Thursday, May 22, 2008

Shrubtown Anyone?

I, as well as many others, thought we had seen the end of Hoovervilles. A prosperous nation, McMansions as far as you can see, BMW's and Audi's for everyone and a giant SUV in every drive. From this report on CNN we see that the American dream is crumbling at our feet.

Harvey now works part time for $8 an hour, and she draws Social Security to help make ends meet. But she still cannot afford an apartment, and so every night she pulls into a gated parking lot to sleep in her car, along with other women who find themselves in a similar predicament.

There are 12 parking lots across Santa Barbara that have been set up to accommodate the growing middle-class homelessness. These lots are believed to be part of the first program of its kind in the United States, according to organizers.

The lots open at 7 p.m. and close at 7 a.m. and are run by New Beginnings Counseling Center, a homeless outreach organization.

It is illegal for people in California to sleep in their cars on streets. New Beginnings worked with the city to allow the parking lots as a safe place for the homeless to sleep in their vehicles without being harassed by people on the streets or ticketed by police.

As usual California is leading the way but I won't be too surprised to see the same in Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago or Philadelphia in the very near future. Of course, Hooverville is no longer appropriate but there is alway Bushville or Shrubtown. Your suggestion for a new name for this symbol of the disaster Shrub and the GOP have made of the once brilliant American dream is welcome in the comments.

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