Column: Young people come from around U.S. to live on Hollywood’s streets. How much more can we take?
Part Two: The homeless camp
One day on Carlos Avenue in Hollywood last month, just south of the 101 Freeway, I met a woman who goes by the name Raven. She said she was 29, had been homeless since she was 17, and headed west in June from her home in Ohio.
Like so many others, in so many other places, Raven wanted a change. And for restless spirits, the West still beckons.
But she suffered from an autoimmune disorder and came to believe, shortly after arriving, that Los Angeles had nothing but crappy options for her.
“I could couch-surf and get raped,” Raven said.
Or she could get a job and hope she didn’t get sick and lose it, which had happened before. But even with a decent paycheck, Raven said, she couldn’t afford a place of her own. Not with these crazy prices. So instead she was reading tarot cards on Hollywood Boulevard when she could find a taker, and living in a tent on Carlos Avenue, “with typhus and rats and human [feces] everywhere.”
I told Raven I had met with frustrated, exasperated residents of the area who wanted their sidewalks back, and they too were tired of tiptoeing around human waste.