Homeless encampments grow in L.A. as America's economic decline accelerates  During the Great Depression in the 1930s, they were often referred to as “Hoovervilles” — communities of homeless Americans who built shanty dwellings out of anything they could find, such as cardboard, small pieces of wood and tin. They were named after President Herbert Hoover, who was blamed for the Depression because he was president in 1929 when the stock market crashed. Today, homeless communities — though not yet called “Obamavilles” — are increasingly sprouting up in many urban centers, another sign that the U.S. economy simply is not as vibrant as the White House and its cheerleaders in media and the world of finance would have you believe. As reported by the Los Angeles Times: Evicted four months ago from their Highland Park apartment, Louis Morales and his 18-year-old stepson, Arthur Valenzuela, live half-hidden by brush along the nearby Arroyo Seco riverbed. Morales, 49, keeps a framed bible verse and a stuffed monkey in his tent. Water hauled by bike from a park heats up on the camp stove. Next door, their friend Johnny Salazar fixes bikes and shattered computer screens on the cheap for people who live in the neighborhood. A brother and sister Morales has known for years live up the river, and three couples stay down by the bridge. “Everybody here is from Highland Park,” Valenzuela said. “We don’t allow other people.”  The paper went on to report that, over the past two years, such encampments have reached beyond their historic boundaries in downtown Los Angeles. Now, they line freeways and are also beginning to fill up freeway bridge underpasses “from Echo Park to South Los Angeles,” the paper said. The problem is so endemic in the city that there is even a government agency to deal with it — the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, a city-county entity. The agency handled 767 calls about street encampments last year, up 60 percent from 479 in 2013. Some local residents have complained that city officials are merely exporting the downtown homeless problem to their neighborhoods. However, the Times reported that social services agencies say the problem is not that black-and-white; the agencies say that, though downtown development and clean-ups of skid row have occurred, many camps are inhabited by locals. More