The Faces of L.A. Homelessness

Three More Reasons to Support Prop HHH

I was a statistic. A number in a faceless sea of invisible people.

After working in the television industry for many years, I ended up homeless on Hollywood Boulevard. While my last day on the streets was more than 21 years ago, my experience with homelessness continues through the stories I share of others living on the streets.

Like Shelly. Shelly is a well-spoken artist with an optimistic outlook. She is also one of roughly 28,464 people experiencing homelessness in the City of Los Angeles.

Shelly survives by recycling cans, but says it's just a band-aid until the economy gets better. In a strange twist, she points out that Amazon must be doing really well because she finds so many boxes with the Amazon logo. She uses those boxes to sleep on. Since the early 2000s, Shelly has traveled across the country in search of work. Watch her share her journey through homelessness:

Prop HHH can offer people like Shelly opportunities to become self-sufficient.

Also known as the Homelessness Reduction and Prevention, Housing and Facilities Bond, Prop HHH is a $1.2 billion bond measure that will provide the funding and infrastructure necessary to end and prevent chronic homelessness in the City of Los Angeles. To learn more about Prop HHH, check out this interview with Marqueece Harris-Dawson, co-author of the bond.

Luke is another individual experiencing homelessness. He is a Vietnam combat veteran who has lived homeless in L.A. for a little over 7 months now. After enduring major surgery, he was not able to work or pay rent. Luke has sought assistance and is waiting to be placed in housing. Watch as Luke describes his current situation:

Prop HHH will help finance a significant increase in L.A.'s Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), which would help Luke secure safe housing. PSH is a proven strategy to end chronic homelessness. If you're not aware of Housing First and how supportive housing saves lives, please watch this short video featuring Dr. Sam Tsemberis, PhD, the founder of Pathways to Housing, the video also explains how supportive housing can save taxpayers money in the long run.

Living on the streets in Hollywood, Arien is propositioned frequently. She is told to sell her body until she can get a job because that is a better option than sleeping on the ground. The reality is this is what women must endure while living on the streets. Despite her circumstances, Arien still wears a smile on her face. "I have God. I think the only reason I smile is because I still have faith that I can make it out of this," Arien said. "I know I don't want to die yet." Watch Arien tell her story:

Please VOTE YES on Prop HHH TOMORROW to help save people like Arien right here in our community.

Prop HHH will provide funding for 10,000 units, which will provide housing for ALL chronically homeless residents in the city. The cost? A roughly $9 increase in property taxes for every $100,000 of assessed value. The average Los Angeles homeowner will have an increase of approximately $30 per year in property tax.

Shelly, Luke and Arien are only three of the 28,000-plus people experiencing homelessness right now in L.A. By voting for Prop HHH, you will support an effort to build 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing, which in turn will save their lives.

When you go to vote, find Prop HHH on page 29, which is the last page of the ballot.

To learn more about the Los Angeles homeless crisis and Prop HHH, follow me on social media where I am sharing stories about our neighbors in need. If you still aren't convinced, this article from the LA Times sets the record straight on eight arguments opponents of Prop HHH commonly use: Debunking eight myths about homelessness and Proposition HHH