A face of homelessness in 21st century America

A lengthy article in Rolling Stone about formerly middle-class people now living out of their vehicles in Santa Barbara, in part thanks to an innovative program allowing overnight parking in church (and other) parking lots. One went from owning a nursery that grossed nearly $300,000/yr and now can’t find work as a sales person in a nursery:

The Great Recession cost 8 million Americans their jobs. Three years after the economy technically entered recovery, there are positions available for fewer than one out of every three job seekers. In this labor market, formerly middle-class workers like Curtis and Concita Cates and Janis Adkins and Sean Kennan cannot reliably secure even entry-level full-time work, and many will never again find jobs as lucrative and stable as those they lost. Long-term unemployment tarnishes résumés and erodes basic skills, making it harder for workers to regain high-paying jobs, and the average length of unemployment is currently at a 60-year high. Many formerly middle-class people will never be middle-class again. Self­identities derived from five or 10 or 40 years of middle-class options and expectations will capsize.

 

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