Tent cities can be defined as temporary housing facilities, which are commonly set up to house people, and they are usually made up of tents. These tent cities can be set up by either those people who are homeless due to a certain unexpected catastrophe or governments and military organizations to help and save refugees, internally displaced people or the military personnel. Additionally, they can be formed by protesters in the cities who are trying to protest against something that they want changed and they might be required to stay their or they can be formed by people who are camping (Nugent 13). However, these cities are usually created by those people who are generally homeless, that is, those people who do not have a place to call a home. Generally, these tent cities, which are created, do not have any authorization of their creation. This homeless people stay in different places of the country and they are rising in numbers but there are several ways in which they can be handled.
In America, tent cities were usually located in the suburbs of Southern California along the American River about a century but in the recent past, they are back in the city of Sacramento. Additionally, they have also started being set up in California despite the fact that they had ended in California about a century ago. These tent cities have started haunting the Americans since it will be hard to remove them from where they are since this people do not actually know where to go if these tent cities are demolished (Associated Press, 2008). On the other hand, these tent cities are on the rise due to several factors, which might have affected the living conditions and standards of these people in one way or another.
One of the factors is due to personal difficulties such as mental disabilities or joblessness. Although this cannot be indicated in terms of figures of how many people have been affected by this, it has contributed to the rise as well. A person may get mentally ill and his/her family may not be able to trace him/her where bouts. Because of this, the mentally ill person will try to build a house for him or herself. This house, which he or she will build, will be a tent house since he or she does not have anything to build a good house. When the mentally ill people become many and create these shelters at one place, they form a tent city hence the increase in homelessness.
On the other hand, there has been an increase of people losing jobs. When this people lose their jobs and if they are not lucky enough to get another job, it might be very difficult for them to continue living with what they had saved since they also have other basic needs like food and the savings will eventually end. When this people have finished all their money and they do not have families to go to, they might end up losing their homes and other assets. This will result to an increase in homelessness and the creation of tent cities in order to house them.
There are also other factors like the economical factors, which have led to the rice of homelessness. These factors are charging of prices in the housing markets, poor pay to most of the jobs, removal of institutions that support mentally ill people and finally racial, ethnic and class discrimination in hosing (Nugent 13). Changing of prices in the housing market has led to high increases in homelessness. The prices have increased significantly leading to the poor people being left out to the cold therefore becoming homeless. This has led to the increase in homelessness and the creation of tent cities.
Additionally, most of the people are poorly paid. They usually have this odd jobs such that they cannot be able sustain there basic needs with the most important one being food. Due to the increase in prices in the housing market, it has been hard for them to maintain their basic needs like food and pay for the houses. Therefore, when it comes to choosing which one to satisfy first, they will satisfy there hunger before they get shelter. Eventually, this has led them to leaving on the streets and becoming homeless, leading to an increase in homelessness. This increase in homelessness has led to the creation of these tent cities.
The remove of certain facilities to help the mentally ill patients has also led to this increase. Those people who were generally housed in these institutions and they did not have anywhere to go will turn into homeless people since they do not have anywhere to go. This has contributed to the increase in homelessness of this people leading to the creation of these tent cities. Lastly, racial, ethnic and class discrimination has led to the increase of homelessness. In the case of class, one might not be awarded a certain job because he might not be of the sane class with the employer. This leads to unemployment later leading to homelessness and in the end leading to increasing the figures of homelessness.
Another factor that has led to this increase of homelessness in the country is the recession, which has been experienced in the country (Thompson, 2011). This has led to many poor people becoming homeless. It has left them without the ability to be able to take care of themselves. The gap between the rich and the poor has increased and those who have been left to suffer are the poor who eventually become homeless and the rich continue to be rich. This recession has contributed to the increase in homelessness and in the end, it has led to the creation of tent cities.
Moreover, another factor that has led to the increase in homelessness is the occurrence of natural disasters like hurricane Katrina, which left, scores of people homeless. Many people lost their personal belongings, houses, jobs (both the employed and the self-employed) and their homes where they used to leave on. These disasters are usually not pre-planned but are acts of nature and therefore they cannot be prevented unlike some facts that can be pre-planned and prevented. This has also led to the increase in homelessness and later to the creation of tent cities.
This population of people who are homeless could be handled in several ways. The first one, which is the most important, is the creation of shelters by the government for this people to leave in. The government should try to find a good way of creating these shelters and in places where they have already built them, they should try to expand them to cope with this rising population. This will reduce the number of people who are staying in these tent cities as means of shelter.
Secondly, the government should design new housing prices to accommodate the poor. There might be several people who are poor and they are able to cater for their housing needs if only the housing market prices are lowered to a figure that is more suitable for them (McNamara 76). This will go a long way since it will encourage the homeless people from moving away from the tent cities into the lowly priced houses. It can also be used as a means of hope to those people who have already lost hope. They will now be able to see what was not affordable as affordable.
The government should try to reduce the racial discrimination and class, which are usually found in the housing market and job market. There is a lot of discrimination especially towards the blacks where blacks are believed to be of a lower class as compared to the whites. They are seen as poor people and when it comes to the job market, the employer maybe white and he/she might decide to racially discriminate and not offer him/her the job. Therefore, the government should try to put measures or policies in place, which will reduce this discrimination and increase job opportunities to this people who have been discriminated.
Lastly, the government should try to create new job opportunities for the people who do not have proper education. These will help in reducing the number of people who are homeless and eventually reducing the tent cities. However, it is worth noting that some of these people are the ones who want to stay in these tent cities. This because they are lazy, stubborn and always want to be helped. Therefore, the government should come with ways of helping this people (Rollinson & John 47).
Associated Press. In Hard Times, Tent Cities Rise Across the Country. The Associated Press, 18 September 2008. Web. 15 March 2011. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26776283/ns/us_news-life/
McNamara, Robert. Homelessness in America. College Park, MD: ABC-CLIO, 2008. Print.
Nugent, Ted. Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2010. Print.
Rollinson, Paul & John Pardeck. Homelessness in rural America: policy and practice. Washington, DC: Routledge, 2006. Print
Thompson, Paul. “Pictured: The credit crunch tent city which has returned to haunt America.” Associated newspapers Ltd 15 March 2011. Print