The ripple effect of the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis and a chronically sluggish economy have changed the face of poverty in America. Sections of the population who never previously utilized the "safety net" have experienced long periods of under, or unemployment and struggled to get by. According to recent Census data, 47 million Americans now live below the poverty line. In 55 cities across the country, the new urban poor have responded by living in tent cities.
Pastor Steve Brigham is the founder of Tent City, a makeshift village for homeless people near Lakewood, New Jersey.