Homefree: Report from the Front Lines of Homelessness in L.A.: What it’s Like

The author’s son at Union Rescue Mission. Photo by Tabetha Blesser

Tabetha Blesser 1/2020

I’m writing you from the parking lot of LA Safe Park; one of a couple lots (this one for a church) where you can go park if you’re living in your car, and they’ve a porta potty, sink, and security guard. I’ve been here for quite a while.

We’re on every street in the city, but no one sees us.

I’m clean and sober, something that I feel makes my circumstances far more abrasive. That and my fight for my son. There are so many of us, but, as people are wont, there’s so many different kind of homelessness. I myself am a ghost. I don’t associate with anyone, I never stay the same place twice (out side of a Safe Park), I am looking for work that I can do physically.

Homelessness hasn’t been easy on my already ailing self. And it’s been tricky keeping my PTSD under wraps when there are people (usually teen boys) that seek us out to torture us, zipping around on those scooters, whipping my car or throwing things at it. I’ve since found that to be common, and sadly, tame compared to some of the stories I’ve heard. I’ve been treated worse than I can ever remember, because I’m homeless. I don’t complain about it a lot, like my hobo friend calls it: “Homefree.”

I see the way people look at me, I hear the things the say, and I know that at least for conservatives, I’m only homeless due to shortcomings or weakness on my part. I think it’d blow people’s minds how many people are homeless merely by way of cruel circumstance, and remain so because of a very fragmented system.

The Feds keep dumping money into the problem which is seemingly bottomless. The fact is that a huge chunk of the homeless population will probably never be anything but, because of the high price of rent and the strict (and sometimes outrageous) requirements of landlords.

I want to investigate the rumor that property owners conspired to hike the rent by keeping an enormous amount of units off the market, creating a seeming shortage. I want to tell on the agencies that stick misuse funds, and the ones that operate on favoritism. But more than anything? I want to humanise this plight. I would hope, as my main goal, not to sensationalise or exploit anyone, just for entertainments sake. I want to give us names and faces, some validation, and I want to stick it in the people with power’s faces.

This entry was posted in Miscellanious. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply