In hard times, tent cities rise across the country
RENO, Nev.—A few tents cropped up hard by the railroad tracks, pitched by men left with nowhere to go once the emergency winter shelter closed for the summer.
Then others appeared—people who had lost their jobs to the ailing economy, or newcomers who had moved to Reno for work and discovered no one was hiring.
Within weeks, more than 150 people were living in tents big and small, barely a foot apart in a patch of dirt slated to be a parking lot for a campus of shelters Reno is building for its homeless population. Like many other cities, Reno has found itself with a “tent city”—an encampment of people who had nowhere else to go.
From Seattle to Athens, Ga., homeless advocacy groups and city agencies are reporting the most visible rise in homeless encampments in a generation.