A Mass Exodus Away From Big Cities On Both Coasts

In all of U.S. history, we have never seen anything like “the mass exodus of 2020”.  Hundreds of thousands of people are leaving the major cities on both coasts in search of a better life.  Homelessness, crime and drug use were already on the rise in many of our large cities prior to 2020, but many big city residents were willing to put up with a certain amount of chaos in order to maintain their lifestyles.  However, the COVID-19 pandemic and months of civil unrest have finally pushed a lot of people over the edge.  Moving companies on both coasts are doing a booming business as wealthy and middle class families flee at a blistering pace, and most of those families do not plan to ever return.

Los Angeles is a perfect example of what I am talking about.  Once upon a time it attracted wealthy and famous people from all over the globe, but in 2020 it is “a city on the brink“…

Today, Los Angeles is a city on the brink. ‘For Sale’ signs are seemingly dotted on every suburban street as the middle classes, particularly those with families, flee for the safer suburbs, with many choosing to leave LA altogether.

British-born Danny O’Brien runs Watford Moving & Storage. ‘There is a mass exodus from Hollywood,’ he says.

Almost half of the entire homeless population of the entire country now lives in the state of California, and a large proportion of them are addicted to drugs.  Needless to say, this has created a nightmarish environment

Junkies and the homeless, many of whom are clearly mentally ill, walk the palm-lined streets like zombies – all just three blocks from multi-million-dollar homes overlooking the Pacific.

Stolen bicycles are piled high on pavements littered with broken syringes.

Could you imagine trying to raise a family in such a community?

I certainly couldn’t.

And the worse economic conditions become, the worse the problem gets.  Crime is skyrocketing in L.A., and some residents have been shocked to discover strangers actually “defecating in their front gardens”

TV bulletins are filled with horror stories from across the city; of women being attacked during their morning jog or residents returning home to find strangers defecating in their front gardens.

Of course Los Angeles is definitely not the only major city dealing with such issues.

On a per capita basis, drug use is even worse in San Francisco, and it is being reported that there is “a mass exodus of people looking to get out of San Francisco real estate”

According to online real estate company Zillow, there is a mass exodus of people looking to get out of San Francisco real estate – as the housing market is on fire in the Bay Area suburbs, all the way to Lake Tahoe.

According to the company’s “2020 Urban-Suburban Market Report,” home prices in the city have fallen 4.9% year-over-year, while inventory has jumped 96% during the same period, as a flood of new listings hit the market.

In the end, a lot of people may have to take losses on their homes, but it will be worth it simply to get out of California.

And the state legislature has apparently decided that the mass exodus is not happening fast enough, because a bill is being introduced that would impose a new “wealth tax” on the very wealthy

Fast forward to today when the ultra-liberal state of California is now ready to take this “socialist” idea from concept to the implementation phase, with the SF Chronicle reporting that a group of CA state lawmakers on Thursday proposed a first-in-the-nation state wealth tax that would hit about 30,400 California residents and raise an estimated $7.5 billion for the general fund.

The proposed tax rate would be 0.4% of net worth (most likely ended up far higher), excluding directly held real estate, that exceeds $30 million for single and joint filers and $15 million for married filing separately.

In the old days, a lot of Californians would just head north to Portland or Seattle, but those two cities are not exactly desirable options at this point.

The civil unrest in Seattle never seems to end, and Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf recently said that there had been “twelve official riots” in the first ten days after federal law enforcement officials left Portland.

Sadly, the east coast has experienced plenty of chaos as well, and the mass exodus out of New York City has been particularly dramatic.

In a previous article, I discussed the fact that the the New York Times had reported that 420,000 New Yorkers had moved out of the city between March 1st and May 1st.

But the exodus certainly didn’t end there.

According to the local Fox affiliate, between May and July there was “a 95 percent year over year increase in interest in moving out of Manhattan”…

According to the most recent data from United Van Lines, between May and July, there was a 95 percent year over year increase in interest in moving out of Manhattan. That compares with a 19 percent increase in moving interest in the U.S., overall.

The top destinations for people who moved out of New York City between March and August were Florida and California – which together comprised 28 percent of relocations. Texas and North Carolina made up 16 percent of moves.

And it isn’t just residents that are leaving.

