In Los Angeles, Where the Rich and the Destitute Cross Paths

Kaitlynn Park, 18, and Aramis Mobley, 19, a homeless couple, were getting clothing and food at a public beach in the Pacific Palisades, which is held up as a model of success for a community helping the homeless.Photograph by Philip Cheung for The New York Times.

 
In recent years, homelessness has leapt beyond its old boundaries, with more than 53,000 people living without homes this year. This means that Angelenos 
are encountering homeless people in places they never did before. I drove around the city to see what that change looks like. 

For many in Los Angeles, the spread of homelessness is a challenge to their identities as political progressives. Some are angered by the presence of 
the homeless and some communities have mobilized to keep shelters out of their neighborhoods. One setting for this clash is public libraries. 
The homeless come to charge their phones and catch up on the news, but sometimes their behavior alienates others. The homeless are especially visible 
when they stake a claim on tourist-heavy venues. On the Hollywood Walk of Fame, glitz and squalor collide. 

In Santa Monica, case workers and doctors visit the streets every day, offering medical aid and guidance on how to get help. 
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has called homelessness the “moral crisis of our time,” and voters have approved millions of dollars to tackle the issue.
As I walked around with outreach workers, passers-by often stopped, seemingly surprised to see someone talking to the homeless. 
City officials recently urged residents to make “casual eye contact” with the homeless and say hello, or at least smile. Read the full article here




 

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