Down and Out in L.A.
Benford Earl Standley
Those elements include the approximately 11,000
people who live on Skid Row, about 3,000 on the streets
on in shelters, the rest in hotels. They, far more
than area businesses, bore the brunt of the government
cutbacks that began in the Reagan years. "This
is the tail end of the whole system," says Jeff Dietrich.
Those who fall through the gaping holes in what was once
comfortingly called the "social safety net"
have to land somewhere. In L.A., wherever they
land, they often end up downtown and on Skid Row,
which has become, by more or less conspicuous policy,
the city's dumping ground for problems it would
rather keep out of sight. Virtually all of Los
Angeles' social-service providers that offer help to the homeless
are within a few blocks of each other on the Row.
But what's been created, according to Alice Callaghan,
is more than the chaos of cardboard shanties visitors
view from behind locked car doors. It's a community,
abet one with more than its share of problems.
"People know each other. People have been here a long time,"
Callaghan says. And because people have nowhere
else to go, "More than any other place in L.A., public
space is important here."
Los Angeles Times in May 2001, while I roam the streets
of an American city...
a night that was afraid
a night with
a mass of suffrage
a night of strange sleep
a night of hell
the morning came
the old man said
I thought of jumping
||Where is the tax money?
Where is the Church?
Where is God for these people?
Where is compassion?
Where is brotherly love?
Where is help for the less fortunate?
Where is Red Cross?
Where is Blue Cross?
Where is any Cross?
Where is my brothers keeper?
Where is Human Services?
Have we lost our humanity?
Lost in time...forgot to think where I could stay
Until the sun had set, like a crazy lost soul I
walked the street looking for blankets or an
old mattress, something softer than cardboard...
I view a couple of old couches before I get an
old door and make a soft shelter on this night
in May in some alley in Hollywood. Buffalo
The U.S. citizens sleep on the card board from
boxes shipped into the United States from all
over the world.
My life in a cardboard box.
From here to
the dumpster where there are more
Hobos, bums, vets, bag ladies, hippies, runaways, drug
dealers, somebody's grandmother lying there on the
pavement...old winos and men without identity, drunks
and lost souls, mentally ill and mentally challenge,
crazy and insane, lost and alone...men, women and
children look for a safe place to lay their heads...
The grocery cart is very very important to the
homeless. As to all of society, possessions are
very important, the cart allows you to walk around
the city and keep your possessions close to you.
Especially your blanket, extra dry clothes, food.
To take these peoples carts is a sin itself.
|I had a idea and began the drawings and work
on a cart that we could build and give out to
the homeless, then they would not have to
take the grocery carts from the stores. Maybe
even Ralph's, Albertsons and some of those
stores could foot the bill for the City to build
these carts. The cart is very important to the
One mans trash is another's
riches...trash can be the
only thing that you own.
Some people eat and need
what many of us call
The dog and the man lie
The rats run the gutters
The runaways fall in the
In the cracks of a city in denial
We are so used to them
Now we just let them lie
In our streets
if you have any poems
and/or writing about your
experiences being homeless
please email us...
StudioClub is going to
create an online and ongoing
poem book by the homeless
"It's only castles burning."
come back for pictures from the
Give to programs that help the homeless Talk
to your church about helping.
LOS ANGELES - A report released Thursday that provided
new details on the region's homeless population prompted
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to call the nation's
second-largest city the nation's "capital of
The report by the Los Angeles Homeless Services
Authority estimated that 82,291 people were homeless in
Los Angeles County on any
given night in 2005, with
about 48,103 of the county's homeless living within Los
Angeles' city limits.
The estimates mark the first attempt to gather
detailed data on the homeless. The figures will provide
a benchmark to evaluate the
effectiveness of programs to
curb homelessness, officials said.
The study also reported that California's estimated
homeless population of 195,367 is the highest in the
nation. Forty-six percent of the
population is located in Los Angeles County, according
to researchers, who determined that one of every 110
in the county are homeless on any given night.
"This is the capital of homelessness in the United
States of America. It dwarfs the homeless problem
anywhere in the state, and the city
of Los Angeles is
ground zero for it," Villaraigosa said.
The survey estimated that about 49 percent of the
county's homeless population could be considered
chronically homeless. JAN. 06 YAHOO.COM
HELP AND GIVE!!!!
"TRUTH IS LIKE A TORCH...
FROM IT WE SHIELD OUR EYES
FOR FEAR OF BEING BURNED"
in the sand
Their Own Words
and words from the streets
Sins of the Fathers
Down and out
ongoing saga of the homeless
Foster Lack of Care
"The poor is not he who is
without a cent, but without a dream" - Dale Broner.