With all of the people walking by I almost didn’t notice Dwayne sitting on the sidewalk of Hollywood Blvd. Dwayne told me he became homeless for the first time at the age of 15. This time he has been on the streets of Los Angeles since 1989.
Dwayne says he’s gone into homeless shelters in downtown LA and has been in programs. Since 1989, he has been accessing homeless services only to be back out on the streets time and again.
It’s hard to imagine someone living without a home for 29 years, but stories like Dwayne’s are far too familiar. As I travel, the one constant with every homeless person I meet is the massive amount of times they tried to get help and for whatever reason didn’t get the help they need or were returned to the streets.
On average, housing a homeless person each person per year saves $20,000 in taxpayer money. With the affordable housing crisis getting worse and causing homeless numbers to increase, we’ve got to figure out a way to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place and getting those that do end up on the streets into housing quickly.