Los Angeles has the highest number of homeless people in the country, according to a 2016 report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Despite these sobering facts, the city still struggles with providing low-income housing to its poor and working-class residents. Though an emergency homeless shelter was constructed in the Plaza just a few months ago, the facility can only accommodate 45 adults. Such efforts, as well meaning as they might be, neglect the larger, structural issues of housing insecurities – such as high rent, low wages, discriminatory housing practices, and lack of access to health care. Furthermore, projects described as promoting urban revitalization often exacerbate the housing crisis, as the rent for the “affordable” housing options in the upcoming La Plaza Cultura Village start at almost $2,000 per month.
[LEFT] Brunswig Building, 2009. Image Courtesy of Library of Congress.
[RIGHT]Homeless encampment outside of the historic Brunswig Building, 2017 Brunswig Image Courtesy of Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
Narrow, Stephanie. 2018. Brunswig Building/Homeless Encampment. University of California, Irvine. Photograph.