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Welcome to Bushville, U.S.A.

October 11, 2008

Re "Shantytown, U.S.A.," Opinion, Oct. 5

I commend Camilo Jose Vergara for his heartbreaking photographs of homeless encampments. During the Depression, such shantytowns were called Hoovervilles. Will the current versions be called Bushvilles?

In today's economic panic, homelessness is bound to rise. Given the lack of shelter beds, perhaps we should set up encampments on vacant land where the homeless could stay safely overnight, in their cars or in tents. This is being done in Santa Barbara. The residents could be provided with places to clean up, store their goods and receive counseling to help them better their lives.

We can no longer ignore this problem. We don't know how deep the economy will plunge, or whether we ourselves might lose our jobs and become homeless.

Al Nyberg

Vista

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