A new report shows that homelessness in prestigious Hollywood, California is on the rise with more than 10,000 people under the age of 24 living on the streets.
Los Angeles, known as the homeless capital of the world, has an estimated 70,000 homeless people. Experts say the vast majority of LA’s homeless youth live on the streets of Hollywood.
Arlene Schneir of the Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership (HHYP) tells Press TV that Hollywood has been “a magnet for homeless youths for decades.”
A new report, Understanding the Needs and Experiences of Homeless Youth in Hollywood, is being used to help find the causes of homelessness and what can be done to fix it.
The report suggests several ways that Hollywood could immediately provide more places for these homeless youths to stay. It points out that the best ideas are the ones that cost the most money, but that it is unclear whether the state or federal government will be able to pay the bill.
“There’s a whole range of experiences. There are lots of young people who’ve had traumatic experiences in the past and who, at least in the moment, like the freedom of the street,” Schnier said.
Joshua Merriman, a 22 year old homeless youth who has lived on the streets of Hollywood for one year, says, “You hear the same story all the time. I came to Hollywood, wanted to make it, wanted to be a musician, you know, something involving the arts.”
He also tells Press TV that the economy makes it difficult to find work, but services do exist in Hollywood that can help, especially for food.