Tent City
Overview
A tent city is a temporary housing facility made using tents. Informal tent cities may be set up without authorization by homeless
Homelessness
Homelessness describes the condition of people without a regular dwelling. People who are homeless are unable or unwilling to acquire and maintain regular, safe, and adequate housing, or lack "fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence." The legal definition of "homeless" varies from country...

 people or protesters. As well, state governments or military organizations set up tent cities to house refugees, evacuees, or soldiers. Tent cities set up by homeless people may be similar to shanty town
Shanty town
A shanty town is a slum settlement of impoverished people who live in improvised dwellings made from scrap materials: often plywood, corrugated metal and sheets of plastic...

s, which are informal settlements in which the buildings are made from scrap building materials.
In the military, the term "tent city" usually refers to temporary living quarters erected on deployed military bases, such as those found in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

 or Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

.
Encyclopedia
A tent city is a temporary housing facility made using tents. Informal tent cities may be set up without authorization by homeless
Homelessness
Homelessness describes the condition of people without a regular dwelling. People who are homeless are unable or unwilling to acquire and maintain regular, safe, and adequate housing, or lack "fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence." The legal definition of "homeless" varies from country...

 people or protesters. As well, state governments or military organizations set up tent cities to house refugees, evacuees, or soldiers. Tent cities set up by homeless people may be similar to shanty town
Shanty town
A shanty town is a slum settlement of impoverished people who live in improvised dwellings made from scrap materials: often plywood, corrugated metal and sheets of plastic...

s, which are informal settlements in which the buildings are made from scrap building materials.

Military

In the military, the term "tent city" usually refers to temporary living quarters erected on deployed military bases, such as those found in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

 or Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. Depending on the branch of service and the length of time the tent city has been in place, the living space may be equipped with most modern amenities. For sanitary reasons, military tent cities place toilet, shower, and laundry facilities at least 50 feet (15 m) from living quarters. Also, tents are typically divided into clusters of 8-10 to prevent the rapid spread of fire, which is of utmost concern because of the tent and bedding materials.

Environmental disasters

Since Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 made landfall in August 2005, the term has been used to describe temporary housing sites set up for Gulf Coast residents who were left homeless by the storm. Some of the tents that were built by Seabees and funded by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, initially created by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978 and implemented by two Executive Orders...

 (FEMA) are wooden structures covered by tents. With the exception of indoor plumbing, most of the tents have heat, air, and lights. The tent city can hold as many as 250 occupants. Displaced residents are only expected to stay for three to six months.

Dignity Village, Oregon, USA

Dignity Village
Dignity Village
Dignity Village is a city-recognized encampment of an estimated 60 homeless people in Portland, Oregon, United States.In the days before Christmas of 2000, a group of homeless people in Portland succeeded in establishing a tent city which garnered a great deal of both opposition and support, and...

 is a city-recognized encampment of homeless
Homelessness
Homelessness describes the condition of people without a regular dwelling. People who are homeless are unable or unwilling to acquire and maintain regular, safe, and adequate housing, or lack "fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence." The legal definition of "homeless" varies from country...

 people in Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Dignity Village is incorporated in Oregon as a 501(c)(3) membership-based non-profit organization, and is governed by bylaw
Bylaw
By-law can refer to a law of local or limited application passed under the authority of a higher law specifying what things may be regulated by the by-law...

s and a board of directors with an elected chairman and other corporate officers. Membership is by application review. Dignity Village states that membership is not limited "based on religion, race, sex, sexual orientation, handicap, age, lifestyle choice, previous (criminal) record or economic status." Continued membership is dependent upon following the community's rules of behavior, contained in their membership agreement:
  1. No violence toward yourself or others.
  2. No illegal substances or alcohol or paraphernalia on the premises or within a one-block radius.
  3. No stealing.
  4. Everyone contributes to the upkeep and welfare of the village and works to become a productive member of the community.
  5. No disruptive behavior of any kind that disturbs the general peace and welfare of the village.

Membership size varies and is limited by the physical size of the available space at the city yard site.

