The Polite Homeless

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.

About Luke Ford

Raised a Seventh-Day Adventist at Avondale College in Australia, Luke Ford moved to California in 1977. He graduated from Placer High School in 1984, reported the news at KAHI/KHYL radio for three years, attended Sierra College and UCLA, was largely bedridden by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for six years, and converted to Judaism in 1993. From 1997-2007, Luke made his living from blogging. Living by Beverly Hills (, he now teaches the Alexander Technique (moving the way the body likes to move). Lessons cost $100 each and last about 45 minutes. In 2011, Luke completed a three-year teaching course at the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles. His personal Alexander Technique website is Luke is the author of five books, including: » The Producers: Profiles in Frustration » Yesterday’s News Tomorrow: Inside American Jewish Journalism
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