Radio journalist Thea Chroman has produced a two part series on the return of the Hooverville. It was one of the first pieces to be funded on Spot.Us and was done in collaboration with KALW and Roxbury News which provided editorial and photographic support.
San Francisco’s per capita homeless rate has long been the highest in the country. But in the past year, it shot up 40 percent, by some measures. The increase came as foreclosures put pressure on the rental market, the budget crisis slowed aid, and the job market tightened up.
The face of the homeless population is changing, too: the newly unemployed and the working poor — are finding themselves out on the street. And the lines for affordable housing grow ever longer. Some families wait years to get a section 8 voucher, and while they wait, they sleep in their cars, on the streets, or, in an emergency shelter – that is, if they can get a bed.
In the first chapter of a two-part series on homelessness in California, Thea Chroman introduces us to a family staying at San Francisco’s Providence emergency shelter.
Listen to part one with Thea Chroman.
Listen to part two with Thea Chroman supported by photographs
Fresno, CA has the highest levels of concentrated poverty in the nation. In some neighborhoods, nearly half of all residents are living below the federal poverty line. Over the past year, many of those poor residents have slipped out of housing completely. Now shanty towns are springing up along the railroad tracks, an image that recalls shanty towns of a different era: the so-called Hoovervilles of the Great Depression.