Co-published by OC Weekly The places where many chronically homeless people spend their final moments are somehow shocking in their banality – public spaces we pass on the way to somewhere else: a parking lot, a dirt path, an embankment behind a high school.
Although it took nearly two weeks to tally the votes from the March 7 election, Los Angeles County ballot Measure H has officially achieved the 69 percent vote supermajority needed to pass a half-cent sales tax hike.
“The Lord has always taken care of me,” says Catherine Green, as she emerges from a moment of reflection and peers intently around her living room. On a plaque by the kitchen are words from Isaiah: “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” She says the quote has always given her strength in difficult times.
By the end of May, the 90-year-old Green will have tendered a reluctant, pain-filled goodbye to the Golden State and the familiar comforts of the Los Angeles apartment she has made into a home over the last 30 years. She is one of dozens of Boulevard Villa residents—many of whom are elderly, disabled or on Section 8 housing vouchers— who are being unceremoniously evicted from their 43-unit Mid-City apartment complex by its new owners, Lafayette Square Apt. LLC. The eviction of every resident of 1625 Crenshaw Boulevard,
For Catherine Green, home for the last three decades has been a comfortable apartment in the sprawling 43-unit Boulevard Villa near Crenshaw and Venice boulevards in Mid-City Los Angeles. Her alert gaze, energetic demeanor and perfect posture give no hint of a life that’s spanned 90 years. “I was one of the first people to move in here,” she says with a strained smile. “I’ve seen ’em come, and I’ve seen ’em go. This is my community, my village.”
Tanya Rhodes, a retired nurse, and her disabled daughter also call this place home, and have done so for the last 22 years. Louis Gates, a sturdy man with a steely glare, is a Vietnam vet who relocated here five years ago. Between nervous puffs on a cigarette, he expresses how happy he was when he moved in, and says sadly, “I thought this was going to be the last place I would move into.” If the winds of fortune do not change soon,
Elizabeth Fladung’s photos of San Francisco in the midst of the tech boom offer a study in contrasts.
This slideshow is an encore posting from our State of Inequality series.Elizabeth Fladung is a Brooklyn-based, CalArts-trained photojournalist. Her work has appeared in The Nation, La Repubblica, The Fader and Wax Poetics Magazine.
It’s a crisp, early morning at the Chatsworth Foursquare Church. A small number of people in worn jackets and winter gear is sitting in the parking lot. Several had awoken at 4 a.m. to leave their sleeping spot at the nearby train yards before security guards showed up for their shift.
This is an encore posting from our State of Inequality series.
A few minutes after nine, the pickup truck they’ve been waiting for arrives, towing a mobile shower unit that sports its provider’s name: The San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission. A middle-aged man with a full, silver mustache steps out of the truck and hands out hygiene items to the folks looking for a few minutes of hot shower.
“Eli is usually the guy who runs this unit, but I’m filling in for him today,” says Jim Real.
In 15 days, food stamp benefits will be cut by some 20 percent, thanks to Republicans in Congress who tossed this mean-spirited gem into one of GOP’s hostage bills that President Obama was forced to sign because a veto would result in the government shutting down, or the US reneging on its bills, or something equally destructive.
On October 1, millions will see their benefits stripped away or cut greatly.
Most unemployed people will get cut off. Many working poor, who rely on food stamps to make ends meet, will go hungry. So, too, will countless military families – a separate disgrace in and of itself. Far too many homeless families and individuals will find their chair at the dinner table yanked away just as they are sitting down to eat, a sight gag that hasn’t been funny since it was pulled on Fatty Arbuckle in some of his movies back in the Twenties.