FAQ about Skid Row Los Angeles

What is Skid Row In the 1880’s all the trains heading west ended in Los Angeles. As the economy changed and people rode the rails looking for work and new lives, many ended up in LA; broke and broken. You can still see many of the train tracks in bits and pieces of the pavement throughout the area.

 Skid Row became formalized in a 1975 Redevelopment Plan with a “Policy of Containment”.  As a physical, mapable, geographic neighborhood also known as Central City East in downtown Los Angeles where low income and homeless individuals and families live in shelters, SRO’s and on the streets. Skid Row is often associated as the community of homeless people living in tents and boxes. Many social service outreach programs are located there as well.

 The original term Skid Row came from loggers who lived in a logging town where trees were skidded into the river as part of the Lumber Process. After the Lumber Industry dried up, many loggers stayed behind, jobless and homeless.

Where is Skid Row . According to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in April 2006; the official boundaries are Third and Seventh Streets to the north and south and Alameda and Main Streets to the east and west, respectively.
How long do people stay on Skid Row I can’t find a statistic on this. I m going tp speak from what I have witnessed.

Without serious and in depth outreach and outside intervention: Skid Row = Death Row and people become accustomed to it and never leave. They may transition from the streets to shelters to an SRO, but the longer they are there, the less likely they will leave.

What services are available to Homeless Residents LAMP Community 627 San Julian Street –

  • Public Toilets and Showers and Laundry Mat
  • Money Management Services
  • LAMP Art Project

Midnight Mission – 601 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles

  • Project Safe Sleep – emergency overnight lodging
  • Day Room – respite center
  • Hot Meals – 3 daily
  • Showers and Shaves
  • Clothing
  • Mail Service
  • Food Boxes
  • Referrals – housing, mental health and other vital services

Union Rescue Mission 545 San Pedro St • Los Angeles

  • Family Shelter
  • Food
  • Learning center
  • Spiritual guidance
  • Health clinics

The Hippie Kitchen Hospitality Kitchen
821 E. 6th Street

  • Food! Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 7:30am-12:45ppm

There are hundreds more: these are my favorites and in my experience: the best.

 

What rights do Homeless Folks have All the basic civil and legal rights afforded to all people. The right not to be touched and harassed by the Central city Security (Red shirts, yellow shirts, Purple shirted private security on bikes)The right to sit and sleep on the street between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. the ACLU fought for this window of time permitting sleep in violation of the Anti-Camping Law 41.18(d).
What is the crime rate on Skid Row  

I don’t know. It is probably not what the CCA (Central City Association) would have me believe.  If I can find a Central Division Police summary – I will let you know what the rates are and if they are going up or down legitimately. Sid Row is a place of politics and power with large companies wanting the poor out so they can redevelop and gentrify the neighborhood.  
Does anything need to change?
  • The poor will be poor until there is something that provides them with income – like jobs. There are few Help Wanted signs in the area.
  • Cash assistance should be paid directly to the shelter or hotel or SRO in the amount of the clients rent in order to prevent theft or misuse. Money management skills are sketchy, especially with the drug and alcohol addicted.
  • More health inspections of the shelters and places of tenancy. Rats, roaches, spiders, and mice are abundant.
  • Make the neighborhood livable; Put up shade trees and benches. Move in major grocery stores. Create more storage spaces for the homeless to securely keep their belongings. Increase the number of public shower and laundry facilities.
  • More collaboration of service agencies
  • Change the unspoken motto from Look how many people we helped to “Look – we helped so well that there are fewer people who need us!

 

Tent City in the LA Area

Ontario Tent City is covered by the BBC press – even the rest of ther world knows tha California’s homeless population is growing , but there are few answers to address the situation. Sacramento has a large Tent City and of course, there is Skid Row Los Angeles.
More folks are homeless, more houses sit empty. The government is giving money to companies and not to housing – I have a few suggestions. LAter on I may share them.