By Theo Henderson
Lately, the metaphor to describe Los Angeles is an infinite crisis. James Baldwin would observe, “Ignorance allied with power is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”
Sadly for many housed Angelenos, a thick blanket of indifference to the vulnerable is a fickle balm. The Unhoused blanket that covers them is thin and fragile, failing to cover them from the cold unfolding winds cutting their souls. Largely contributing to their deaths, hence 5 Unhoused die a day in LA is the slogan.
It begs the question, what is the true heart of Los Angeles? For we now know the insipid motto, “LA is for everyone” is a lie. How can it be with the policies such as 41.18, 56.11, bicycle ban and now RV dwelling ban on the horizon?
Evidently, LA is not for the housed insecure Reclaimers of Homes families such as Martha Escuerda and Benito Flores. city leaders, PATH, and HACLA speak cotton candy words to obfuscate the reality of people wanting dignified housing and agency in their choice.
Choices are crossroads, where one wrong turn can make all the difference. City Council has been making a series of bad choices.
It is clear willful ignorance and retaliation is also a ferocious enemy. However, they are easy to vanquish. Meeting in the light of understanding means shaking off the blanket of indifference and wiping the sleep from our eyes.
Vincent Van Gogh said, “Conscience is a man’s compass.” Where will Los Angeles’s conscience lead us?
Theo Henderson is a Los Angeles-based advocate for the unhoused community and is the host of the podcast “We The Unhoused.” He has over 8 years of lived experience being Unhoused.
(This article was originally published in the San Fernando Valley Sun on November 3, 2022)