Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bush Gardens

Like a dozen or so other cities across the nation, Fresno is dealing with an unhappy déjà vu: the arrival of modern-day Hoovervilles, illegal encampments of homeless people that are reminiscent, on a far smaller scale, of Depression-era shanty towns. At his news conference on Tuesday night, President Obama was asked directly about the tent cities and responded by saying that it was “not acceptable for children and families to be without a roof over their heads in a country as wealthy as ours.”While encampments and street living have always been a part of the landscape in big cities like Los Angeles and New York, these new tent cities have taken root — or grown from smaller enclaves of the homeless as more people lose jobs and housing — in such disparate places as Nashville, Olympia, Wash., and St. Petersburg, Fla.

Meanwhile, the unemployment numbers continue to increase:
In another snapshot of the ailing economy, the number of workers collecting state unemployment benefits rose to a record 5.56 million earlier this month, while new claims climbed to 652,000 last week, a separate government report showed.
On another front we have The Governor of California: actually taking a positive step with regards to the growing number of homeless in the state and the proliferation of "Bush Gardens".
“Together with the local government and volunteers, we are taking a first step to ensure the people living in tent city have a safe place to stay, with fresh water, healthy conditions and access to the services they need,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement. “And I am committed to working with Mayor Johnson to find a permanent solution for those living in tent city.”
Governor Schwarzenegger has closed down the growing 'tent city' in Sacramento, and offered up the state fairgrounds in an effort to provide some safe, healthy alternatives for those experiencing homelessness. It is a start.

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