The City Of Lost Angels: Homelessness In L.A.

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The City of Los Angeles, mostly known for its movie stars,  Hollywood, beaches and high class life, has a severe underlying issue of homelessness that most don’t know of unless you’re here. I’ve never seen so many people living on the street, under overpasses, on freeway exits and entrances, bus stops, in front of storefronts, lawns or wherever there is any type of space in my life and I’m from NY where we thought we saw it all.

Out here in L.A., when you see tents and tarps it’s not for happy campers enjoying the great outdoors, it’s people on the street with nowhere else to go. Reportedly there are over 40,000 documented homeless in Los Angeles, many of which have mental and/or drug addiction problems. The homeless problem out here is so bad that they even have a place in downtown L.A. designated on maps as “Skid Row” (Google it).

With all the money out here I can’t understand how the city with its rich celebrities and politicians, who always talk about their charity work in places outside the U.S., have made no provisions to address and cure this issue of excessive homelessness. I’ve only been in L.A. for about 3 months and I recognize homelessness is out of control so how can all the influential people who have been here for years ignore it and seem to turn a blind eye to the issue instead of trying to come up with solutions to cure it. For every homeless person you see in NYC there are at least 20 in L.A.

One major problem keeping homelessness high in L.A. is the lack of low income housing. There just isn’t enough low income housing to accommodate all the homeless people in this city. Another problem is the lack of programs through Social Services such as “One Shot Deals” and “rental assistance.” In order to receive a one shot deal, which is a one time payment by Social Services that pays the security and first month rental for individuals to get into an apartment or rental home, people are required to be homeless for 2 years in order to even qualify for an application. That’s ridiculous and needs to be changed asap. As far as rental assistance for people in danger of losing their place of residence, I don’t even think they have that at all.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a beautiful city full of natural & man made wonders and I’ve seen all sides since I first arrived in January 2015 but the one thing that has made the biggest impact to me is the homelessness I see all around me. There is no reason for so many people to be without a home in this or any other city and for it to be so many in such a flamboyantly rich place is a travesty.

This is truly a city of Lost Angels.

-Written by Corey “Drumz” Banks

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