Southern California, USA

The BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 did a news story. The story talked about how the causes of the crises in the U.S. economy has forced many people, who used to own their own homes, to now live in tents.

AlterNet
AlterNet
AlterNet, a project of the non-profit Independent Media Institute, is a progressive/liberal activist news service. Launched in 1998, AlterNet now claims a readership of over 3 million visitors per month .AlterNet publishes original content as well as journalism from a wide variety of other sources...

 published a story in 2009 about the main stream media finally "discovering" the homeless situation in Sacramento
Sacramento
Sacramento is the capital of the state of California, in the United States of America.Sacramento may also refer to:- United States :*Sacramento County, California*Sacramento, Kentucky*Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta...

.

St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

In late December 2006, homeless people formed an impromptu tent city on the St. Vincent de Paul property in the 1400 block of Fourth Avenue N. of St. Petersburg in Saint Petersburg, Florida when dozens of homeless moved off of public land across the street from the society. In early January 2007, city officials noted city codes that prohibit living in tents and gave the society one week to evict the occupants of the tent city.

Seattle, Washington, USA

Homeless people have long resorted to seeking shelter in tents, but these communities are one of the first known to be organized by a sponsoring organization (a partnership between the Seattle Housing and Resource Effort and Women's Housing Equality and Enhancement League (SHARE/WHEEL)), and, even more notably, are one of the first in a major U.S. city to be largely accepted by local governments. Contrary to some stereotypes regarding the homeless, many residents of Tent City are employed, mostly in temporary or day labor jobs, but have insufficient income to obtain more permanent housing.

The original Tent City and Tent City 2, both created in the late 1990s, were created illegally and opposed by the City of Seattle. After being tolerated for some time, they were eventually forced to shut down. In March 2002, as a result of a legal battle, city attorney Tom Carr and SHARE/WHEEL attorney Ted Hunter signed a court ordered consent decree
Consent decree
A consent decree is a final, binding judicial decree or judgment memorializing a voluntary agreement between parties to a suit in return for withdrawal of a criminal charge or an end to a civil litigation...

 with SHARE, allowing Tent City only on private land (by invitation) and setting standards for its operation.

Based on the consent decree Tent City 3 was created and rotates around the Metro Seattle Core. Tent City 4 was created in May 2004 as an attempt to expand beyond the consent decree and use public land and resources, something the consent decree does not allow. This attempt was unsuccessful and Tent City 4 has since been relocated to eastern King County where it is church sponsored. Tent City rules do not allow drug
Drug abuse
Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, refers to a maladaptive pattern of use of a substance that is not considered dependent. The term "drug abuse" does not exclude dependency, but is otherwise used in a similar manner in nonmedical contexts...

 or alcohol use, and evicts anyone caught stealing or committing other crimes within the camp. Stays for Tent City 3 have been around three weeks on average while Tent City 4 has had stays as long as 100 days. Cities have been adopting code amendments that limit stays to 60–90 days.

Another homeless encampment, unaffiliated with Tent City 3 and 4, lived in donated, mainly fuchsia, tents at the University Congregational United Church of Christ in Seattle's University District for several months ending March 5, 2009, at which time it moved to the suburb of Bryn Mawr south of Seattle. According to homeless advocates criticized Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels for continuously clearing out homeless encampments, and named their encampment "Nickelsville". The church itself, out of respect for recent efforts by Mayor Nickels, did not use the "Nickelsville" name in referring to the encampment.

While on the road in Seattle, Washington on March 30, 2009, Democracy Now!
Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! and its staff have received several journalism awards, including the Gracie Award from American Women in Radio & Television; the George Polk Award for its 1998 radio documentary Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship, on the Chevron Corporation and the deaths of...

 did a story about Seattle's Nickelsville. They also covered a story about the police raid on Nickelsville the previous day, March 29, where 24 people were arrested.

