As hundreds of thousands lose their jobs and homes monthly, a new population of internally displaced persons (IDPs) haunts the American landscape. From Sacramento to Seattle, water and sanitation conditions within the resulting camps and shantytowns fall far below par.
Between the river and the railway tracks of Sacramento Depression-era history repeats itself, reports the Times. The so-called tent cities are now home to hundreds of once stable middle class wage earners – such as construction workers, farm laborers, restaurant staff and store clerks. They lack sanitation and running water. Rubbish piles up by the day. Heavy rains help little.
According to the World Health Organization, such conditions as found in the emerging tent communities are conducive to the rampant spread of diseases. Local charity organizations fear that if something is not soon done to address the growing population of IDPs, cities could face sanitation issues as well as security concerns.
Homeless shelters in Sacramento are at full capacity, some turning away hundreds nightly. Unemployment soars past ten percent and home repossessions rank in the hundreds.
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Source: The Times