I’m seeing something new and disturbing in Pico-Robertson. Until now, all the homeless I saw had mental problems and drug and alcohol abuse issues. Now even some of the polite and respectable are homeless.
Unable to pay the rent or to pay their mortgage, some Orthodox Jews I know in Pico-Robertson are homeless. They’re living out of their cars. They have access to somebody’s bathroom where they shower and relieve themselves and charge their cell phones and even cook their food.
For internet access, they hang out beside LA Public Library branches and get the free wifi. For entertainment, they might watch Netflix on their laptops. For $8 a month, they get all the movies and TV shows they can watch. On Shabbat, if they are socially connected, they get invited to homes.
They put their stuff in storage for something like $40 a month. They work where they can, typically part-time. They live and sleep out of their cars.
They don’t live on the streets and they don’t beg. They don’t bother anyone. They’re embarrassed by their position.