According to the Daily Mail, some 135 motor homes, cars and shacks can be found along the stretch that can be reached via a 45-minute drive from San Francisco. The outlet shared the stories of some of the denizens priced out of the housing market and now working night and day for a roof over their heads.
Sixty-nine-year-old former carpenter John Sherry and his 70-year-old wife Siriporn Lyness once owned a restaurant and a window cleaning business. Now, they live in a trailer and receive groceries from shelter volunteers. The couple can no longer afford a normal home, with low-income housing being in short supply.
"I'm not the guy that's down there and has zero. I saved real well. I owned my home outright. But circumstances happen," Sherry said. The couple's restaurant was hit badly by the 2008 recession, and Lyness' bout with cancer further drained their savings. It came to a point where the couple was forced to sell their home.
David Schuck, 65, once owned a million-dollar home. But his crystal meth addiction led to him losing that home and living on the streets. While he eventually got clean and overcame his drug problem, he now has to face the problem of overcoming homelessness.
Schuck bought his now broken-down trailer to Binford Road in a pristine state, using his Social Security pension to pay it off. "Without help here, we're going nowhere. We get medical care, food and help with housing," he said. (Related: California's homeless construct two-mile-long vehicle encampment in San Francisco’s North Bay region.)
Sixty-one-year-old Keith Jackson was previously a welder and a mechanic, but he was fired when the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began. "Now I'm doing anything for money. In the past year I made $11,000," said Jackson, also a single father to an 11-year-old son.
Homelessness in Marin County, where Novato is located, has increased by eight percent since 2019 as per a 2022 survey by county officials. However, only 14 percent of the survey respondents said the primary cause of their homelessness was related to the pandemic.
Some 284 respondents were deemed "chronic" homeless cases, 65 were veterans, 224 were families and two were unaccompanied children. About one in seven respondents has a children under 18. More than half of the respondents have lived in the county for over a decade and a further 13 percent for at least five years. Moreover, seven percent of the respondents have full-time jobs, 15 percent are on part-time and nine percent are on seasonal or sporadic work.
Twenty-five percent had spent one or more nights in jail in the past year. Half reported alcohol and drug use, 45 percent had psychiatric or emotional conditions, and 41 percent said they suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Despite this, rent prices have been climbing faster and higher than average for the last couple of years. The increases are also encompassing all types of rental housing in many communities across the U.S. – from one-bedroom apartments to single-family homes.
"Housing is very expensive," acknowledged Jonas Bordo, CEO and co-founder of rental marketplace Dwellsy. "It's most people's most expensive bill each month, and we've pushed the envelope on what people can afford."
Read more stories about the homeless in California and other states at HomelessAgenda.com.
Watch this video about sprouting homeless camps all around the U.S. and how they serve as a sign of things to come.
This video is from Dr. William Mount's channel on Brighteon.com.