Business after business is shutting down, and that includes some of the most iconic retailers in the city

J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus, the anchor tenants at two of the largest malls in Manhattan, recently filed for bankruptcy and announced that they would shutter those locations.

The Subway restaurant chain has already closed dozens of locations in New York City in recent months,

Le Pain Quotidien has permanently closed several of its 27 stores in the city and plans to leave others closed until more people return to the streets, an executive at the chain’s parent, Aurify Brands, told the Times.

Earlier today, I watched a video that someone had taken of all the boarded up shops along 5th Avenue.

If you have not seen that video yet, you can watch it right here.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  At one time 5th Avenue was a playground for the elite of the world, but now it essentially looks “like a demilitarized zone”

De Blasio’s New York has finally hit an all-time low: the once bustling city is now on the verge of looking like a demilitarized zone. Between the pandemic and the riots in the city, iconic 5th Avenue now looks more like a dystopian nightmare in a recently shot video posted to Twitter.

The video follows a car driving down a deserted 5th Avenue, with almost all of the area’s high end stores boarded up and shut down. There are few people seen on what is usually a busy street.

“Look at everything. Everything’s boarded up. Even the hotel. Boarded up,” the video’s narrator, who is obviously fed up with how the city looks, says.

In about six months, most of the progress that New York City has made since the dark days of the 1970s and 1980s has completely disappeared.

Homelessness and poverty are both exploding, and crime rates are shooting into the stratosphere.

If you can believe it, the number of shootings in July was 177 percent higher than for the same month last year.

If the deplorable conditions in our major cities were just going to be temporary, I don’t believe that we would be seeing such a mass exodus.

But at this point it should be clear to all of us that things aren’t going to turn around any time soon, and many people are convinced that things are just going to continue to get even worse.

Our major cities are degenerating right in front of our eyes, and there doesn’t seem to be any hope of reversing this process now that it has started.

In life, the decisions that we make always have consequences, and the consequences for the decisions that we have made as a nation as a whole will be very bitter indeed.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

Which Major West Coast City Is Being Overwhelmed By Rats, Drugs, Crime, Piles Of Garbage And Hordes Of Homeless People?

Can you name the major west coast city that has become a rotting, decaying hellhole and is being completely overwhelmed by rats, drugs, crime, piles of garbage and hordes of homeless people?  Of course San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, “all of them” and “any of them” would all be correct answers, but in this article we are going to talk about Los Angeles.  Once upon a time, millions of young Americans flocked to “sunny L.A.” in order to experience “the California Dream”, but these days Los Angeles seems to be on the cutting edge of many of our most critical societal problems.  L.A. has been known for Hollywood, the porn industry and world class traffic congestion, but now it is also becoming famous for “rat-infested piles of rotting garbage”

Rat-infested piles of rotting garbage left uncollected by the city of Los Angeles, even after promises to clean it up, are fueling concerns about a new epidemic after last year’s record number of flea-borne typhus cases.

Even the city’s most notorious trash pile, located between downtown LA’s busy Fashion and Produce districts, continues to be a magnet for rats after it was cleaned up months ago. The rodents can carry typhus-infected fleas, which can spread the disease to humans through bacteria rubbed into the eyes or cuts and scrapes on the skin, resulting in severe flu-like symptoms.

Today, approximately 18.7 million people live in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and many fear that the rat population may exceed the human population at this point.

When garbage and filth are everywhere, rats can breed exceedingly quickly.  In fact, under ideal conditions two rats can become 482 million rats in just three years.

So you would think that L.A. would want to get this rat problem under control, but an NBC Los Angeles investigation discovered that “there is no plan or program to control the growing rat population”

But in Los Angeles, the I-Team learned there is no plan or program to control the growing rat population that feasts at trash piles like the one on Ceres Avenue.

“It’s something that we’ll look into,” said Pepe Garica, of Los Angeles’ bureau of sanitation.

Lovely, eh?

In a previous article, I noted that the rats have now even conquered Los Angeles City Hall

Officials at Los Angeles’ City Hall are considering ripping all of the building’s carpets up, as rats and fleas are said to be running riot in its halls.

A motion was filed by Council President Herb Wesson on Wednesday to enact the much needed makeover amid a typhus outbreak in the downtown area.

Wesson said a city employee had contracted the deadly bacterial disease at work, and now he’s urging officials to investigate the ‘scope’ of the long-running pest problem at the council building.

