Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez roams greater L.A. with Times photographer Francine Orr and videographer Albert Lee and describes a scene of despair among the homeless.

They're part of the Los Angeles streetscape, as familiar as the swaying palm trees and idling traffic, living under freeways, alongside riverbeds and on canyon hillsides. The mentally ill, the drug addicts, the economically disadvantaged, many with their life belongings in a backpack or shopping cart. In this ongoing series, Without a Home, The Times is examining the crisis of homelessness in our region.

L.A. considers cutting through red tape to get homeless people housed faster

Two proposals would eliminate some hurdles for permanent supportive housing projects and make it easier to temporarily convert motels into homeless housing. But some critics say the supportive housing measure goes too far, depriving residents of a chance to voice concerns about projects.

A plan to house L.A.'s homeless residents could transform parking lots across the city

A plan to make city property available for homeless housing projects is now focused almost entirely on about 120 public parking lots, most acquired by the city in the 1950s and 1960s to spur suburban commercial development. The conversions will require both architectural and political ingenuity.

Huge increase in arrests of homeless in L.A. — but mostly for minor offenses

Many arrests are for unpaid tickets, a Times analysis finds. Police say arrests are a necessary tool, while homeless advocates see a revolving door of debt and jail stays.

L.A.'s homelessness surged 75% in six years. Here's why the crisis has been decades in the making

A succession of mayors have tried different fixes since homelessness emerged as a crisis in the 1980s, but if the problem continues to climb at current rates, it will swamp even the best efforts.

L.A. homeless crisis grows despite political promises, many speeches and millions of dollars. How do we fix this?

Voters have approved billions of dollars to build housing and provide services. But so far, the impact on the streets has been negligible.