King County, Washington, USA

Tent City 4 (TC4) is a homeless encampment of up to 100 people created in May 2004 in eastern King County
King County, Washington
King County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. The population in the 2010 census was 1,931,249. King is the most populous county in Washington, and the 14th most populous in the United States....

 outside of Seattle. Residents are adult men and women, although there is a provision for quartering minor dependents in emergency situations. Residents may have their own tents or single men or women may stay in gender specific community tents. Dumpster
Dumpster
A dumpster is a large steel waste receptacle designed to be emptied into garbage trucks. The word is a genericized trademark of Dumpster, a American brand name for a type of mobile garbage bin...

s and portable toilets are provided by SHARE and there is a portable shower. The community currently relocates every three to four months on the property of Eastern King County churches upon invitation. Proponents state that the average length of residency per inhabitant is six weeks, with fewer long-term than short-term members.

Opponents challenge this claim citing SHARE'S testimony to King County and City of Seattle elected officials that they do not keep any data on residents in order to protect their privacy. While the percentage varies based on the occupants, many of the residents work part or full time for area businesses as day labor
Day labor
Day labor is work done where the worker is hired and paid one day at a time, with no promise that more work will be available in the future. It is a form of contingent work.-Types:Day laborers find work through three common routes....

ers or permanent employees. Tent City 9 governance consists of an Advisor similar to an executive, and a rotating Executive Committee elected by the community in a one person, one vote structure.

Tent City 4 has differentiated itself from other temporary encampments since 2004 due to its standard of requiring a signed "Code of Conduct" and performing warrant checks and sex offender checks on all potential residents. By signing the "Code of Conduct" the residents agree to abstain from drugs and alcohol while at the camp and share responsibility for site security and maintenance.

Tent City 4 advocates cite statements from local police and newspapers that there have been no increases in crime in the areas that Tent City 4 has been located in and that calls to police for a similar tent city in Seattle are about the same as an apartment complex with 100 residents. Opponents of Tent City 4 note that increases in law enforcement costs associated with TC4 are an impact to public safety
Public Safety
Public safety involves the prevention of and protection from events that could endanger the safety of the general public from significant danger, injury/harm, or damage, such as crimes or disasters .-See also:* By nation...

 that the rural areas TC4 visits are unprepared to handle. They also express concerns that analysis of actual police reports and raw data associated with occupancies actually show increases in crime rates conflicts with the official statements that are being made.

TC4 left Northshore United Church of Christ (NUCC) in Woodinville
Woodinville, Washington
Woodinville is a city in King County, Washington, United States. The population was 10,938 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Seattle metropolitan area. There is also a much larger population with Woodinville mailing addresses in adjacent unincorporated areas of King and Snohomish counties...

 on August 12, 2006 ending their unpermitted 90 day stay at the church. In July 2007 the Washington Court of Appeals
Washington Court of Appeals
The Washington Court of Appeals is the intermediate level appellate court for the state of Washington.The court is divided into three divisions. Division I is based in Seattle, Division II is based in Tacoma, and Division III is based in Spokane....

 upheld the King County Superior Court
King County Superior Court
King County Superior Court, the largest trial court in Washington state, is based at the King County Courthouse, 516 Third Avenue, in downtown Seattle, Washington. It also operates a juvenile facility and a Regional Justice Center in Kent, southeast of Seattle....

 ruling against SHARE and NUCC allowing the city to collect the fines levied. Tent City 4 had hoped to relocate to the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bothell
Bothell, Washington
Bothell is a city located in King and Snohomish Counties in the state of Washington. It is part of the Seattle metropolitan area. The population was 33,505 as of the 2010 census...

 and received permits to do so on August 11, but rejected the permit due to the number of conditions on the permit and instead moved to a backup site at Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church (WUUC) after receiving a permit from King County.

Transition Park, Camden, New Jersey, USA

A community of 50 to 150 people had taken up residence in Camden, New Jersey
Camden, New Jersey
The city of Camden is the county seat of Camden County, New Jersey. It is located across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 77,344...

, nestled on the right side of the ramp of I676 West exit 5A. Although attempts have been made to find housing for the population, no one in the community has been placed. Transition Park’s Mayor and City Counsel continued to protect their community and seek medical attention for those in need. In May 2010, residents were forced out of the city and into local missions.