Meanwhile, the homeless population continues to multiply as well.

The number of homeless people living in L.A. has risen by at least 75 percent since 2012, and authorities cleaned up nearly 15,000 homeless encampments last year alone…

Nearly 15,000 homeless encampment cleanups were conducted last year in Los Angeles, a process that begins with officers clearing people from the area before sanitation workers remove trash and other items.

The cleanups cost taxpayers millions of dollars, but some residents who live near the encampments said they are usually repopulated soon after sanitation crews are done. It’s a seemingly endless cycle that leads neighbors to ask whether there are better ways to spend that tax money.

In other words, Los Angeles is cleaning up an average of 41 homeless encampments every single day.

Overall, Los Angeles spent a whopping 619 million dollars on the homeless problem last year, but it just continues to get even worse.

Of course wherever there is homelessness there is crime, and those that live in downtown L.A. are getting fed up

“Everyone living, working in, or visiting downtown has noticed the rapidly deteriorating conditions,” downtown resident Catherine Tomiczek told the committee. She said a friend was beaten and robbed on the street and a neighbor was stabbed in her building.

Councilman Paul Krekorian, who heads the committee, said he would request the information sought by the group. Major crimes downtown increased 6.7 percent this year compared with the same period in 2018, according to LAPD crime data through April 13.

Much of the violent crime is fueled by the drug trade, and according to DEA agent Bob Thomas Los Angeles is definitely a national hub for drug activity…

In a middle class neighborhood in Los Angeles a house is surrounded by crime tape. A young man had lost his life to drugs inside.

It’s happened a record 72,000 times last year in the United States and Los Angeles is a big part of the problem.

“Drug cartels send their stuff to LA, where it’s distributed across the nation,” DEA agent Bob Thomas said.

Further up the California coastline, northern California is being absolutely overwhelmed by a meth epidemic that is completely out of control.  Just consider these shocking numbers

Since 2011, emergency room visits related to meth in San Francisco have jumped 600% to 1,965 visits in 2016, the last year for which ER data is available. Admissions to the hospital are up 400% to 193, according to city public health data. And at San Francisco General Hospital, of 7,000 annual psychiatric emergency visits last year, 47% were people who were not necessarily mentally ill — they were high on meth.

“As California goes, so goes the nation” is a phrase that people like to use, but we better hope that it isn’t true, because California is going down the toilet.

And as our planet continues to become increasingly unstable, scientists assure us that it is only a matter of time before “the Big One” hits the state.  Earlier today, northern California was shaken by a magnitude 3.8 earthquake, and one of these days a truly catastrophic quake is coming.

In recent years, approximately five million people have packed up and moved to another state, and you can’t really blame them for leaving.

At this point I can’t really think of any reason why anyone would want to live in California.

Can you?

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Portland Braces For “Blood In The Streets” As Antifa Pledges “Militant Antifascist Resistance Against Patriot Prayer” On Saturday

If Portland authorities do not intervene in a major way, we could potentially see one of the largest street brawls in modern American history on Saturday.  On June 30th, an extremely violent confrontation in Portland between Antifa thugs and conservative groups made headlines all over the world, and now both sides have been hyping this August 4th sequel as an even bigger event.  Two conservative groups, Patriot Prayer and The Proud Boys, are claiming that they will have thousands of members in the heart of Portland for their scheduled rally, and they are very much encouraging people to bring guns.  On the other side, Eugene Antifa, Rose City Antifa, RASH NW and the Pacific Northwest Anti-Fascist Workers Collective are hoping to bring thousands of their own members, and one organizer publicly stated that they “better bring our own guns too”.  All it is going to take is for one person to get shot and killed for all hell to break loose.

At the center of this controversy is a conservative Senate candidate named Joey Gibson

For the past week, Vancouver activist, provocateur and senate candidate Joey Gibson has been talking about guns — guns that his friends and supporters with the groups Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys will likely bring to a self-described “Freedom Rally” in Portland on Saturday.

“Everyone should be carrying around guns at all times, especially in our situation,” Gibson explained in a video, posted to Facebook June 30 to promote the event.

There is certainly nothing wrong with a candidate holding a rally and encouraging his supporters to bring guns.  It happens in other major cities all the time.

And because of the violence that happened last time, conservatives are flying in from all over the country for this event.

