DEJA VU

Shanty Towns Surge in U.S.

What do Nashville, Olympia, Seattle, St. Petersburg, Fresno, and Sacramento have in common? Shanty towns. The New York Times reports that tent cities are cropping up across the nation as the country's recession deepens and people who used to make more than minimum wage become unable to house themselves and turn to modern day Hoovervilles as a last resort. Residents of Sacramento's tent city got tired of the media after Oprah's coverage of their plight prompted a media stampede. Fresno's homelessness prevention and policy manager said that drug use, violence, and prostitution happen in the encampments. "That's all part of that underground economy," he said. "It's what happens when a person is trying to survive."