UPDATE: March 25, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger opens up county fairgrounds to tent city dwellers!
As more Tent Towns, or homeless encampments spring up the greater society will have to pitch in to help our less fortunate neighbors.
The term Shanty Town originated during the Great Depression when unemployed had nowhere else to live. The article above points to the rapid growth of homeless by the swift growth of these makeshift cities.
Have a look at the video below. It’s hard to believe we are at a point where the working class are being forced to tents on the outskirts.
This situation will get worse before it gets better. Doing nothing is not an option. The “new” homeless cannot organize by blogging or Twittering but those of us that still have a roof over our heads can and should lend a hand.
First things first. Tent City residents need security and proper shelter. They need food, clean water and sanitation facilities. At a minimum they should receive the same attention a welfare mother of three living in section 8 housing receives.
How can first responders help? Police and fire/EMT should patrol these camps daily, maybe hourly. Firefighters can enlist local churches to donate canned goods, toiletries and clothes.
This is not the stereotypical drug addict/drunk/dropout homeless group that generally make up the homeless set. These are the new homeless and will appreciate a cop positioned in a squad car watching out for them.
To any firefighter reading this suggest to your crew tomorrow you take a ride around town and look for your homeless camp. You know you are the ones to do this. Take a look at the video again and ask how you or your department can help. Department leaders distinguish themselves at a time like this.
When it comes down to it most of us are a few paychecks away from Tent Town!
Update #2: It might be a good idea to tap into AmeriCorps NCCC based in Sacramento to assist these homeless citizens. To quote CNBC’s Rick Santelli, “Are you listening President Obama”?