This video seems to me problematic for some important reasons, but it makes the growing problem of homelessness in the US very vivid.
What seems to me most problematic is that it suggests all these people were living from paycheck to paycheck. While of course, that might be true, it is hardly necessary. A standard advice given by financial advisers in the US is that one should have 3-6 months living expenses banked in a way that is quickly accessible. The prudent people who did this still may have only very short-term protection, we can now see. And what about their savings? Yeah, well, it is easy it is to get nearly wiped out right now. The people we are looking at may have lost over half their savings and are refusing to touch what’s left.
Of course, we don’t know the facts about these people’s backgrounds and so we don’t know, among other things, how close we are to them.
And we also don’t know how many people are living in these conditions. It is, though, frightening and important that their numbers are growing.
Addition: from the NY Times, which is my ultimate source for the video:
The official count of homeless people in Sacramento is 1,226 people, and they are spilling out to the tent city because the housing shelters are full; one of the shelters is turning away more than 200 women and children a day.
Presumably not a new 200 a day, or at least the figures of homelessness do not seem to be growing at 200 a day. But that’s small comfort.