Under the leadership of Amir Khan, the pastor of Solid Rock Worship Center in Clementon, NJ, and founder of the Nehemiah Group, a faith-based nonprofit organization that Khan and his son Micah run, 54 residents of Tent City were moved to the Wingate by Wyndham Hotel in Mount Laurel in May 2010 with the help of volunteers. Pastor Khan asked his congregation and local business members for help and was able to raise $250,000 to provide some homeless people of Camden's Tent City with housing and human services for at least one year.

Although these homeless men and women were initially moved to a hotel and received a spa treatment upon arrival, months later drugs and alcohol are taking a toll on their adjustment to life in their new environments. On a positive side, Lorenzo Banks, the ex-self-appointed Mayor of Tent City and James Boggs, another Tent City leader got jobs providing homeless outreach for Volunteers of America-Delaware Valley in Collingswood, NJ. Although several people also enrolled in community college, mental illness, addiction issues and a lack of affordable housing illustrate the road blocks to a healthy life for Tent City residents over the long-term.

By September 13, 2010, 19 of the original 54 were removed from the "hotel program" and many former Tent City residents continue to move from one street corner or overpass to another, continuing the homelessness issue in Camden.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Canada's largest city, was also home to its own "Tent City" until September 2002, when the residents of Tent City were evicted by the owner of the property, Home Depot. It was situated in the downtown core of Toronto, near the waterfront, and was home to hundreds of people who were homeless. Many of the residents built their own shelters or brought tents and some operated computers and television by illegally tapping into the city's power grid. A number of critics, including some citizens of Tent City, noted that many people in Tent City were substance abusers who chose to live there because they could spend their money exclusively on drugs. Some residents also resorted to prostitution to supplement their income and support their habits.

Tent City was mainly self-governed, as police would not usually enter it unless a major crime was committed. One of the oldest residents of Tent City became the appointed "Mayor" and oversaw the operation of the city and helped deal with the crime that did occur. In one instance a resident who was leaving Tent City sold his shelter twice to two separate individuals, making a profit for himself and leaving the buyers to resolve the dispute. There were also citizens who turned to theft in order to make money. Despite these conditions, there were some residents who felt more secure in Tent City than they did in the government shelters and chose to live in a self-regulated area where they could defend themselves.

When Tent City was closed, Home Depot evicted the residents with private security guards and the support of the Toronto Police Service. A formal property claim system was instituted where individuals were allowed to briefly return to the site to retrieve personal property before being permanently removed from the area. This action was criticized by activist groups as an attempt by Home Depot to clear land to develop a downtown big box outlet, however, the Ontario Municipal Board had previously ruled that a store could not be built on the site. After the eviction, the City of Toronto made shelter spaces available for each of the roughly 110 people removed. Three years later, at the end of 2005, the land remained undeveloped, and Home Depot has since opened a downtown outlet at Gerrard Square, a mall that sits on the corner of Pape and Gerrard.

Toronto introduced rent supplement programs in the following year (2002–2004) by which 115 residents were given access to mainstream apartment units.

Journalist Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall
Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall
Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall is a Canadian journalist, best known for his 2004 book Down to This: Squalor and Splendour in a Big-City Shantytown...

 voluntarily abandoned his middle class lifestyle to live in Tent City for a year. He received very little outside assistance and begged for money to sustain himself. He detailed his experiences in a book, Down to This: Squalor and Splendour in a Big-city Shantytown.

Other cities

Tent cities are also found in the following cities:
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. The 2010 census places the population at 113,934, making it the sixth largest city in Michigan. The Ann Arbor Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 344,791 as of 2010...

;
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in the US state of Tennessee , with a population of 169,887. It is the seat of Hamilton County...

;
Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Columbus is the capital of and the largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio. The broader metropolitan area encompasses several counties and is the third largest in Ohio behind those of Cleveland and Cincinnati. Columbus is the third largest city in the American Midwest, and the fifteenth largest city...

