May 9th, 2009
09:30 AM ET
5 years ago

King: Bad economy puts more families on the streets

A homeless woman sits on a bench in Los Angeles, California.
A homeless woman sits on a bench in Los Angeles, California.

LOS ANGELES (CNN) - The tears begin and her voice trembles as Ruth Martinez remembers the first few days of her new world.

She would leave work, pick up her son Jacob at school and drive aimlessly, sometimes sneaking back to the office, "to watch TV there without my boss knowing."

Her husband had lost his job, and the stress drove them apart. Then Martinez was evicted. Suddenly, her car was her home. And she was afraid to ask for help.

"We just prayed," Martinez told us. "And I was embarrassed because a Hispanic Latina does not ask for help. The way I was raised, you put your pride to the side and did what you had to do."

Rudy Salinas finds them in cars, under bridges, in abandoned homes, and even in protected trenches artfully dug by the military veterans who put survival skills learned in Iraq and Afghanistan to use in America's inner cities.

Full story


Filed under: Economy • Extra • State of the Union
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. nick

    Just one more indication of the anti-Obama material coming out of the mouth of the senior reporter from FOX NEWS.. I bet, John King amd Sean Hannity are related and attached at the hip.

    How many homeless were there after Viet Nam, or the Great Depression John? Did your research tell you that? Do you dream up these stories? Is this what Senior Political reporters do? Please join Fox News, at least then your stories would be expected. You are a disgrace to your profession and to your undeserved status at CNN.

    May 9, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. only when people learn not to vote for the system

    that works against them

    they will be able to save themselves from the modern slavery and savagery.

    only they can save themselves from themseves.

    May 9, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. andrew

    If you blame obama for this then you need to go back to school and educate yourself.

    May 9, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. Texas Teacher

    And how many others are just one payday away from losing everything?

    May 9, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. G NO P

    Just give them a tax cut and tell them to get off their lazy butts and get a job, right Republicans? The Death of America by Obama, Proud DHS radical-You guys are part of the cause of all this. Hope you are happy with yourselves.

    May 9, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. Randolph Carter (Formerly Some Guy)

    Here's what the news doesn't tell you. This phenomenon is largely due to the disappearance of public housing in America. Here's how the process works: Local housing authorities are in the back pocket of developers. Many times they are the same people. They tear down public housing and replace it with mixed income/mixed use developments. Everybody makes lots of money. They give the displaced residents housing vouchers and say, "look, they can move to a better neighborhood." Truth is the vouchers are generally only accepted by absentee landlords who offer substandard housing in other poor neighborhoods. Back at the shiny new development they let a bunch of seniors on fixed income (less likely to commit crime) back into some of the new housing units and tell the 6:00 news, "Look what we've done for these poor people and look at how the crime rate has improved". The other former residents either wind up in worse housing than before, far from their social network and services or out on the street. Poverty is essentially shifted from one area of the city to another. Progress, folks, progress. I wonder if CNN has the stones to post this. Have a nice day!

    May 9, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. America Shrugged

    We need a single payer healthcare system. Take the burden of healthcare off the employers backs and maybe we will see a resurgence of family wage jobs in this country. Start investing in green technology and maybe we'll see a resurgence of family wage jobs in this country. Invest more in education, and maybe we'll have a populace that can compete with other other countries in technology jobs. We need to produce something other than war and debt in this country. I agree with Joan from Ontario that some in the media would have you believe that this is some new phenomenon with Obama winning the election. I feel for this woman in the article, but I certainly would put aside my pride if I had a child, and ask for help.

    May 9, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. kgeukes

    John King has no clue as to what's really going on out in the real world....He's been so sheltered by Bush and his cronies that he believes homelessness is a recent result of Obama being voted into office. It's been going on for years but it's much worse now because of all the bad mortgages and the loss of jobs thanks to the Repugs. A party to be proud of fer sure!!!! Now, John, how 'bout you taking some of these homeless people into your home so they can get back on their feet, eh??

    May 9, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. Scott

    Wait until gas prices skyrocket again, the situation will become worse. High gas prices causes increase food prices, increase electricity prices and all sorts of increase in prices. Remember what happened during the Bush years. I wonder how many people knows how much control big oil has got on our politicians and the prices of things. If our president dont put some good oversight on big oil, stimulus will not work. Big is all ready getting their hand into the pie. Look at prices starting to creep up.

    May 9, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. elliott

    Maybe a real leader will emerge in 2012....

    May 9, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Lori

    Thank you 'Proud DHS Radical' and 'The Death of America by Obama.'. I blame you. It's because of people like you that ticked 'George W Bush's' name on the ballot TWICE that caused all these problems. A sarcastic 'thanks' from all of us who never voted for that man not once, and knew what he was about by 2004. I hope you're proud of yourselves. Are your parents brother and sister? Maybe that will explain how any human being could think George Bush was a superb President. What a disaster Bush and the Republicans were to this great country.

    May 9, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. tim

    Don't worry obama will in time supply all needs to all people. We will just tax the producers more, and if that doesn't work, we can just print more money. The socialist utopia is coming soon.

    May 9, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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