Oakland’s ‘Shantytown’ Shows Houses Made of Discarded Materials

In the United States, economic hard times have been the reality for many citizens over the last several years. Since the beginning of the calendar year of 2021, the percentage of people surviving on a week to week, check to check basis has increased, with over 60% of Americans now claiming they are living in this manner. Inflation has crushed the working class, and even the prices of things deemed “cheap” like fast food have risen substantially in just four years. Groceries, energy bills, and other household necessities have skyrocketed in cost. Ultimately, things are far from pleasant fiscally for many people in the country, and while wages have stagnated for decades, the events of the last half decade have exacerbated this issue greatly. Therefore, it is unsurprising that many people across the union have expressed dissatisfaction with their current state of living, and this sentiment was revealed in a recent Axios survey that detailed that about half of the population of the United States claimed that the American Dream was no longer a reality.

Increasingly, it appears that the United States is morphing into “two” separate Americas divided by economic class. The gap between the rich and poor continues to grow, and as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet continue to irrevocably alter the economy and how people work, many people are being left in the lurch and are suffering considerably while smaller percentages of others are becoming exorbitantly wealthy. Homelessness is becoming a major issue as rent prices have soared like never before. A late 2023 article showcased this reality, as homelessness in the nation was up a substantial 12% that year. This was the first time in over a decade that homelessness in the country increased. 

One city faced with a growing crisis in this regard is Oakland, California. Modern day Hooverville’s exist in the city, with shacks and shanties constructed from tarps, plywood, and other discarded materials.