It is well and widely known that The Drag is one of the major centers of commerce in the Barrens, such as it is. It has become as popular with mid level corp execs looking to do some thrill-seeking as it is already with the locals who come here simply because it is the only game in town for them. This concentration of loose and easy nuyen makes it prime turf for those who must subsist on alms and handouts. No one chooses to be homeless, but whether they have embraced their unfettered lifestyle or resent it, the homeless of the Barrens all know that the biggest and safest hobo hangout is Tent Town near The Drag. As their numbers began to concentrate here these urchins learned quickly that if they stopped fighting over bread and blankets, and learned to share goods and information freely, then they could all live better. They have done this, and in so doing have begun to make something for themselves again. And the size of the community and it’s organization is what has kept the vendors off their backs, and the gangs out of their space(for the most part). Even Lone Star is reticent to send anything less than a full tactical squad into Tent Town, unless all they’re going to do is politely ask questions. The bums feel they have had enough taken from them that they are loath to yield this patch of ground they’ve made their own; and they don’t think they’re asking for much.
What they ask for certainly is not much, at least not by current living standards. Tent Town lies in the shadow of the Abandoned GMC Facility, which was once a bustling fabrication plant, but now is little more than a nest for Devil Rats and Ghouls. Hardly highly contested real estate. This has not, however, stopped the local gangs from simply harassing the bums for shits and giggles. They haven’t been so bold as to mount a full scale assault, but they have been pulling drive-bys, lobbing moltovs over the walls, and conducting raids on the bums meager supplies. Tensions have been building in the community between those who want to stand up to the gangs and others who fear it would lead to open conflict with ultraviolent self-styled street warriors, and ultimately cause the Stars to fall on them.
But these societal outcasts, thru their struggle, have made something truly exceptional for themselves. Tent Town is, in essence, a complete micro-community with it’s own commerce and internal governance. The market is little more than a huddle of tents wherein urchins peddle “rescued” goods, reagents scavenged by street alchemists, or devices cobbled together by junk pile prodigies, but it is theirs. The selection may be limited, but no one is going to ask you for a SIN or license before they approve the sale(or at all really). The commune operates as a direct democracy, with each member 16 and older being given equal vote. Issues are brought to vote by those members of the community who act as the communes administrators. These roles are an established meritocracy. Simply put, if you want any(and certainly all) the bums to listen to you, you have to have done enough for them and the community as a whole to warrant that respect. These roles are currently filled by Lycius, King of Rags, Lucca the Inventor, and Joshua the Firebringer.