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Shanty towns rise in the Central Valley as poverty levels climb

Mar 2 2009 - 10:51pm

A community-funded report originally published on

Fresno, Calif. has the highest levels of concentrated poverty in the nation. In some neighborhoods, nearly half of all residents are living below the federal poverty line. Over the past year, many of those poor residents have slipped out of housing completely. Now shanty towns are springing up along the railroad tracks, an image that recalls shanty towns of a different era: the so-called Hoovervilles of the Great Depression. KALW's Thea Chroman reports.

  • Hear reporter Thea Chroman's piece on KALW Radio (2/25/09)

To see photos of the shanty towns and their inhabitants, click here.

Read Thea Chroman's first piece, "The return of Hooverville: car and tent cities on the rise in San Francisco."



I don't like that you're making this out to be worse than it really is. The shantytown is roughly about 1 acre in size. Making overdramatized gestures such as this really only goes to hurt the image of Fresno as well as the confidence in consumer spending, which in turn affects our economy. Knock it off.