago, the plumber was in a one-bedroom apartment in California's San Fernando Valley, with a pool and a Jacuzzi. Then, on his birthday in October, he and 199 other plumbers were laid off by their union, Local 761 in Burbank. Now Barker's son sleeps on the sofa of his cousin's one-bedroom Hollywood apartment, and Barker sleeps on the roof of the apartment building - or in his 2003 Ford Ranger pickup. "I'm 47, and I've never lived in my car," says Barker, a husky 220-lb. single father with sandy hair and a rapid-fire voice. In January, as torrential rains pelted the streets of Southern California, father and son were sleeping in the truck in San Pedro, next to the Los Angeles Harbor. "We were able to spend four nights in the Vagabond Motel, but for two nights we slept in the car," says Barker. "It was raining, cold, and the cat was jumping on us. We both got sick."

For people who cannot afford rent, a car is the last rung of dignity and sanity above the despair of the streets. A home on wheels is a classic American affair, from the wagon train to the RV. Now, for some formerly upwardly mobile Americans, the economic storm has turned the backseat or the rear of the van into the bedroom. "We found six people sleeping in their cars on an overnight police ride-along in December," says John Edmund, chief of staff to Long Beach councilman Dee Andrews. "One was a widow living in a four-door sedan. She and her husband had been Air Force veterans. She did not know about the agencies that could help her. I had tears in my eyes afterwards." (See TIME's photo-essay "The American Economy: Down and Out.")


"Cars are the new homeless shelters," says Joel John Roberts, CEO of PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) Partners, the largest provider of services for the homeless in Los Angeles County, which had nearly 50,000 people homeless in 2009. Of these, experts estimate that up to 10% live in vehicles - even though doing so is illegal in most of the county. A similar situation is true for many other regions across the nation, especially in the Sun Belt. A woman lives in her BMW in Marina Del Rey, a swank L.A. address on the coast. PATH outreach workers Jorge Guzman and Tomasz Babiszkiewicz say she was an executive recruiter until the Great Recession. "She was self-employed for 36 years," says Guzman. "Now she sits in the car with a blanket and reads. She has not told her daughter
[link to news.yahoo.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 795136
United States
02/14/2010 04:07 PM
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Re: More Homeless Americans Living in Cars and Campers
Tim Barker never thought he'd have to live in his truck. Four months ago, the plumber was in a one-bedroom apartment in California's San Fernando Valley, with a pool and a Jacuzzi. Then, on his birthday in October, he and 199 other plumbers were laid off by their union, Local 761 in Burbank. Now Barker's son sleeps on the sofa of his cousin's one-bedroom Hollywood apartment, and Barker sleeps on the roof of the apartment building - or in his 2003 Ford Ranger pickup. "I'm 47, and I've never lived in my car," says Barker, a husky 220-lb. single father with sandy hair and a rapid-fire voice. In January, as torrential rains pelted the streets of Southern California, father and son were sleeping in the truck in San Pedro, next to the Los Angeles Harbor. "We were able to spend four nights in the Vagabond Motel, but for two nights we slept in the car," says Barker. "It was raining, cold, and the cat was jumping on us. We both got sick."

For people who cannot afford rent, a car is the last rung of dignity and sanity above the despair of the streets. A home on wheels is a classic American affair, from the wagon train to the RV. Now, for some formerly upwardly mobile Americans, the economic storm has turned the backseat or the rear of the van into the bedroom. "We found six people sleeping in their cars on an overnight police ride-along in December," says John Edmund, chief of staff to Long Beach councilman Dee Andrews. "One was a widow living in a four-door sedan. She and her husband had been Air Force veterans. She did not know about the agencies that could help her. I had tears in my eyes afterwards." (See TIME's photo-essay "The American Economy: Down and Out.")


"Cars are the new homeless shelters," says Joel John Roberts, CEO of PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) Partners, the largest provider of services for the homeless in Los Angeles County, which had nearly 50,000 people homeless in 2009. Of these, experts estimate that up to 10% live in vehicles - even though doing so is illegal in most of the county. A similar situation is true for many other regions across the nation, especially in the Sun Belt. A woman lives in her BMW in Marina Del Rey, a swank L.A. address on the coast. PATH outreach workers Jorge Guzman and Tomasz Babiszkiewicz say she was an executive recruiter until the Great Recession. "She was self-employed for 36 years," says Guzman. "Now she sits in the car with a blanket and reads. She has not told her daughter
[link to news.yahoo.com]
 Quoting: Susie 795136

Does anyone really think the Governments care about these people????
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 825669
United States
02/14/2010 04:07 PM
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Re: More Homeless Americans Living in Cars and Campers
People are too proud to go to their own families for help. It shouldn't be that way.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 773494
United States
02/14/2010 04:09 PM
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Re: More Homeless Americans Living in Cars and Campers
People living in trailers aren't really homeless.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 855814
United States
02/14/2010 04:11 PM
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Re: More Homeless Americans Living in Cars and Campers
STOP CALLING IT THE "GREAT RECESSION". THAT IS AN INSULT TO THE AVERAGE PERSON. IT'S A DEPRESSION CAUSED BY GLOBAL BANKING EXCESSES. GREED, CORRUPTION AND SPECULATION.

PERIOD.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 734630
United States
02/14/2010 04:14 PM
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Re: More Homeless Americans Living in Cars and Campers
i feel for those with families and escpecially kids..

i was a single guy out of college..with college debt up to my neck..lived on couches and in my car (mostly)...for six months..

try sleeping a dodge colt..it sucks..but i was grateful...and until i got the job camped out illegally at beaches and woke up to beautiful sunrises and sunsets..

but you have to take muscle relaxants to sleep properly in a dodge colt if you are over 5'10"

good times..

i was young, it's easy to do that when you are young.
anonymous
User ID: 891084
United States
02/14/2010 04:19 PM
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Re: More Homeless Americans Living in Cars and Campers
during the great depression of the 1930 s, folks had a woody station wagon to sleep in and followed the jobs from the new deal from state to state .. Tear drop trialers became popular for family of 4 so as to tow behind a car.. it had bare sleeping room and slide open kitchen stove area for cooking and sotring a few days food. a van can be used to live in. and it beats the wet dangerous streets .. ask family to pay insurance and up keep on your van and help you keep your cell phone ..
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 870060
United States
02/14/2010 04:21 PM
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Re: More Homeless Americans Living in Cars and Campers
People living in trailers aren't really homeless.
 Quoting: Faith


That's what I was thinking. Assuming it's a real camper and not just one of those shells to put on the back of a pickup.
anonymous
User ID: 891084
United States
02/14/2010 04:40 PM
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Re: More Homeless Americans Living in Cars and Campers
People living in trailers aren't really homeless.


That's what I was thinking. Assuming it's a real camper and not just one of those shells to put on the back of a pickup.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 870060

self contained camper trailers mounted on pick up trucks have heat stove frig and porta potty and sink. The larger ones can sleep 4 .. saw them in Colorado decades ago .. great for temp housing if shtf .

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