Hard Times USA

Tent Cities Are Cropping Up in the Same Place Where Tech Millionaires Are Being Minted

Exposing the striking disparities wealth and poverty in California's Silicon Valley.

From BillMoyers.com:

California’s Silicon Valley is a microcosm of America’s new extremes of wealth and poverty. Business is better than it’s been in a decade, with companies like Facebook, Google and Apple minting hundreds of new tech millionaires. But not far away, the homeless are building tent cities along a creek in the city of San Jose. Homelessness rose 20 percent in the past two years, food stamp participation is at a 10-year high, and the average income for Hispanics, who make up a quarter of the area’s population, fell to a new low of about $19,000 a year — in a place where the average rent is $2000 a month.

Moyers & Company's Lauren Feeney and Cameron Hickey visited Silicon Valley to bring you this story about modern-day poverty and inequality. They talked to Cindy Chavez of Working Partnerships USA; Russell Hancock of Joint Venture Silicon Valley; Martha Mendoza, an AP writer whose recent piece about Silicon Valley poverty brought this story toMoyers & Company's attention; Daniel Garcia, who became homeless after losing his job in a Google campus restaurant; and Teresa Frigge, a homeless woman who used to make the silicon chips that give the valley its name.

Lauren Feeney is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and multimedia journalist.