Best Of The Web
“Jamie used to wake up most nights with a flashlight in his face. From the backseat bed he’d winnowed into his SUV, he’d look up to see a police officer rapping on his window. Keep driving, they’d tell him. But Jamie didn’t have anywhere to drive. “I asked them repeatedly, ‘isn’t there somewhere I can go where it’s not going to be a problem with you?’”
For Jamie, who turned 55 last month, the car was his only destination: it’s where he’s slept for most of the past two years, he says, save a 6-month stint he spent “in the bushes.” After the retail music store he’d worked at for eight years went out of business, he got evicted from his apartment in San Diego, and crashed with friends and family until their goodwill ran out. Then he got a new temporary job as a flooring installer, and the job came with a car. When the gig was over, his employer let him keep the vehicle. And then it became his sanctuary.
Jamie is one of thousands of America’s homeless who, instead of turning to shelters or the streets, live in their cars, vans, and RVs. In many cities where housing prices are high, their ranks, too, are growing. Los Angeles, which reported falling homelessness rates this year, still hosts one of the largest populations in the country: Of the 50,000 total homeless residents, the majority are unsheltered, and about a quarter (or 15,700) are based in their cars. In San Diego County, where Jamie still lives, a January 2018 homeless count found that 1,262 residents lived in vehicles there, although the number is likely higher, because it didn’t include people living in RVs. And in the King County area, where Seattle is located, the entire unsheltered population increased by 15 percent between 2017 and 2018. In that same year, the number of those in their cars leapt 46 percent, to reach 3,372.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"At 12:42 a.m. on the quiet, moonlit night of March 8, 2014, a Boeing 777-200ER operated by Malaysia Airlines took off from Kuala Lumpur and turned toward Beijing, climbing to its assigned cruising altitude of 35,000 feet. The designator for..."
"“I hereby sentence you to death.” The words of Judge Clifford B. Shepard filled the courtroom in Jacksonville, Fla., on Oct. 27, 1976. Shepard was sentencing Clifford Williams Jr., whom a jury had just found guilty of entering a woman’s house..."
"The video footage of Jewish Israelis dancing with Palestinians at a wedding should be something to celebrate. It should be an expression of joy and joint faith in the future. Instead, it has brought danger and disgrace to Radi Nasser, the mayor..."
"In 2013, I was executive editor of the NY Daily News, and we, like every other publication in the country, were covering the series finale of Breaking Bad. As one of the most popular and critically acclaimed shows in history, the finale was..."
"Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., tells us that wealth inequality is at grotesque and immoral levels. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has a plan to tax everyone lots and lots to solve this. The slight problem is that the Federal Reserve tells us that..."
"For much of World War I, Sir Phillip Gibbs was one of the few journalists the British War Office permitted to correspond from the Western Front. Gibbs’s mission was to describe, in terms that would be acceptable to government censors, the..."
"In the 1940s, sexologist Alfred Kinsey, who was on the verge of publishing his first major report on male sexuality in the US, enlisted a photographer named Thomas Painter to investigate gay subcultures. Painter, a white, openly gay man, had..."
"What was Postmodernism? In the 35 years since Fredric Jameson’s New Left Review essay “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism” — and the 40 years since the publication of Jean-François Lyotard’s The Postmodern Condition..."
"My husband and I are proud fathers of a 5-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy. I was grocery shopping with them last week when I saw a sign that made me cringe. Attached to a basket of free fruit, the sign reminded kids to “Ask Mom” before taking a..."
"Family farms are central to our nation’s identity. Most Americans, even those who have never been on a farm, have strong feelings about the idea of family farms — so much that they’re the one thing that all U.S. politicians agree on. Each..."
"The Big Bang is the defining narrative of modern cosmology: a bold declaration that our universe had a beginning and has a finite age, just like the humans who live within it. That finite age, in turn, is defined by the evidence that universe is..."
"After a protracted siege by the Roman tenth legion, the situation of the Sacarii, the Jewish rebels holed up on the mountain fortress of Masada, became hopeless. The Jewish rebels led by Elazar Ben Yair decided to kill themselves rather than be..."