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The Number of Americans Living in Their Vehicles ‘Explodes’ as the Middle Class Continues to Disappear

Lisa Burke is on a tight budget. She collects $1,115 a month in disability payments from the government and spends $5 a day. Typically it amounts to one meal a day for herself, and food for her service dog, Bella-Boo. PHOTO: Daily Breeze

2 August 2018

MARKET SLANT — If the U.S. economy is really doing so well, then why is homelessness rising so rapidly?  As the gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase, the middle class is steadily eroding.  In fact, I recently gave my readers 15 signs that the middle class in America is being systematically destroyed.  More Americans are falling out of the middle class and into poverty with each passing day, and this is one of the big reasons why the number of homeless is surging.  For example, the number of people living on the street in L.A. has shot up 75 percent over the last 6 years.  But of course L.A. is far from alone.  Other major cities on the west coast are facing similar problems, and that includes Seattle.  It turns out that the Emerald City has seen a 46 percent rise in the number of people sleeping in their vehicles in just the past year

The number of people who live in their vehicles because they can’t find affordable housing is on the rise, even though the practice is illegal in many U.S. cities.

The number of people residing in campers and other vehicles surged 46 percent over the past year, a recent homeless census in Seattle’s King County, Washington found. The problem is “exploding” in cities with expensive housing markets, including Los Angeles, Portland and San Francisco, according to Governing magazine.

Amazon, Microsoft and other big tech companies are in the Seattle area.  It is a region that is supposedly “prospering”, and yet this is going on.

Sadly, it isn’t just major urban areas that are seeing more people sleeping in their vehicles.  Over in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, many of the homeless sleep in their vehicles even in the middle of winter

Stephanie Monroe, managing director of Children Youth & Family Services at Volunteers of America, Dakotas, tells a similar story. At least 25 percent of the non-profit’s Sioux Falls clients have lived in their vehicles at some point, even during winter’s sub-freezing temperatures.

“Many of our communities don’t have formal shelter services,” she said in an interview. “It can lead to individuals resorting to living in their cars or other vehicles.”

It is time to admit that we have a problem.  The number of homeless in this country is surging, and we need to start coming up with some better solutions. […]

1 Comment on The Number of Americans Living in Their Vehicles ‘Explodes’ as the Middle Class Continues to Disappear

  1. Lisa Burke could easily afford to rent a room in the average city. Average cost is about $400. She pulls in $1,115 a month and spends about $150 on food. The leaves her $965. Subtract $400 for the average room in the average city and she now has $565. That’s pretty good. Car insurance wouldn’t be an arm and a leg. She could find work in a thrift shop and make a few more bucks. Lisa could save over $6,000 annually into a bank account. What’s the problem here?

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