Tents are pitched illegally on a sidewalk in Seattle in January. The number of people sleeping outside in the city shot up by 20 percent in just the past year. David Ryder/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption David Ryder/Reuters/Landov

Ella Barnes-Williams visits the thrift shop associated with Martha's Table, a nonprofit social services organization in Washington, D.C. Anders Kelto/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Anders Kelto/NPR

Uzuri Pease-Greene, right, leads a walk through the public housing complex in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco where her family lives. She is working to have the old buildings replaced. Talia Herman for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Talia Herman for NPR

A resident of Lathrop Homes leaves one of the few occupied buildings in the development. The city wants to redevelop the public housing as mixed use, and offered vouchers to encourage residents to relocate. Cheryl Corley/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Cheryl Corley/NPR

Ephraim Benton, a former resident of Tompkins Houses in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, is now an actor. Benton started a community-based organization called Beyond Influencing Da Hood, which puts on health fairs, film festivals and various free community events in his old housing project. This photo was taken in front of his old building in Tompkins Houses. Courtesy of Shino Yanagawa hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Shino Yanagawa

Herman Travis (L) with his friend, Robert Cochran (R) at StoryCorps in San Francisco. Travis delivers groceries from a local food bank to his elderly neighbors, like Cochran. Courtesy of Storycorps hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Storycorps

The $1 billion Brickell City Centre, currently under construction, will house condos, a hotel and a retail and entertainment complex. Condo projects are booming in Miami, financed mostly by foreign buyers. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Gravel helps keep the floor level and prevents moisture from seeping up. The floor installers are Jean Pierre (left), a mason, and Daniel Shenyi, operations manager for EarthEnable. Courtesy of EarthEnable hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of EarthEnable

The Citigroup Center is viewed in midtown Manhattan. Critics say the U.S. settlement with the banking giant will do nothing for those hurt most by the foreclosure crisis: people who lost their homes. Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images