Welcome to the US of A. Not something out of Dickens or the Dustbowl and the Joads, but right now, right here: 

— A "safe parking" program in Santa Barbara, CA:

With numbers rising, New Beginnings, a homeless agency in Santa Barbara, California, has launched a Safe Parking Programme, aiming to provide a refuge of sorts for those who have nowhere to go other than their vehicle…. 

"I see myself as a casualty of a perfect storm," he said. "The people sleeping at the parking lot are very friendly. They’re just like me – they come from normal, everyday homes. I think a lot of people in this country don’t realise that they, too, are a couple of pay-cheques away from destitution."

— Families having difficulty finding housing because their rental home is being foreclosed out from under them. 

— And America’s children are paying a steep price for all of this:

A projected 2.26 million single-family homeowners are projected to fall into foreclosure, and that means 1.95 million children will lose their homes, according to The Impact of the Mortgage Crisis on Children (PDF) by First Focus. 

First Focus warns losing a home can spark other problems for kids, leading to poor academic performance, fighting, loss of health care and even weight problems.

So much for that "no child left behind" malarky.

— And lots more ARMs are coming due this year. 

Economic indicators are not pointing to things getting much better any time soon.   And, for far too many people this is hitting close to home…or close to homeless.

There are a lot of pundits pushing the economy as the top issue for the 2008 election cycle.  Hell, for your average, everyday person it is a huge daily issue of survival, so of course it looms large.  And, according to some new analysis from economy.com, that does not bode well for John McCain’s election prospects.  Of course, his bringing on Phil Gramm as an economic guru pretty much sealed that for me ages ago. 

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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