The dire state of the economy and a record number of home foreclosures have spurred the growth of tent camps for the homeless, in cities such as Nashville and Seattle, by rivers and freeway underpasses.
CNN interviews several of the tent camp's citizens, who recall the all-too familiar cycle of job loss, inability to pay rent, and ultimately, homelessness. Officials of cities such as Nashville tolerate the existence of such camps after public safety issues have been addressed, such as sanitation (portable toilets and a makeshift shower were added). Local churches and homeless organizations have pitched in to make the areas more livable, but many local shelters are over capacity and unable to take in more people. It is estimated that 3.5 million Americans are homeless.WATCH: