‘Where Are We Going to Go’: Story of Echo Park Lake’s Homeless Community

Featured Video Play Icon

This is the eighth mini-documentary of our Invisible Stories series on homelessness. CLICK HERE to watch.

The concept of community and love doesn’t die when you’re houseless. It’s not an economic thing. People still need love that comes from community.

The unhoused community at Echo Park Lake embraces this concept, and accepts all walks of life. They take care of people new to homelessness, give them food and support. They remind people they are not less than; nothing has changed because of their economic situation.

This Los Angeles tent encampment has organized, raising money from recycling and donations to hire homeless community members to manage the area they live in – picking up trash, monitoring the food pantry, and other jobs. Residents prepare a daily community meal from donated food. They partner with housed neighbors to care for a community garden. When we were filming, they were erecting a medical tent for residents.

Just like any community, housed or unhoused, the homeless residents help their neighbors!

But more people are entering homelessness. They keep coming and the tent community is growing. Meanwhile, NIMBY (not in my backyard) opposition is growing. As a result, Councilman Mitch O’Farrell attempted to evict Echo Park Lake residents without providing an alternative place for them to live.

200,000 vacant units sit empty in the county – but this isn’t a housing issue. Officials just want the group to move along. Where are they supposed to go?

Los Angeles’s last annual homeless count shows that 66,433 people are homeless – up 12.7% from 2019. However, the annual point-in-time (PIT) homeless count is, at best, a good guess. The numbers are always significantly higher than data shows. Even more concerning is HUD’s PIT count took place in January – before coronavirus hit.

We’re not ending homelessness – it’s growing. There’s not enough affordable housing. People have nowhere to go. But they have a right to dignity. This video shows an officer with his baton raised as other officers place a community member in handcuffs. Why? Because Davon Brown was standing up for his right to live. 

 


Invisible People

           

We imagine a world where everyone has a place to call home. Until then, we strive to be the most trusted source for homelessness news, education and advocacy.

Related Topics



Your support can create amazing change

Join the campaign to end homelessness by supporting the only newsroom focused solely on the topic of homelessness. Our original reporting — posted five to seven days a week — can also be found on Apple News and Google News. Through storytelling, education, news, and advocacy, we are changing the narrative on homelessness.

Invisible People is a nonprofit organization. We rely on the support of friends like you — people who understand that well-written, carefully researched stories can change minds about this issue. And that’s what leads to true transformation and policy change. Our writers have their fingers on the pulse of homeless communities. Many are formerly or currently homeless themselves. They are the real experts, passionate about ending homelessness. Your support helps us tell the true story of this crisis and solutions that will end it. Your donations help make history by telling the real story of homelessness to inspire tangible actions to end it.

Your donation, big or small, will help bring real change.

DONATE NOW



Get the Invisible People newsletter


RECENT STORIES

los angeles homeless man

Daniel

Rough Sleeper on the Dangerous Streets of Manchester

Peter

Most Homeless People Don’t Look Homeless: Callie Is Proof

Callie

Homeless Man Talks Rats, Police Sweeps and Shelters

Norman


RECENT ARTICLES

homelessness in san francisco is growing

San Francisco Chooses Handcuffs over Housing Homeless People

Hotels for homeless people

Hotels Can Offer Permanent, Affordable Housing Solutions

Man evicted from his home during moratorium

Extend the Eviction Moratorium to Prevent Millions from Becoming Homeless

Urban Tacoma

Tacoma Splits over How to Handle its Housing Crisis

Get the Invisible People newsletter