Dave Bullock / eecue

photographer, director of engineering: crowdrise, photojournalist, hacker, nerd, geek, human

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What is homelessness?

Downtown Central City East Blogger asks the following questions:

What is homelessness? Why are people homeless? And how is it, that this city is the homeless capital of the world?

To which I responded:

Homelessness is the state of living in which you have no home to hang your hat in. People are homeless for a myriad of reasons ranging from extreme poverty to drug addiction to mental problems. Urban sprawl over a hundred miles of coastline has concentrated the homeless problem into a very small area where they are tolerated. Greater Los Angeles is a huge population center in a state where mental care funding was cut under then governor reagan. Drug addiction is treated only as a crime and not as a disease and thus the war on drugs has created self-imposed internment camps for the hardcore addicts.

Obviously not every homeless person requires the same kind of help. Some need mental health care / medication and counseling, others need drug counseling and rehabilitation, many just need help finding work and affordable housing.