Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Woman Unknown - The Homeless Epidemic in Los Angeles

I never spoke to her, or called her by name, yet, I saw her twice a day. She was an older woman who made her temporary home under the freeway ramp bridge between two shopping carts. She sat on a pile of blankets between the carts and waited. Maybe, she waited for her life to get better or maybe she waited to die. How she did she become homeless? Did she pray for a way out or accept homelessness as her fate? Was she alone in this life? Had her family abandoned her? So, many questions and there was no way to help her.

In the suburbs of the San Fernando Valley, north of Hollywood and Los Angeles we live our lives peacefully, away from the violence of L.A. and the homeless on skid row. We take offence at the beggar on the street corner with the sign that says “Need Food.”   We tend not to see them as people or as hard luck cases, but as intrusions in our daily lives of being soccer moms and working dads. What we really mask with this annoyance is our own fear that it could be us begging on the street. In this recovering economy, house foreclosures and in the large numbers of the unemployed, who can really say that this hardship could not happen to those who live in their castles on the hill? 


Turning the Clock Back said...

It is so sad that there are people who have SO MUCH in this country but then you have people who have so little. Thankyou for this moving post!

Morgan Mandel said...

What a stark contrast to all the riches not far away!

Morgan Mandel

V.R. Leavitt said...

So, so true. It's hard to see, not only because I think most people don't like seeing other people suffer, but also like you said, we hope that it will never happen to us.