Presentation at Santa Clara University. Tent Cities in Silicon Valley


Homeless Encampments: Practices, Contexts, and Policies

A Presentation by Christopher Herring

California Room, Benson Center

Santa Clara University

February 27, 4:30 p.m.

 Over the past 15 years US cities have witnessed a resurgence of large durable homeless encampments, commonly called tent cities. While the policies leading to the emergence of homeless tent cities are largely similar across localities, the actions taken by communities’ local governments in response to their persistence have varied widely, from contestation, toleration, and legalization. Drawing on interviews with city officials, homeless advocates, service providers, and homeless campers in over a dozen west-coast municipalities with tent cities, this talk will explain the roots and implications of homeless tent cities and provide lessons for Silicon Valley as it copes with its own homeless encampments.  

Chris Herring is a doctoral candidate of Sociology at the University of California Berkeley. His research focuses on the production and regulation of poverty and housing in US cities. Chris' work has been featured in academic and popular publications of sociology, geography, anthropology, social movements, film, planning, architecture, community-based research, and urban studies. 

His research, writing, and teaching embraces the ideals of public sociology and he has collaborated with the National Coalition on Homelessness,  San Francisco Coalition on HomelessnessAnti-Eviction Mapping Project, and Western Regional Advocacy Project in conducting research and community organizing efforts. His work can be found at

 Free and Open to the Public!

christopher herring