“We’ll have people locally showing up from Vancouver, Portland, Hillsboro, California. We have people flying in from Texas and the East Coast,” he said.

If the left simply did not interfere with this rally, it wouldn’t even make national headlines.

But they aren’t going to do that.  In fact, they have been working very hard to promote their “counter-protest”, and they are openly telling us that they “make no apologies for the use of force”

For its part, Rose City Antifa released a “hype video,” encouraging people to counter-protest Gibson’s rally. They also promised violence.

“History has shown that militant resistance is a necessary and important tool in the fight against fascism,” the video’s narrator intones. “We make no apologies for the use of force in keeping our communities safe from the scourge of right-wing violence.”

In fact, the various Antifa factions are definitely planning a “direct confrontation” with Patriot Prayer and The Proud Boys…

Ahead of Saturday’s conservative rally, Antifa is back at it again – planning a “direct confrontation” with participants, according to a call to action on the leftist website “It’s Going Down.

“Rose City Antifa has continued their great work of doxxing the Portland area Proud Boys involved in this violence, and is also calling for militant antifascist resistance against Patriot Prayer,” reads the posting.

Portland authorities could prevent this by showing up with overwhelming numbers of police and by completely keeping the two groups separated.

But will they?

For Antifa, the goal of the “counter-protest” is to “chase Gibson and his supporters out of town”

Organizers of a counterprotest are hoping hundreds if not thousands of people turn up to chase Gibson and his supporters out of town.

“One of the things folks keep saying is ‘If you just ignored them, they’d probably go away,’” Effie Baum, a spokesperson for Popular Mobilization, a coalition of activists formed to mobilize a counterprotest on Saturday, told HuffPost. “There are many examples across history that explicitly tell us this is not true. The community at large in Portland has tried ignoring them… Despite that, Joey Gibson and Patriot Prayer have not gone away.”

I have been warning that civil unrest is coming to America over and over again.  I warned that it is coming in my first book, and I have warned that it is coming on radio and television all across America.  And about a month ago, Portland got a little taste of what is ahead…

On June 30, as a faceoff between opposite ends of the political spectrum exploded into a street fight, enforcement in Portland, Oregon, jumped into action. The march, organized by Patriot Prayer, a far-right outfit with a history of sparking conflict, was met by anti-fascist – antifa – and other-counter protesters. As the clash escalated, the event was declared a riot. Officers in body armor tried to unknot the scuffles. Four people left the scene in ambulances, the Portland Police later said in a statement. Four others left in handcuffs.

Other watchmen are sounding the alarm as well.  For instance, the following comes from an alert that Steve Quayle recently posted on his website

Ladies and Gentlemen we are in the midst of a war for the fundamental right to be an American. The constitution is under attack from the far left and its democratic leaders. This is only going to get worse from here. America has fundamentally changed; just as Barack Obama wanted. If you ask me, we are only a few more riot/protests away from the left and right clashing to the point of firearms being used. Once that is done, you will force the police to drastically change our approach. I don’t know how that will go but I was there in Ferguson, MO during the BLM riots and in Baltimore for the BLM riots. The police and National Guard will eventually be forced to put down the riots by force and that is not what we want nor need to happen.

Let us pray for peace, because nobody should want to see more violence.

And as I mentioned earlier, the authorities in Portland could stop the violence from happening.  The police need to show up very early in massive numbers, and they need to do everything that they can to keep the two groups apart.

Because if the two sides come face to face, there will be violence.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Police Union President Laments That Portland Has Become A “Cesspool” As West Coast Cities Struggle With An Unprecedented Surge In Homelessness

Even though it has always been kind of crazy, at one time Portland, Oregon was quite an attractive place to live, but now those days are long gone.  Today, the city streets are strewn with garbage, drug paraphernalia and human feces.  Mentally ill homeless people and drug addicts wander about like zombies, and there are certain areas of the city that you absolutely do not want to visit at night.  In essence, the city is slowly becoming a post-apocalyptic version of its former self, and those that love the city are seething with frustration.  Of course Portland is simply experiencing the same surge in homelessness that so many other west coast cities are struggling to deal with.  As housing prices have risen dramatically, many on the lower end of the income scale have been priced out of the market entirely, and an increasing number of people are being forced to sleep in vehicles, in shelters or on the streets.

