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alstry (35.89)

America's Middle Class Homeless

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May 21, 2008 – Comments (9)

"The way the economy is going, it's just amazing the people that are becoming homeless. It's hit the middle class."

"You look around today, and there are so many," said Kapp, who was homeless with her young daughter two decades ago. "I see women sleeping on benches. It's heartbreaking."

There are 12 parking lots across Santa Barbara that have been set up to accommodate the growing middle-class homelessness. These lots are believed to be part of the first program of its kind in the United States, according to organizers.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/05/19/homeless.mom/index.html

No room in the inn.  Weren't some of us predicting this just a few months back?  And it is just beginning....and in Santa Barbara of all places. 

In a number of counties in CA, unemployment is over 10% now.  Just wait until the layoffs really begin................

9 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On May 21, 2008 at 2:23 PM, WillSurfForFood (79.20) wrote:

Cool an article about my town. There have always been a lot of homeless here, I assumed it was for the nice weather. I haven't noticed an increase although it certainly is possible. This has to be one of the more expensive places in the country to live, the 800 sq ft 2 bedroom house I rent on the poorer side of town costs over $1900 per month in rent. If I were to have another kid ( I have a 1 year old currently) it would get a bit more difficult to make ends meet but I would probably choose to move to a cheaper area rather than move to the street. At the peak of the housing market the median home price crossed the 1 million mark here and I know several people that chose to leave because of this. I understand how it would be difficult for middle class to make ends meet but I'm still having a hard time believing they are turning to the street.

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#2) On May 21, 2008 at 2:33 PM, alstry (35.89) wrote:

If you notice in my posts, I try not to make a value judgment.  It is simply a math problem which will have a direct impact on all of us.  The issue is that we are all one system directly or indirectly and our system is failing.

For example, you could have a perfectly healthy human body in all respects but a defective heart.....if the heart fails, the whole system fails.

Right now, our economic system is on the verge of collapse.  We have Trillions of dollars of debt that is about to default.  The consequence of default is failure.  The fact that banks are tightening credit is only going to accellerate the rate of failure.

When there is enough distress in the system, even those who currently perceive themselves as OK may not have such a perspective when the dominos start to fall.

The dominos are falling as we speak.

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#3) On May 21, 2008 at 3:02 PM, WillSurfForFood (79.20) wrote:

I'm not debating that we are facing economic problems in this country. I'm questioning the validity of the article, I find it hard to believe there are lots of middle class people sleeping on the streets in Santa Barbara. For one I live here and don't see it. Second there is another solution to middle class that can't afford to live here: move to somewhere cheaper which limits you to almost anywhere else. If this program is the first of its kind in the country perhaps it is attracting people from other places, like Santa Cruz, it gets a bit more chilly there. As long as we are going to discuss economics we should attempt to separate fact from fiction. The article reads like bad fiction.

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#4) On May 21, 2008 at 3:11 PM, WillSurfForFood (79.20) wrote:

One last comment, I find it interesting that the poor homeless woman sleeping with her dogs in her car drives a SUV. She drives a nicer car than I do, I'm envious.

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#5) On May 21, 2008 at 3:47 PM, alstry (35.89) wrote:

I understand and respect all of your points.  However, as the costs of everything keeps going up, and wages stagnate, or decline as layoffs kick in.....mathematically we will have more and more people who will not be able to simutaneously afford food, clothing and shelter.

As those people become dependent on the system to live, it becomes all of our problems.  If crime or poverty reaches a certain level, regardless how much money you have, the quality of life goes down....even for those who are not "poor."

The more open the society such as ours, the quicker the spillover effect on all.

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#6) On May 21, 2008 at 4:22 PM, misterpickles (< 20) wrote:

This country is in deep doo-doo.....

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#7) On May 21, 2008 at 4:24 PM, alstry (35.89) wrote:

American Air to Cut `Thousands' of Jobs

By Mary Jane Credeur and Mary Schlangenstein

May 21 (Bloomberg) -- AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, the world's largest carrier, said it will cut ``thousands'' of jobs as it slashes U.S. capacity and retires as many as 85 jets to blunt surging fuel prices and slowing demand.

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#8) On May 21, 2008 at 4:42 PM, cabuilderboy (91.38) wrote:

Willsurf is correct. You can't jog on the beach in Santa Barbara without dodging a community of homeless, and that was in 2005. Using the homeless in Santa Barbara as a barometer for housing and the economy is a bit of a stretch. I grant you the economic downturn, but not everyone feels the same pain. I tried to take my family to breakfast on the coastline in San Diego (one of the worst housing markets now) a couple of weeks ago, and every restaurant had a 20 minute wait, for breakfast!!  Someone working on Software in San Jose does not feel the same pain as a constuction worker in Turlock. We still sale homes every week, no matter who predicts Armageddon. Just want to keep things in perspective.

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#9) On May 21, 2008 at 4:51 PM, camistocks (< 20) wrote:

This is a media article that wants to make us believe that things are just so bad. Since this is the USA and not Zimbabwe or Egypt, I would think there are some social security nets. This woman is probably in trouble since many years. And as WillSurfForFood mentioned, she is able to afford a SUV and also two dogs.

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