Sunday, August 30, 2009

Capturing a slice of the great recession in the US

This video by Stewart Thorndike, shown via the New York Times, shows life in a tent city in Redmond, Washington. Yes, down the street from Microsoft. It talks about how these are better than traditional shelters in buildings, and how there seems to be some formalized governance (and jobs running it and keeping it clean) that are often lacking in more impromptu settlements, and also how there are showers and bathrooms. It does not talk about whose land used, and how they first emerged. Seems like most of the tent dwellers lost their job (many of those interviewed were refugees from Arizona), run down their savings, and landed up in the tent city. They didn't look like the folks we are used to seeing living in these impromptu settlements in the US, often people with addiction problems and few skills. Depressing.

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