;
Athens, Georgia
Athens, Georgia
Athens-Clarke County is a consolidated city–county in U.S. state of Georgia, in the northeastern part of the state, comprising the former City of Athens proper and Clarke County. The University of Georgia is located in this college town and is responsible for the initial growth of the city...

;
Reno, Nevada
Reno, Nevada
Reno is the county seat of Washoe County, Nevada, United States. The city has a population of about 220,500 and is the most populous Nevada city outside of the Las Vegas metropolitan area...

;
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Sierra Vista is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States. According to 2007 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 43,044....

;
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is the capital and most populous city of Rhode Island and was one of the first cities established in the United States. Located in Providence County, it is the third largest city in the New England region...

:
Sacramento, California
Sacramento, California
Sacramento is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the county seat of Sacramento County. It is located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California's expansive Central Valley. With a population of 466,488 at the 2010 census,...

;
San Diego, California
San Diego, California
San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest city in California. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border. The birthplace of California, San Diego is known for its mild year-round...

;
Lakewood, New Jersey;
Lowell, Massachusetts
Lowell, Massachusetts
Lowell is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA. According to the 2010 census, the city's population was 106,519. It is the fourth largest city in the state. Lowell and Cambridge are the county seats of Middlesex County...

;
Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville is a city located primarily in Madison County in the central part of the far northern region of the U.S. state of Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County. Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 Census....

; and
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...



The Umoja Village
Umoja Village
The Umoja Village shantytown was founded on October 23, 2006, in the Liberty City section of Miami, Florida, in response to gentrification and a lack of low-income housing in Miami. The name Umoja is Swahili for "unity", hence "Unity Village"....

, built by Take Back the Land
Take Back the Land
Take Back the Land is an American organisation based in Miami, Florida devoted to blocking evictions, and rehousing homeless people in foreclosed houses. Take Back the Land was formed in October 2006 to build the Umoja Village Shantytown on a plot of unoccupied land to protest gentrification and a...

, was a shantytown in Miami created to protest gentrification
Gentrification
Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities. Urban gentrification is associated with movement. Consequent to gentrification, the average income increases and average family size...

 and a lack of low-income housing in Miami.

Persepolis

For the festivities of the 2,500 year celebration of Iran's monarchy
2,500 year celebration of Iran's monarchy
The 2,500 year celebration of the Persian Empire consisted of an elaborate set of festivities that took place October 12–16, 1971, on the occasion of the 2,500th anniversary of the founding of the Iranian monarchy by Cyrus the Great...

 the Shah of Iran
Pahlavi dynasty
The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi (reg. 1925–1941) and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty ...

, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, Shah of Persia , ruled Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979...

, built a luxurious tent city in the desert next to the ruins of Persepolis
Persepolis
Perspolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire . Persepolis is situated northeast of the modern city of Shiraz in the Fars Province of modern Iran. In contemporary Persian, the site is known as Takht-e Jamshid...

 to accommodate his international guests. The event took place October 12–16, 1971. The tent city was inspired by the tent city of the Field of the Cloth of Gold
Field of the Cloth of Gold
The Field of Cloth of Gold is the name given to a place in Balinghem, between Guînes and Ardres, in France, near Calais. It was the site of a meeting that took place from 7 June to 24 June 1520, between King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France. The meeting was arranged to increase...

 meeting between Francis I of France
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

 and Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 that took place in 1520.

Hajj

Every year, the Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

n government's Ministry of Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

 sets up a tent city to support Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 pilgrims in the village of Mina
Mina, Saudi Arabia
Mina is a location situated some 5 kilometres to the east of the Islamic holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It stands on the road from Mecca's city centre to the Hill of Arafat....

, where the ritual Stoning of the Devil
Stoning of the Devil
Stoning of the Devil or stoning of the jamarat is part of the annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Muslim pilgrims fling pebbles at three walls called jamarat in the city of Mina just east of Mecca. It is one of a series of ritual acts that must be performed in...

 takes place as part of the overall Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

. A tent city is also established annually at Mount Arafat
Mount Arafat
Mount Arafat or Mount Arafah is a granite hill east of Mecca. It is also known as the Mount of Mercy . The hill is the place Muslims believe the Islamic prophet Muhammad stood and delivered the Farewell Sermon to the Muslims who had accompanied him for the Hajj towards the end of his life...

