Posted by: ginalazenby | November 1, 2009

best place to be homeless ….

Homeless in Venice Beach

Someone has taken the storm debris & made a semi luxurious shelter for themselves

…. is somewhere warm!

I’ve just been out for a morning bike ride along the beach in Venice, California. There are two main groups of people: the beautiful ones with their personal trainers, hula hoops, skateboards, running club instructors, bicycles pulling baskets with sleeping dogs, iPods attached to their arms, inline skates and lattes. There is another group carrying black plastic sacks, scruffy clothes (although it is true you can be wealthy and have extremely  trendy scruffy clothes) and outfits with many layers, but two things set them apart from the other group – their matted hair and their lack of movement. There is no need to expend excess energy by running up the beach, they probably don’t have enough.  They are the homeless who make this stunning beach their home. Wouldn’t you hang out here in November when everywhere else is freezing cold?  That’s the thing about the USA; it’s a system where there is no limit or ceiling to how successful you can be and at the opposite end of the spectrum there’s nothing to catch you if you fall.

These are the lucky ones I guess. They made it to the warmth of LA. Some of them had good jobs not long ago; means and lifestyles to be proud of. Some of them are victims of the sudden downward spiral of foreclosure. Maybe they were jogging in a beautiful setting a few months ago.

According to the Homelessness Research Institute of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, 672,000 on any given night experience homelessness in the USA, . This means that for every 10,000 people in the USA 22 are homeless.  42% of those live on the street or in places not meant for human habitation.  The rest are in shelters or transitional housing programmes.  Two thirds are individual adults whilst the rest are in families with 82% of the total coming from urban environments. 18% are chronically homeless and the data shows that there was a 28% reduction in these numbers between 2005 and 2007 because of community initiatives specifically targeting this group. The data was collated from a census taken in 450 communities in January 2007. It is going to take until summer 2010 to release figures from January 2009 data which might show the impact of the current recession and its implosive effect on housing but mid-term results show that there has been an abrupt halt to positive changes being made by current initiatives.  20% of the homeless are veterans.

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Responses

  1. Hello, I googled “venice beach homeless kids” and came across your post. I’m sure you would be really surprised at how much of our homeless population are just children… I volunteer with a wonderul organization called StandUp For Kids, the LA division assists 100-150 homeless youth on the Venice boardwalk weekly…thats the boardwalk alone… if you would like to learn more about the organization and how you could help these kids please email me.

  2. This is a wordpress blog. Just download WordPress software. is that the answer you are looking for?


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