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New statistics for 2009 show 43 million people – or one in seven Americans – are living below the breadline. This is the highest number in more than 50 years when they first began tracking these numbers.
As in so many other cities in the United States, manufacturing once drove the economy in Silk City. There used to be silk factories that now sit abandoned and decrepit. Signs are everywhere of the jobs that have disappeared or gone overseas.
While the number of homeless people in America is peaking, some have been forced to live in the woods for years because they have nowhere else to go. And their numbers are only growing.
In the US state of New Jersey, picture-perfect homes can be found just 20 minutes away from tents put up in the woods, because the homeless do not have anywhere else to live.
Local authorities have been disturbed by the camp’s existence and have tried to shut it down several times. However Reverend Brigham believes the real danger is in the real world.
The only option offered by local officials has been beds at a local psychiatric institution among the mentally unstable. But the community did not want to move there, saying it is more than they can handle, already living a tough enough life.