Wednesday, December 11, 2013
There was a time when this didn't exist, before Regan, before Necessities became Luxuries. I was a Case Manager in Chicago for three years in the 70's and it wasn't this bad for the poor. They at least had the dignity of housing. After moving to Los Angeles in the early 90's I took a part time job on Skid Row after witnessing the growth of homelessness in New York City in the early 80's. A literal explosion. Again, I watched the population explode in Los Angeles as it had in New York City when I lived there. I worked on Skid Row for 20 years as the population grew. This population will continue to grow as long as Necessities are priced for the rich. I mean housing, food, insurance, health care. Out of reach for the poor and the Middle Class is unable to stimulate the economy when all of their money goes for overpriced housing. New Stats show that the average person is paying 30% to 40% of their income for ordinary, non-luxury housing alone. Leaves little room for spending that creates a robust economy as we had since the late 40's. The cost of living is higher than 90% of what the people can really afford. It seems we don't learn from history, the pain that inequality of wealth and absurdly high profits has caused. http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/invisible-child/?smid=fb-share#/?chapt=1 It's sad when it started with evictions in the 80's. I talked to some of those newly homeless people back then especially the elderly and that's what happened to them, thrown on the street so the LL's could charge more for the apts. These children are the second generation of the explosion of the homeless in the city in the early 80's.... It will continue. I watched it grow from a few homeless men in Los Angeles when I moved here to women, then women with children, then whole families. I knew it would happen here too when Los Angeles also become a city of high rents and high cost housing. Why I had a second career on Skid Row. Thank God for SRO Housing Corporation.