In the first of an eight-part series, Anna Scott of KCRW takes listeners through the story of Veterans Row, a homeless encampment in Los Angeles.
California housing affordability plagues everyone, including veterans.
On this week’s episode of “Gimme Shelter,” we’re airing a podcast from one of our media partners. It’s the first in a series from KCRW about a homeless encampment in Los Angeles inhabited by veterans.
As the largest city in California, Los Angeles often serves as a bellwether for homelessness in the state. Reporter Anna Scott has been covering homelessness in Los Angeles for seven years. This podcast series, “City of Tents: Veterans Row,” not only examines the events around the formation and history of this tent city, it provides a case study as to what might actually solve homelessness in California.
As Scott outlines in this first episode, a key part of why Veterans Row was so contentious was its location in Brentwood, one of L.A.’s wealthiest suburbs. Residents in the upscale apartment buildings across the street from the encampment took issue with the noise and perceived safety issue.
In addition to the perspective of those in the encampment and those living near it, we hear from others who stop by and have their own notions about how to help the homeless veterans — often serving their own agenda.
The battle over Veterans Row gets into issues plaguing the entire state.
“Who can be in a public space and who can’t?” asks General Dogon, a longtime homelessness advocate. “That’s what it’s about right now. Segregation. That’s what it’s about, right? People have nowhere to go.”
Gimme Shelter issue suggestions
Gov. Newsom says the situation with homeless encampments is unacceptable. The state housing agency is funding more services, while Caltrans is clearing some camps. But advocates are wary.
California’s most vexing issue is also its most shameful: the large and rising number of residents who lack a safe place to call home. Here’s what you need to know about the problem — and possible solutions.