Dawn texted week a few weeks ago. There was a homeless woman friend of her’s she wanted me to meet. I regret that I could not go connect with Dawn right then because a few days later, Dawn texted me the woman was found dead on the side of the freeway. I forgot to talk about that with Dawn in this interview. It’s a powerful statement of how dangerous homelessness is.
I first interviewed Dawn close to two years ago. Dawn’s husband had health issues, and the two were living in their tent with their three dogs. Dawn is still married, but they split up and no longer live together, which is all Dawn wanted to say about it in this interview other than she is happy he husband is in a hotel where his health issues can be addressed.
The Super Bowl is coming to Los Angeles in a few weeks. Police, Caltrans, and sanitation have picked up the frequency of their already aggressive homeless sweeps. It’s as if housed people are the victims having to look at homeless people when homeless people are the real victims.
Dawn texted me that she was displaced from a homeless sweep and now lives on a sidewalk under a Los Angeles freeway. Homeless people are in a constant state of fear, never knowing when the sweeps will come to take all of their stuff. For example, in the area where we recorded this interview, the sweep was posted for 9 am, yet sheriffs and Caltrans showed up at 4:30 am. Homeless people cannot quickly move their belongings, so this sweep coming early without notice resulted in panic, trauma, and more loss of belongings.
Dawn is a fighter and a survivor. She has been through a lot. Dawn looks great. You would not even know she has lived on the streets of Los Angeles homeless for over three years. But homelessness is dangerous. Dawn or no one should be living without adequate 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.