Friday, November 17, 2006

Skid Row

You've probably seen on the national news lately that the city of Los Angeles is suing local hospitals for dumping indigent and homeless patients on Skid Row.
Last Sunday, after a full day of volunteering with 1000 students and staff, five of us loaded up a modified school bus (90% of the seats had been removed) full - really full - of food and water left over from the day and brought it to Skid Row in downtown LA. There are thousands and thousands and thousands of people living on the streets there - estimates range from 7,000 - 11,000. They're in boxes, and tents, and just under blankets and newspapers. Most are junkies, some are mentally ill, and a good percentage are both.

It was cold the night we were there and while I think that they appreciated the food, they kept asking for blankets. The streets there are more littered than any I've ever seen, save after a big parade or street fair. But we realized pretty quickly that it was because people like us bring food down in containers (in our case styrofoam and brown paper lunch bags) that get left in the street when the food has been eaten. We saw very, very few garbage cans available for trash, even if someone had wanted to use one.


Lauren said...

That's totally shocking. I had no idea that Skid Row was like that. I mean, I know the band sucks, but who knew that the street was that awful!?

On a lighter note - did the CEO of ProActiv have fabulous skin, and what did she say about Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan?

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