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Yesterday it was raining in Los Angeles. Although he lives in a tent homeless, Todd says he loves the rain. He is originally from Seattle, which explains his fondness for damp weather. Todd has been homeless in Los Angeles for six years.

Todd has multiple sclerosis (MS) and is in a wheelchair. Todd once lived in a retirement home, but he says it’s not the best environment. Todd says because he is not going to beat MS, he’s going to embrace it. Todd has decided to live his life instead of being in a board and care.

Todd LA 2Todd had a place in Silver Lake then he was diagnosed with MS, and there was a problem with his social security benefits which is how he first ended up homeless. His mom passed away and left him a small trust fund but one of his brothers has held up the money.

One of the most frequent questions I receive is people asking where is the homeless person’s family to help. I will often respond by asking “how was your last Thanksgiving, drama free?” Truth is, relationships are often difficult. Either there is some kind of conflict or often family members are struggling themselves.

Todd shares that people are scared of homeless people. That they drive by seeing tents and say to themselves they’ll never be like that. That they’ll never be homeless. Todd continues “guess what, you wake up with MS and the next thing you know you’re living in a tent”.

The day before this area was swept by Los Angeles Sheriffs and sanitation workers. I talked to a few homeless people and all said the sweeps were aggressive. One man shared how they took his cellphone and all of his belongings, which sadly is very common. Los Angeles continues to spend millions of dollars on 40 sweeps a day. These sweeps do nothing to end homelessness, they destroy people’s lives by displacing them with nowhere to go, and they are a waste of taxpayer’s money!

Invisible People supports Services Not Sweeps, an LA-based coalition made up of over 35 community organizations demanding that Los Angeles Police stop the aggressive criminalization of unhoused people. Click here for more information:

NO ONE should be homeless in this great country of ours and no one disabled in a wheelchair should be living in a tent. ALL OF US need to speak up for our homeless neighbors.

Your voice can help end homelessness. If we do not fix the affordable housing crisis, homelessness will continue to get worse. Click here to tweet, email, call, or Facebook your federal and state legislators to tell them ending homelessness and creating more affordable housing is a priority to you.

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