Welcome Home: The Rise of Tent Cities in the United States

Posted by on March 31, 2014

Welcome Home: The Rise of Tent Cities in the United States

The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty has put out its report, “Welcome Home: The Rise of Tent Cities in the United States,” which documents media reports of homeless encampments in 46 of 50 states.

Executive Summary

This report, a joint effort of the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (“the Law Center”), documents the rise of homeless encampments and “tent cities” across the United States and the legal and policy responses to that growth.

Because of the economic recession and the financial and mortgage foreclosure crises, homelessness has increased and intensified in the United States over the past several years. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, from the beginning of the recession in 2007 through 2010, family homelessness has increased by 20%, and the U.S. Department of Education reported that over a million schoolchildren were homeless in the 2011 to 2012 school year —close to a 75% increase since 2007. At the same time, there have been increasing reports of homeless encampments emerging in communities
across the country, primarily in urban and suburban areas and spanning states as diverse as Hawaii, Alaska, California, and Connecticut. Our media survey of news reports from 2008 to July 2013 documents over 100 tent communities in 46 of 50 states and the District of Columbia.


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