October 17, 2005

"I'm the madam, and those are the cathouses."

"Those" are five portable toilets lined up on a street in L.A. The L.A. Times reports:
Sights like this are common on L.A.'s skid row, a rock-bottom depository and national embarrassment. A place where disease, abuse, crime and hard-luck misery are on public display and have been for years, conveniently out of sight and mind for most Angelenos....

This is not the only place on skid row where business thrives in Porta-Potties. Prostitution, drug dealing and drug abuse are common in toilets across the eastern flank of downtown. The outhouses were put here to keep people from defecating on the street. Instead they provide a hiding place for crime, and urine still runs in the gutters.
"On public display" but "out of sight" -- paradoxical. Shameful.


Goesh said...

Where is Halliburton when you need them most??

XWL said...

The lack (or non-enforcement) of vagrancy laws and year round good weather (alright fantastic weather) conspire to make L.A. an inviting place for homeless from around the country. And earlier this month the LAPD claimed to have proof of squad cars from other near by jurisdictions dumping barely coherent homeless on skid row. Also, there are oft repeated tales of far off places handing out one-way Greyhound or Amtrak tickets to their hard-core homeless disembarking in downtown L.A..

This article is one of a series that the LATimes has been publishing recently and I suspect they are part of the editors' semi-annual Pulitzer grubbing (we may be losing circulation, but by golly look at all those prizes!).

And slightly related there is a club called 'The Smell' (www.thesmell.org) which earns its name by being downwind from skid row (how's that for indy cred).

PatCA said...

Well, that Lopez's view of an argument that's gone on for decades. Other articles quote addicts as saying they congregate at Skid Row because they can get food and all necessities from any number of aid agencies there and can then reserve their relief check for drugs.

In our skid row area, I needed an escort at times to my car because a 7-foot homeless guy would chase me yelling that I was his "bride." A judge I know stepped in human excrement in the courthouse parking lot and called the cops. They broke up the homeless colony that lived there. Legal Aid then sued to protect their "right" to be there--and won! Most took their financial settlements and blew it and still live in the parking lot. A couple got apartments and a new start.

The addicts and their enablers should be ashamed. We didn't cause them to live this way. What more can we do?

whit said...

We can all thank the Supreme Court for ruling that these people could not be held in institutions for their own good.

Jake said...

People don't live on the streets because they have no homes. They live on the streets because they have no mental health.

Homelessness has to be treated as a mental health problem not as a money problem. Unfortunately, too many left-wing judges do not allow society to help these people.