The president of the police union in Portland has had enough.  His officers are overwhelmed by the needs of the homeless on a nightly basis, and he is calling on the mayor to finally do something to resolve this crisis.  The following is the first paragraph from a statement that PPA President Daryl Turner just released

Our City has become a cesspool. Livability that once made Portland a unique and vibrant city is now replaced with human feces in businesses doorways, in our parks, and on our streets. Aggressive panhandlers block the sidewalks, storefronts, and landmarks like Pioneer Square, discouraging people from enjoying our City. Garbage-filled RVs and vehicles are strewn throughout our neighborhoods. Used needles, drug paraphernalia, and trash are common sights lining the streets and sidewalks of the downtown core area, under our bridges, and freeway overpasses. That’s not what our families, business owners, and tourists deserve.

If that sounds familiar, that is because many other west coast cities are dealing with the exact same issues right now.

For example, new San Francisco Mayor London Breed recently admitted that there “is more feces on the sidewalks than I’ve ever seen”

There is more feces on the sidewalks than I’ve ever seen growing up here,” Breed told KNTV. “That is a huge problem and we are not just talking about from dogs — we’re talking about from humans.”

The streets of San Francisco are littered with a “dangerous mix of drug needles, garbage, and feces”, KNTV’s investigative team reported in February after surveying the city’s streets.

And a lot of other San Francisco residents have noticed the exact same thing.  In fact, during one recent seven day period 16,000 complaints were submitted to the city about human feces.

Sounds like a great place to live, right?

It is important to keep in mind that San Francisco supposedly has a “booming economy” and some of the highest real estate prices in the entire nation.

If this is happening in a “prosperous area”, what are things like in major cities where things are not so prosperous?

Down in L.A., there was a nearly 26 percent increase in homelessness in 2017, and overall homelessness in L.A. has risen 75 percent over the past 6 years.

Let that sink in for a moment.

During this supposed “economy recovery”, our second largest city has seen homelessness go up 75 percent.

Sadly, it is estimated that 25 percent of the nation’s entire homeless population now lives in California…

While it’s tough to say precisely how many Californians are experiencing homelessness, the federal Housing and Urban Development Department estimates the number statewide at 130,000 on a given night. That’s 25 percent of the entire nation’s homeless population. Since 2016, California experienced a larger increase in homelessness than any other state.

At one time, L.A.’s “skid row” was limited to a single street, but now it goes on mile after mile.  I just have to share with you the following excerpt from an excellent article about what life is like for those living on this famous stretch of real estate

Most of its 2,000 residents sleep in tents or under tarps. Those with more status occupy the sides of streets shaded by trees. Location, location, location. The lowest caste sleep on cardboard or nothing. Some people rent tents for a few bucks a night.

There are no liquor stores so businessmen buy alcohol from shops a few miles away and sell it at a steep mark-up. Loan sharks collect debts by taking control of the debit cards issued to homeless people by government agencies.

A guy sits at a table on the sidewalk selling cigarettes and joints. The city has installed sidewalk restrooms. Ruffin pointed to one and figured people inside were shooting up or smoking. Meth, heroin and crack are the scourges of choice. Needles litter the gutter, as does a dead rat. On another block, homeless entrepreneurs chop and assemble bicycles for sale.

And let us not forget about Seattle.  Homeless encampments have become so pervasive in “the Emerald City” that authorities started building “tiny house villages” for the homeless out of desperation.  But these “tiny house villages” are a lot more depressing than they sound

In the nearby neighborhood of Wallingford, a newly erected outpost of small wooden shacks offer shelter for 22 of Seattle’s homeless residents. This is a “tiny house village,” sanctioned by the city as a kind of middle ground between living at a street address and on the street. The buildings sit in the corner of a parking lot across from a seafood restaurant, shielded from view by a metal fence. Each shack, painted with one of the bold colors of a Crayola starter pack, offers electricity and a roof sturdier than the tents in Seattle’s increasingly common homeless encampments. Every resident is issued a window fan for the occasional hot day, and the people here hope to receive heaters before winter. But the small collections of potted petunias and pothos that sit in front of their temporary homes are unlikely to survive the city’s harshest months.

