Homelessness in Los Angeles



tent survive connection
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amen at least food stamps
NGO day labor get in touch
labor hygiene temporary
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luck will (3) try her luck
jail average environment (2)
set up waitress square meter
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extent provide uphill battle
lack fraught individual
aspect authority socio-economic
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county scale (2) system (2)
rehab tailor (2) downtown
access down to treatment
care mission keep you down
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evict ticket (2) makeshift
glitter struggle emergency
battle promise shelter (2)






They sleep in tents — if they can afford one, that is. There are already some fifty-eight thousand (58,000) homeless people in Los Angeles County. And that number is rising.

The extent of the crisis is most apparent in downtown LA.

Social Worker: Thank you for bringing love inside each and every one of us. And let’s spread that today guys.

Love conquers all.

We appreciate you, Father. We love you in Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen.

This Christian NGO distributes food.

Some of the homeless receive state aid in food stamps. But it doesn’t get them very far.

Irwin lives on thirty dollars ($30) a month. He’s originally from Chicago, but came to LA for the warm winters.

Irwin, Homeless Person: “I just hope that they start having temporary jobs so we could at least get day labor around here, so we can have money for hygiene, maybe try to get in touch with our families.”

Further north in Hollywood, Summer has set up a camp on a side street. The thirty-three (33) year old left Utah to try her luck in California. Now all she owns is a bicycle and a few other things. She’s been living on the streets for a year-and-a-half.

Summer, Homeless Person: “The things that I’ve come into contact with are a lot of people are out of prison or jail, and a lot of people that live on the streets are drug users.

And they’re great people. I’ve really learned a lot from them. I made some really good connections. But it’s not the safest environment.”

Summer was able to get by for a while with a waitressing job. But when she lost it, she had to move out of her apartment. That’s not an uncommon situation for many here. LA is expensive: an average seventy (70) square meter apartment in Hollywood costs over two-thousand dollars ($2,000) a month.

Rising rents are actually making the city more attractive, says Brian Folb. The businessman leases offices and apartments in Hollywood.

He’s seen more and more entertainment companies move into the area in recent years. But Folb also complains that the homeless make his customers nervous.

Brian Folb, Property Owner in Hollywood: “They don’t feel comfortable going out on the street to do their business or go out to lunch or to go shopping and so forth.

So we’re getting a lot of pushback from businesses and people that have opted to move into the area, feeling maybe they made a mistake and maybe they need to make a change.”

The LA Homeless Services Authority provides shelters and other housing services for the city’s homeless. But it faces an uphill battle. The authorities’ communications director says that’s down to a lack of political will.

Tom Waldman, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA): “There’s just not enough housing that people who are on the lower end of the socio-economic scale, and in some cases have no assets whatsoever, can access.

And unfortunately, it’s overwhelmed the rest: other aspects of the system shelter in particular, and rapid re-housing.”

In November 2016, LA residents voted to raise property taxes, with proceeds going to help the city create more affordable housing.

The goal is to build about ten-thousand (10,000) residential units over the next decade. But there are almost six times that many homeless in the county.

We visit the Midnight Mission in downtown Los Angeles.

Social Worker: “This is the program participant dining hall, so people that live here have various programs.”

The organization has been around for a century, providing meals, shelters and rehab programs for the homeless.

Manager Joey Weinert believes that every person who lives on the streets should get help tailored to their individual needs.

Joey Weinert, The Midnight Mission: “Housing is definitely important; that’s top of the list, of course.

But taking somebody off the street and just putting them in housing, I don’t think it’s necessarily the answer, without having some kind of treatment to being able to be a productive member of society.”

She’s grown all too familiar with life on the streets of Hollywood. Now, Summer from Utah no longer believes anyone really cares what happens to her.

Summer, Homeless Person: “Once you’re down, the system keeps you down. And they don’t want to help you. They say they want to help you, but they legitimately don’t. They want to get you out of their way.

The cops told me yesterday, ‘We hate you guys being out here like this and seeing this on our street.’ I’m like, ‘Then do something about it.’”

The police regularly evict the homeless woman from her makeshift home, writing her a ticket for setting up a tent on the street.

So far, she hasn’t been able to find an emergency shelter.

The glittering lights of Hollywood don’t promise hope or help for people like Summer and nights on the street are fraught with danger.

For the homeless, life in the City of Angels is daily struggle just to survive.


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1/2. Is the homeless situation a small, large, serious or a huge problem in Los Angeles?

1/3. Do homeless people get help, aid or support? Is it sufficient?

1/4. All the homeless are locals; they are all from California. Is this right or wrong? Why did they come to California?

1/10. Are they (entirely) lazy, or do they want jobs or opportunities to work?

2/3. Most of the homeless had normal, middle-class lives. Is this entirely correct, mostly correct, it varies, mostly incorrect or completely untrue?

Is the cost of living in Los Angeles cheap, medium-priced or expensive? Is there an adequate supply of (low-cost) accommodation in the city?

3/100. “Regular”, non-homeless people in LA don’t care about the homeless. They are not concerned. Yes or no?

4/5. Are there homeless shelters in the city? Is it enough or adequate?


5/6. Homelessness exits in my city and country. Yes or no?

5/8. Why is there homelessness? Has the situation been changing over the years?

7/8. Has homelessness become a major social and political issue?

9/10. What might happen in the future?

15/100. How can homelessness be resolved? What should the homeless do? What should others and the government do?

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