Ray lives in a tent. He walks miles each day for food and water. His government assistance check is not enough to cover housing, never mind his other costs of living. He struggles everyday to stay safe and survive these deplorable and unsanitary living conditions.
If you think this sounds like a third-world country, you’re not too far off. During my two days visiting Sacramento’s infamous tent cities I could not shake the feeling that I had somehow transported to Kenya or Southern Sudan, where people walk for days just to get water and the living conditions are paltry. It boggles my mind that people are forced to live like this in the richest country in the world.
Ray is intelligent and articulate. There is a slight audio glitch in this video, but Ray’s narrative of what has happened in Sacramento and how he survives homelessness is so insightful I had to post it. In this video Ray says that the location of their tent city is safe. But when I visited just the following day, everyone was told to move or be arrested.
I still cannot shake the feeling that what I experienced in Sacramento is the future of America’s middleclass. That said, may we never accept tent cities as “normal.” There is nothing normal about the lives Ray and countless others are being forced to live.