Homelessness in America dwindled away after WWII, when the GI Bill and generous social programs seemed to finally get on top of a problem that had been with the country since its inception; but starting with Reagan's mass de-institutionalizations and cuts to social services, homelessness has only grown, a phenomenon America answered by criminalizing being alive, and pretending not to notice homeless people in encampments at the edge of more and more US cities.

The criminalization of homelessness is only possible because of the vilification of homeless people: Catholic Churches installing drizzlers to stop people from sitting outside them [I wonder what Pope Francis has to say about that]; prison sentences for charging cellphones; criminalizing treating homeless people humanely.

The answer -- semipermanent homeless camps -- are only possible because we pretend they aren't there: we don't even count homeless people.

America's permanent, ubiquitous tent-cities / Boing Boing