, another essential stop during the Hajj. Because up to four million pilgrims may be performing the Hajj annually, the tent cities are densely inhabited with 20-40 people per tent. As such, fire and disease outbreaks are constant concerns. Since the late 1990s, Saudi authorities have started using fireproof tents to reduce the risks of a major fire.

Kent State University

On May 12, 1977, a tent city was erected and maintained for a period of more than 60 days by a group of several dozen protesters on the campus of Kent State University
Kent State University
Kent State University is a public research university located in Kent, Ohio, United States. The university has eight campuses around the northeast Ohio region with the main campus in Kent being the largest...

 in Kent, Ohio
Kent, Ohio
Kent is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the largest city in Portage County. It is located along the Cuyahoga River in Northeastern Ohio on the western edge of the county. The population was 27,906 at the 2000 United States Census and 28,904 in the 2010 Census...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The protesters, led by the May 4 Task Force but also including community members and local clergy, were attempting to prevent the university from erecting a gymnasium annex on part of the site where the Kent State shootings
Kent State shootings
The Kent State shootings—also known as the May 4 massacre or the Kent State massacre—occurred at Kent State University in the city of Kent, Ohio, and involved the shooting of unarmed college students by members of the Ohio National Guard on Monday, May 4, 1970...

 occurred in May 1970, which they believed would alter and obscure that historical event. Law enforcement finally brought the tent city to an end on July 12, 1977, after the forced removal and arrest of 193 people. The event gained national press coverage and the issue was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Maricopa County Jail modification

33.427713°N 112.123775°W

Prior to the election of Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Joe Arpaio
Joseph M. "Joe" Arpaio is the elected Sheriff of Maricopa County in the U.S. state of Arizona. First voted into office in 1992, Arpaio is responsible for law enforcement in Maricopa County. This includes management of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, county jail, courtroom security,...

 in 1993, the prisoner population in Maricopa County Jail, Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, the 4th largest jail system in the world, exceeded the maximum number of inmates allowed in its facilities. Prisoners were routinely released from custody prior to completing their sentence due to the overcrowding. In a study conducted in 1993 it was estimated that construction of a new facility would cost approximately $70,000,000. Sheriff Arpaio, concerned about the cost of a new facility and reasoning that military tents were good enough for the men and women of the U.S. armed forces who fought in Operation Desert Storm, ordered that a Tent Jail be constructed utilizing inmate labor. It consisted of Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 era tents donated by the United States armed forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

, and a 50 ft (15.4 m) observation tower
Observation tower
An observation tower is a structure used to view events from a long distance and to create a full 360 degree range of vision. They are usually at least tall and made from stone, iron, and wood. Many modern towers are also used as TV towers, restaurants, or churches...

 with a vacancy sign mounted on the front. The final cost of the project was approximately $100,000 and it is capable of housing over 2,400 inmates.

All inmates housed outside in the open tents (N yard for males and O yard for females) are "volunteers" in the "Working Inmate Program" and must agree to work an assigned job and comply with the Sheriff's grooming standards. Inmates who decline to work or refuse to groom themselves and defecate in communal areas are relocated inside a hardened facility along with the rest of the jail population.

Music

Chicago band Patience Gloria's second album Consequences David has a song titled "Tent City Nation" that addresses the subject.
  • Bolton Hall
    Bolton Hall (activist)
    Bolton Hall was an American lawyer, author and activist who worked on behalf of the poor and was the originator of the back-to-the-land movement in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century.-Activism:...

    , activist who established a tent city in New York city in 1908


The area at music festivals for attendees to set up their tents for overnight stays is often called "Tent City".

Protests

  • Occupy movement
    Occupy movement
    The Occupy movement is an international protest movement which is primarily directed against economic and social inequality. The first Occupy protest to be widely covered was Occupy Wall Street in New York City, taking place on September 17, 2011...

     is a national protest movement that features tent cities set up in city parks

External links

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