The internet is full of videos about the homeless and about drug addiction. Since this is a growing problem and is at a crisis already, more people should speak out about the homeless problem which is not only mentally ill people and drug addiction, but students living in cars (or tents) because of the high cost of housing.
It is unaffordable to live in the wealthiest states in America; California, New York, even Washington state where I live. Seattle has grown and the homeless population is more prominent than it ever has been. Seattle is called the Emerald City and has fantastic wealth and all around you see tents pitched along the sidewalks and homeless people pushing shopping carts with their belongings finding places where they can stop and rest to be pushed along by business owners and citizens who call the police on them.
I know the homeless camps have become very common in that more programs are being allowed. Tiny home village closures near Seattle now put the burden of homeless housing onto tent cities that have to move every three months or they will not be allowed to exist. Can you imagine having to move a tent city that often?
There are not enough tent cities to accommodate the growing number of people who can’t live in apartments or rent rooms in people’s houses because the cost of rent is too high. Much too high. I can pay $850/month rent for a bedroom and possibly a private bathroom near Seattle, where up the highway about five years ago I could pay about $575 for a studio. That same studio could rent for around $1,100 these days.
Apartments near Seattle go for $1,800/month rent for a one-bedroom and I don’t make enough to pay that high rent. It’s gotten worse; people are not able to keep their homes and so turn to tent encampments where they live out their lives never able to afford the sky-high rentals in the areas near Seattle. It has become a nightmare.
Living near the hub of “Seattle’s Silicon Valley” seems to be in concert with the same issues of Silicon Valley of California; the tech companies are employing people who live in their cars, and God knows where else, in order to find decent jobs.
One video I watched tonight showed how a PhD student in engineering was living in his car to afford earning his degree. Where will he ever find a decent job to make the cost of earning his doctorate degree at a prestigious school worth what he has to go through? How can one study and learn in that kind of living environment? He talked about the embarrassment he felt living that way that made it too uncomfortable to tell anyone he was having to live in his car to pay the tuition in Southern California.
When I was earning a doctorate degree that I couldn’t finish – I maxed out student loans and I could not obtain another student loan – I never dreamed I’d have to live in a car just to complete the degree. Can one do their best academically while being housed in a car or a tent? What is happening to our educational system when students are becoming homeless just to pay college tuition?
Are the clues showing that our society is about to become homeless?