LAX has been steadily buying properties in a 20-square-block neighborhood to make space for a centralized rental car facility and a transportation hub. Overgrown and underpopulated, the neighborhood has become a ghost town, attracting people living in RVs and tents.
It was an eerie feeling watching through Manchester Square for the first time. RVs and tents were everywhere but unlike the tent communities we see growing on cement sidewalks in Los Angeles, the open fields of green grass made it feel like a suburban Skid Row.
Mark lives in a tent in this section of Inglewood near the Los Angeles International Airport. He told me that his girlfriend recently died due to sickness from sleeping outside in a tent. Mark went on to say the man across the street and two other people on the next block also passed away.
The number of homeless people who died on Los Angeles County’s streets and shelters doubled in the last five years, rising to 831 deaths in 2017, according to a recent report.
Cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, diabetes, cancer, cirrhosis, severe bacterial infections and other treatable conditions were all listed as causes of deaths reported by the Los Angeles County Office of Medical Examiner.
Mark shares candidly about living homeless in Los Angeles. He says people have to move their stuff for street sweeping but they don’t clean the street, or personal possessions are picked up and thrown away but not the trash.
Mark says he has been on a list for Rapid Re-housing for a year and a half. He says his girlfriend filled out paperwork to get into housing four times. According to Mark, she was placed as critical on the housing list yet passed away while waiting.
Like in many other cities, homelessness continues to increase in Los Angeles and there are not enough services to help all the homeless people that desperately need help.