Life on Skid Row: When It Rains, It Pours Misery

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When it rains in Los Angeles, it pours misery on Skid Row. People with no choice but to sleep outside have few options when bad weather hits, forcing a type of survival that’s as unfortunately cruel as it is common for our homeless neighbors.

There are few places to seek shelter during cold and wet weather, and everything that remains exposed gets wet. In winter in Los Angeles, the rain is typically accompanied by bone-chilling wind, creating a two-punch combination that could literally turn deadly for people living outside homeless in tents.

During big storms, the rain will collect on the tops of tarps and tents, eventually breaking the nylon roofs under the stress of watery weight. The ground itself is soaked with gritty city runoff from sidewalks and streets as grime pools in vast puddles of iridescent oil and grease. Cardboard, which typically provides a source of insulation from the cold sidewalk, becomes a sponge for the toxic broth.

We have to do better. We must do better! No one should have to live outside in cold weather. Homeless people are dying at record numbers while, at the same time, more people are entering into homelessness than ever before. We must fix the affordable housing crisis and get everyone inside with the support they need.

Produced by Adam Trunell

More stories from Life on Skid Row:

Life on Skid Row: Cigarette Man Tells Us “There’s No Dreams Here”

Life on Skid Row: Panhandlers Are People Fighting to Survive Homelessness

Life on Skid Row: Flowers Helped a Homeless Veteran Find Forgiveness

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