When your tourist ventures include Hollywood Boulevard, you’ll enjoy all the attractions, including the Walk of Fame, vintage movie theaters, souvenir shops, tours of star homes, costumed characters and all the rest. You’ll also encounter other, less entertaining sights.
The famed boulevard is also a sad location for many homeless wanderers. When I worked for a newspaper there in the late 1950s, my one-bedroom apartment rent was $80 a month. In same building it now costs $1,800. With housing and everything else these days grossly expensive and getting worse, the homeless situation throughout the Los Angeles area continues to grow.
Hollywood is still enjoyable to visit, and if a costumed character poses with you for a photo, offer a couple of dollars. However, if you don’t want to give money directly to homeless people there because they’re possibly drug and alcohol addicts, you can still help them. Donate to authorized charities, such as Red Cross, Salvation Army and others specializing in offering shelter, rehab and other professional aid to them.
Make this happy season more meaningful by contributing to an organization that provides aid for the unfortunate. Consider poor people you encounter in your travels at home and around the world.
Donate to traditional national and international groups, such as the Salvation Army and Red Cross, as well as local church and others. They’ll appreciate your help for those in need.
Scheduled for Saturday, November 18 in the city’s downtown Grand Park, the event is held to raise money and aid programs for those unfortunates who roam the streets of Los Angeles.
The city has one of the largest homeless populations in America, totaling a staggering 57,000! And with raging inflation and rising unemployment, it’s increasing every year. For event locations, times and other info, go to UnitedWayLA.org/homewalk
Just a short distance from the posh beaches of Malibu, glittering streets of Hollywood and rich mansions of Beverly Hills, more than 5,000 homeless live on the sidewalks of Los Angeles.
I see the wanderers on daily walks along busy Santa Monica Avenue, where they trod east to downtown LA or west to Pacific Ocean beaches. At night they rest on the sidewalks, on park benches, and in makeshift tents.
Many of the homeless are veterans, some from the most recent wars in the Middle East, as well as elderly vets of earlier wars. Wouldn’t it be a happy miracle if our government decided to spend less money preparing for the next war, and use it to to decare war on the poverty in its streets.
When touring the Sunset Strip and other famous Hollywood locations, in addition to pleasant city landmarks, you’ll encounter these sad sights. If you want to help, consider donating money and/or volunteer time to the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other organizations that provide aid for the homeless.
Along with shoppers, tourists, families, pets and strollers, I encounter others on my daily wanderings through West Hollwyood. Along the sidewalks, just a few city blocks from the glamorous Sunset Strip and posh Beverly Hills, there are the wanderers. Carrying everything they own, they stop to rest and hope kindhearted passers-by will offer cash.
Of course, the money may be used to buy booze and drugs. But maybe some will provide meals or a safe place to spend the night.
Daily wanderings with camera include searching for meaningful people scenes along Santa Monica Boulevard (U.S. Route 66) in West Hollywood. I always seek to capture a moment that has never happened before, nor will ever happen again. I never pose my subjects. Here and in most cases, they’re totally unaware that my camera is pointed at them.
The scene reminds me of artist James McNeill Whistler’s famous portrait of his mother, called Arrangement In Grey and Black No. 1. I can’t help wondering if the tragic figure in my photo is someone’s abandoned mother.