Sunday, February 25, 2007

More American Poor Becoming Boat People

More American poor that would normally be homeless are becoming boat people. In the Columbia River area that runs through Southern Washington and Northern Oregon, more and more very poor persons who normally cannot afford housing are finding an old boat, and as long as it is licensed, are living on it. These boats are generally in very bad condition, and their is little any police or Coast Guard agency can do unless these boats are used for illegal activity such as a drug lab.

These poor persons use generators to provide electrical power in many cases, and they do become shelter, although for the most part they often cluster together as a sort of homeless camp on the water. Sometimes the poor condition of these boats makes them a high risk for sinking or fire.

The conditions of extremely high housing costs, shortages of programs providing low income housing, and poverty in a land in which the wealthy become more wealthy, while the poor only become more poor, creates the need of the homeless to seek creative ways to survive. Old style concepts such as homesteading have become long lost in a land in which every bit of real estate and land becomes privately owned, with little real land affordable to the very poor.


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