A few years ago you’d only see tents in the Skid Row area of L.A., but these days homeless encampments are all over Los Angeles County. On a recent visit, I asked someone that works for the city where might find homeless people living in tents. They responded just to throw a dart at a map. In other words, you don’t have to look to find homeless people in Los Angeles – they are everywhere.
Cheryl and Sam live in a tent near downtown Los Angeles. Cheryl has been on the streets for almost a year. She is a victim of domestic violence. Sam has been homeless for nearly two years after a bad divorce.
Sam is getting help from a local homeless services provider. He is on a list for housing and should be off the streets and no longer homeless by next month. Cheryl is not getting support. For some reason, she does not qualify. Because they are a homeless couple and not married, they cannot stay together.
Cheryl shares about the challenges of living without a bathroom and that there is no trash pickup. The public often complains about homeless camps and trash. The solution is to end homelessness – period. But until that happens, communities need to figure out a way to be able to provide garbage services for homeless people.