It’s literally insane to ticket homeless people for being homeless. People sleeping outside in tents or in their vehicles have little or no income to pay fines. What makes it worse is police rarely offer support to help homeless people get out of homelessness. Homeless people don’t have any place to go, and police know this, yet they write citations for different petty offenses criminalizing homelessness.
Mike lives in a tent in Chatsworth, a neighborhood in the northwestern San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California. Homelessness has grown significantly throughout Los Angeles County, but there is very little support for homeless people in the San Fernando Valley. Most homeless services were intentionally located in Skid Row, which is a complete failure of urban design.
Mike and other homeless people living in Chatsworth have few options to get off the streets. Mike was working odd jobs until the coronavirus hit. Now, he is surviving by recycling, but police have even tried to stop him from dumpster diving.
Mike feels COVID-19 was meant for homeless people. He shares how now that everything is shut down, people need a car to go through a drive-thru to get fast food. Mike says he feels safer in his tent than going to a shelter or a hotel. Mike would rather go get a job and live in an apartment, but while the coronavirus is around, he plans on staying in his tent.
If you thought homelessness was bad, over 40 million Americans are now unemployed. The economic fallout from COVID-19 will create a significant increase in homelessness. YOU can help change that. Support the HEROES Act to make housing a priority. CLICK HERE to contact your legislators today.