Unfortunately, this is probably only just the beginning of this crisis.  Homelessness always explodes during a recession, and many believe that we are rapidly approaching another one.  West coast cities are really struggling to deal with this crisis right now, and it is hard to imagine how they will deal with the tsunami of human suffering that is coming their way once economic conditions begin to sour.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Tent Cities Full Of Homeless People Are Booming In Cities All Over America As Poverty Spikes

HomelessJust like during the last economic crisis, homeless encampments are popping up all over the nation as poverty grows at a very alarming rate.  According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than half a million people are homeless in America right now, but that figure is increasing by the day.  And it isn’t just adults that we are talking about.  It has been reported that that the number of homeless children in this country has risen by 60 percent since the last recession, and Poverty USA says that a total of 1.6 million children slept either in a homeless shelter or in some other form of emergency housing at some point last year.  Yes, the stock market may have been experiencing a temporary boom for the last couple of years, but for those on the low end of the economic scale things have just continued to deteriorate.

Tonight, countless numbers of homeless people will try to make it through another chilly night in large tent cities that have been established in the heart of major cities such as Seattle, Washington, D.C. and St. Louis.  Homelessness has gotten so bad in California that the L.A. City Council has formally asked Governor Jerry Brown to officially declare a state of emergency.   And in Portland the city has extended their “homeless emergency” for yet another year, and city officials are really struggling with how to deal with the booming tent cities that have sprung up

There have always been homeless people in Portland, but last summer Michelle Cardinal noticed a change outside her office doors.

Almost overnight, it seemed, tents popped up in the park that runs like a green carpet past the offices of her national advertising business. She saw assaults, drug deals and prostitution. Every morning, she said, she cleaned human feces off the doorstep and picked up used needles.

“It started in June and by July it was full-blown. The park was mobbed,” she said. “We’ve got a problem here and the question is how we’re going to deal with it.”

But of course it isn’t just Portland that is experiencing this.  The following list of major tent cities that have become so well-known and established that they have been given names comes from Wikipedia

Most of the time, those that establish tent cities do not want to be discovered because local authorities have a nasty habit of shutting them down and forcing homeless people out of the area.  For example, check out what just happened in Elkhart, Indiana

A group of homeless people in Elkhart has been asked to leave the place they call home. For the last time, residents of ‘Tent City’ packed up camp.

City officials gave residents just over a month to vacate the wooded area; Wednesday being the last day to do so.

The property has been on Mayor Tim Neese’s radar since he took office in January, calling it both a safety and health hazard to its residents and nearby pedestrian traffic.

“This has been their home but you can’t live on public property,” said Mayor Tim Neese, Elkhart.

If they can’t live on “public property”, where are they supposed to go?

They certainly can’t live on somebody’s “private property”.

This is the problem – people don’t want to deal with the human feces, the needles, the crime and the other problems that homeless people often bring with them.  So the instinct is often to kick them out and send them away.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t fix the problem.  It just passes it on to someone else.

As this new economic downturn continues to accelerate, our homelessness boom is going to spiral out of control.  Pretty soon, there will be tent cities in virtually every community in America.

In fact, there are people that are living comfortable middle class lifestyles right at this moment that will end up in tents.  We saw this during the last economic crisis, and it will be even worse as this next one unfolds.

Just like last time around, the signs that the middle class is really struggling can be subtle at first, but when you learn to take note of them you will notice that they are all around you.  The following comes from an excellent article in the New York Post

Do you see grocery stores closing? Do you see other retailers, like clothing stores and department stores, going out of business?

Are there shuttered storefronts along your Main Street shopping district, where you bought a tool from the hardware store or dropped off your dry cleaning or bought fruits and vegetables?

Are you making as much money annually as you did 10 years ago?

Do you see homes in neighborhoods becoming run down as the residents either were foreclosed upon, or the owner lost his or her job so he or she can’t afford to cut the grass or paint the house?

Did that same house where the Joneses once lived now become a rental property, where new people come to live every few months?

Do you know one or two people who are looking for work? Maybe professionals, who you thought were safe in their jobs?

Don’t look down on those that are living in tents, because the truth is that many “middle class Americans” will ultimately end up joining them.

The correct response to those that are hurting is love and compassion.  We all need help at some point in our lives, and I know that I am certainly grateful to those that have given me a helping hand at various points along my journey.

Sadly, hearts are growing cold all over the nation, and the weather is only going to get colder over the months ahead.  Let us pray for health and safety for the hundreds of thousands of Americans that will be sleeping in tents and on the streets this winter.

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