Los Angeles just realized it has a ginormous Skid Row problem and is galloping to the rescue with alleged plans to help the homeless. Bizarrely, this happened right after a devastating L.A. Weekly article detailed just how hideous things there are now. I guess the article shamed the city into doing something.
Skid Row in Los Angeles is so dangerous and disease-ridden that Union Rescue Mission workers are afraid to eat lunch at nearby restaurants and its CEO is now confined to a wheelchair due to bacterial infections he got from walking around the area. It’s at least as bad as diseased third world cities.
I lived in L.A. for years so pardon my skepticism, but I’m guessing the plan involves chasing the homeless out of the Skid Row, sterilizing and fumigating the area, then gentrifying it. Sure, housing for homeless might help some of them. However many homeless prefer living on the street and the plans don’t involve looking at roots causes, like what caused them to be homeless and, often, addicted to something. It’ll be out of sight, out of mind. The homeless will go elsewhere.
Andy Bales, the CEO now in a wheelchair, says “conditions on Skid Row are worse than they have ever been in the 11 years I’ve been here and I would venture to say that they are the worst and the most violent and the most lawless they have ever been.” He had a blister that became infected with E. coli, staph,, and strep while walking around, even though wearing a special boot. It quickly became hideously infected.
The shockingly unsanitary conditions found on Skid Row are rarely seen outside the Third World. In 2013, public health officials discovered a strain of tuberculosis believed unique to the area. And while all this makes just walking down the street dangerous, for diabetics and other people with compromised immune systems, it can be deadly.