Economic Woes Lead To Proliferation Of Tent Cities Nationwide | Lakewood, New Jersey | FoxNews.com
While millions of Americans hold their collective breath as Wall Street wreaks havoc with their life savings and retirements, residents of Tent City, a tiny makeshift community about 70 miles south of New York City, have more immediate concerns: finding their next hot meal.
For this collective of homeless and unemployed former landscapers, service industry workers and military veterans, the mention of “tarp” is sure to start a conversation about temporary rooftops, rather than a debate over President Obama’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.
At Tent City in Lakewood, N.J., very few are lucky enough to leave.
It seems like a scene straight from “The Grapes of Wrath,” but this is no Great Depression novel. This story takes place in 2011, and this New Jersey tent city is one of an untold number of such encampments across the United States, where unemployment has reached 9.3 percent and approximately 3.5 million people are likely to be homeless in a given year, according to the most recent estimates by the National Coalition for the Homeless.
Joe Giammona, 31, has been homeless for nearly four months, after moving from Florida following a relationship that “just didn’t work out,” he said. He briefly stayed at a rooming house in Asbury Park, N.J., but the accompanying drugs and violence chased him away. A former landscaper and general contractor, Giammona lost his job when his boss had to slash payroll.