Homelessness

Along a big, commercial street in Los Angeles' North Hollywood area, near a row of empty storefronts, about half a dozen motor homes sat parked on a recent morning. Inside one of them, 67-year-old Edith Grays and her husband watched TV with the door open. Grays said they'd been there a few days, despite a two-hour parking limit.

"Thank God they're not bothering us right now," she said.

Lenora LaVictoire

Oklahoma City’s Day Shelter for people experiencing homelessness recently got an up-do. Rooted Barber + Shop opened a new in-house shop at the shelter on July 22nd.

Bryan Moore has been cutting people’s hair at the shelter for several years, but on July 22nd he gave his first cut in an actual barber’s chair.

OKLAHOMA CITY HOMELESS ALLIANCE

Each year the Oklahoma City Homeless Alliance conducts a point-in-time count of people experiencing homelessness. It’s a census of those in shelters, transitional housing, meal sites and living on the street.

This year volunteers counted 1,273 homeless adults and children in Oklahoma City, an eight percent increase from 2018.

The Oklahoma City Homeless Alliance says the reason for this year's increase could have been cold weather, which caused more people to seek shelter and be counted. The count was conducted on January 24, 2019.

Homelessness is up in Los Angeles County for the third time in four years. Numbers released Tuesday show nearly 59,000 people living on the streets or in vehicles — a 12% increase over 2018. That's despite two voter-approved tax hikes and more than $600 million spent last year by the city and county on social services and new supportive housing.

Rashema Melson was among the more than 1,750 undergraduates who received diplomas from Georgetown University last weekend.

Before she attended college on a full scholarship, Melson graduated at the top of her class as the valedictorian of Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C.

She was also living with her mother and brothers at D.C. General, a family homeless shelter that shut down last year.

Relly Brown's ground-floor apartment near Los Angeles' Koreatown neighborhood still resembles the hotel room it once was: four walls, no kitchen and a mattress that takes up half the floor. A shade is drawn over the only window, keeping it dim and reasonably cool on a warm spring afternoon.

"I'm living in a box," said Brown, 26, who was placed here in December through a program called rapid rehousing, which provides short-term rental vouchers to use on the private market. Typically, the subsidies cover security deposits and the first three to six months of rent.

More young people are leaning into the rental or sharing economy — owning less of everything and renting and sharing a whole lot more. Housing, cars, music, workspaces. In some places, such as Los Angeles, this rental life has gone to an extreme.

Steven T. Johnson, 27, works in social media advertising and lives in Hollywood. He spends most of his days using things he does not own.

He takes a ride-share service to get to the gym; he does not own a car. At the gym, he rents a locker. He uses the gym's laundry service because he does not own a washing machine.

This story is part of a series looking at places around the U.S. that are successfully reducing homelessness. Check out all of our stories.


Across the U.S., more than a half million people have been identified as homeless.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about nearly $600M extra for the state to allocate in the coming fiscal year, incoming Governor Kevin Stitt nominate Blayne Arthur to be the state's first female Secretary of the Agriculture and a federal judge declares an OKC ordinance banning panhandling in certain medians constitutional.

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The Curbside Chronicle is teaming up with local artists to celebrate the holidays for a good cause.

Until December 23rd, vendors are selling wrapping paper with custom designs from local artists including Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne as part of the Homeless Alliance program.

Curbside Chronicle Director Ranya Forgotson says this helps vendors as they work toward the goal of ending homelessness for themselves.

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