Life on the Streets


After spending a week on skid row and listening to the city authorities promise to make a difference, the Times columnist wonders when the homeless will see results.

One man injects himself while another sleeps in a wheelchair near 7th Street and San Julian Place.
(Francine Orr / LAT)

PART ONE
STEVE LOPEZ / POINTS WEST

Demons Are Winning on Skid Row

Demons Are Winning on Skid Row

The call comes in at 11:18 in the morning. Possible overdose on skid row, just half a block from one of the busiest firehouses in the United States.  More...

PART TWO
STEVE LOPEZ / POINTS WEST

A Corner Where L.A. Hits Rock Bottom

A Corner Where L.A. Hits Rock Bottom

A few hours after a homeless guy named Virgil died of an overdose in the portable toilet, the blue plastic outhouse at 6th and San Julian streets was back in business. Not as a toilet, but as a house of prostitution.  More...

PART THREE
STEVE LOPEZ / POINTS WEST

Offering Compassion, Not a Cure

Offering Compassion, Not a Cure

There is no such thing as skid row disease. But if there were, Lonnie Whitaker, 49, would have it bad. He hobbles into the office of Dr. Dennis Bleakley, lowers himself onto a chair and goes through the long list of what ails him.  More...

PART FOUR
STEVE LOPEZ / POINTS WEST

Street Conversations With the Broken-Down Brigade

Street Conversations With the Broken-Down Brigade

He's in a wheelchair, ducking behind a trash can. I step forward to see if he's OK and inadvertently scare him.  More...

STEVE LOPEZ / POINTS WEST

From Skid Row to Disney Hall

From Skid Row to Disney Hall

Nathaniel was in a panic over what to wear.  More...

STEVE LOPEZ / POINTS WEST

Stakes Are So High, It's Hard to Wait

I could tell something was bothering Casey Horan and Shannon Murray, and it wasn't hard to guess what. They're in the business of patience, and I've got very little of it.  More...

Help for Skid Row

In response to queries from readers about how help improve things on skid row, here is a partial list of established agencies:  More...

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