Larry is a homeless veteran living on the streets of Downtown Los Angeles. He shares someone set his tent on fire. Homeless encampment fires are growing as homelessness continues to grow. Fires are dangerous no matter how they are started. In DTLA, many tent fires are set by gangs in retaliation for a homeless person not paying their taxes. Another cause is more people are cooking outside or using propane heaters to stay warm. Addiction and smoking can be causes of both house and tent fires.
Larry said he got his dog Rebel from someone that was beating the dog with a metal cane. Larry said he was also beaten and received six stitches.
Larry has been outside far too long. Larry says he has been looking for work before the pandemic hit, but even if he was, an elderly homeless man like Larry is not hirable. Larry says he lived in an SRO that was a dump. He says the hot water and heaters didn’t work. Downtown LA’s SROs are known for horrible conditions.
A new friend introduced me to Larry. As a rule, I try not to post interviews with people who have a severe mental illness. Larry sometimes does not make sense. My guess is his mental state is fragile because of his age and homelessness. Elderly homelessness is growing.10,000 boomers are hitting 65 years-old every day. More seniors lost everything in the 2008 crash and ended up with no choice but to sleep on a sidewalk. I can’t imagine what Larry and other elderly homeless people have to go through every night. We need to get them all in permanent supportive housing.
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.