Jennifer lives in a tent in the San Fernando Valley, an urbanized area of Los Angeles County. She is one of many homeless people being displaced with no place to go on a daily basis in Los Angeles and other communities criminalizing homelessness.
Jennifer shatters all the stereotypes surrounding homelessness. Jennifer is a single mom. She worked two jobs. Jennifer lost both jobs within three months while rent kept going up and up.
Jennifer tries to stay positive. She says every day is good. If the weather is too hot, Jennifer sleeps during the day and then works around her camp at night. She says it’s important to keep her area clean just like you would an apartment. It’s just a lot harder with you’re homeless, and everything is dirt. Many homeless people stay up at night for safety reasons too.
Jennifer is politically active working to get other homeless people to vote. With close to 60,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County, collectively that’s a very powerful voice. Because homeless people are focused on daily survival, voting or being politically active takes a back seat. To be honest, many homeless people feel powerless. Even service providers rarely listen to homeless people so many homeless feel what’s the point of voting.
This is where you can help. Invisible People wrote a post about helping to register homeless people to vote here and equally important, we need you to speak up for homeless people by contacting your state and federal legislators demanding they work to end homelessness in your community.
This is the eviction notice posted around the Sepulveda Basin area where Jennifer and several hundred homeless people live. They have nowhere else to go. This criminalization of homelessness and displacement of homeless people is not just cruel, it does nothing to help end homelessness and is a waste of taxpayer money.
Invisible People endorses the Services Not Sweeps campaign in Los Angeles. For more information, please click here.