America’s Homeless Middle Class

How Poor People Survive in the USA

DW (2019)

Film Review

This documentary is about homeless members of middle class America whose wages are too low to cover rent. Filmmakers visit San Diego, Los Angeles, Richmond Virginia, Appalachia and Waco Texas.

In San Diego they film a parking lot in which thirty people working as Uber drivers, security guards, secretaries, cleaners, carers and computer technicians sleep in their cars overnight. A charity provides them with portapotties, a water point, and an open air kitchen facility. One of the carers who sleeps there works nine hour days seven days a week.

In Los Angeles, which filmmakers refer to as the homeless capitol of the US (with 59,000 homeless), the documentary profiles a full time volunteer who builds wooden tiny houses (which have been legally banned by the city council) for people currently living tents.

In Richmond, filmmakers follow local sheriffs carrying out an eviction at gunpoint. They also visit one of the budget motels that have sprung up in the Richmond outskirts due to the city’s high number of evictions.*

In Appalachia, they visit one of the poorest counties in the nation, where volunteers run a daily food truck to distribute food to the area’s children. They also profile a military-style field hospital that provides once-a-year medical and dental treatment for the uninsured. The field hospital, held on a local sports field, is funded by a national charity and staffed by volunteer health providers.

In Waco, the filmmakers visit a church program that recruits candidates from all over the US to pay 60 dollars to experience sleeping rough first hand.

*In Virginia, a landlord can legally evict a tenant once their rent is five days past due.


8 thoughts on “America’s Homeless Middle Class

  1. Pingback: How Poor People Survive in the USA | The PPJ Gazette

  2. Pingback: America’s Homeless Middle Class | canisgallicus

  3. They always lowball homeless numbers because america and even it’s so-called critics are shameless liars and denialists. There are hundreds of thousand of real homeless in orange county and los angeles counties, california usa. The are more than a hundred homeless people in little towns with populations of 10,000 or more in most towns in america now and there are tens of yhpusands of such touwns in ameruca.
    Many of the jetset tourist traps in the western USA are isolated. There is no affordable housing. They have populations less than 10,000. There are onlu seasonal tourist jobs in places where the rich have 2nd, third or fourth houses and hundred of people live out of view in tents. 30 percent of the college students in california are homeless. It translates into millions of homeless people in america, not the bullshit 70 thousand or so you read about in news stories or see quoted on tv.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. While we have a limitless budget for waging wars overseas, we are imploding as a nation. The minority elite–who continue to believe themselves untouchable–always find a way to profit from human destitution. It’s the devolution of our species in action.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: This Government’s Homeless Scandal is sadly Ireland’s Shame. Our own people treated like “Lepers”, and yet we can find accommodation for others. Why, can we not solve our own Homeless chaotic neglect first, and do not use the Race

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