When Robert and his wife moved away from Las Vegas in search of a better life, they never thought they’d end up homeless in LA’s notorious Skid Row district. But that’s exactly where they are today.
Rather than stay in shelters or an SRO (single room occupancy hotel), Robert and his wife choose to stay outside on the streets. Shelters, he said, separate men and women, and SRO’s are downright nasty (he’s right; I know from experience!). Furthermore, the hotels that accept welfare vouchers tend to attract crime, drugs, sex offenders, parolees, and gangs.
The day we met it was his wife’s birthday, but they weren’t celebrating. They were spending the day waiting in line for services at a homeless drop in center.
I don’t have words for to describe Skid Row. Los Angeles’ police chief called Skid Row the worst social disaster in America. To me, this is the most accurate depiction of Skid Row. Please take a moment to watch the first and fifth video. They’re short, but very powerful.
Can this really be America?