Among the World's Most Dire Places: This California Homeless Camp

After visiting a homeless camp in Oakland last year, a United Nations official compared it to the slums of Brazil, Mexico and Pakistan, saying many residents had “no access to toilets or showers and a constant fear of being cleaned off the streets.”

Two Times journalists later spent three months at the camp, getting to know dozens of its residents. They traveled to a shantytown in Mexico City as a comparison.

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Government restriction of housing supply combined with excessive taxation and regulation which narrows the economic base - at least in the Bay Area. In Mexico - corruption and the same out of control bureaucracy the Bay Area has. Mexico is resource rich. No reason it should have so many poor people. One hunderd years ago the standard of living in the countries was about the same.