Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Columbus, Reno, Fresno, Chattanooga. They’re all home to homeless encampments, tent cities springing up of people who have lost their homes. It’s a startling story, reminiscent of the Hoovervilles of the 1930s (though clearly we’re not to that extreme yet). What’s perhaps most frightening about this story is that it’s dated Sept. 18. These tent cities don’t appear to be a result of the current economic meltdown, but have been the result of foreclosures and rising prices we’ve seen all year.
These kinds of stories further my resolve to spend a night outside experiencing homelessness (and the reality is setting in how freaking cold it’s going to be sleeping out in October in Minnesota). As the economy continues to worsen, more and more people will turn to increasingly crowded homeless shelters. They need help. When times get tough there’s an understandable temptation to turn inward and take care of your own. But that’s when I think it’s all the more important to help each other. It’s easy to be generous when your stock options are up and your 401K is growing.