I’m not sure if people still believe this, but there used to be a bit of “common wisdom” or racial stereotyping that said there aren’t Asian or Latino homeless.
Well, not none, but not many.
That really begs the question: how do you know that someone isn’t housed?
I ask, because I started seeing more Asian American people who were living on the streets around a decade ago. A lot of the folks would hang out in Little Tokyo, and basically make themselves invisible. Some would be begging for money. I’d sometimes give. That’s all.
As far as Latino homelessness – I didn’t know about the stereotype, but did hear it sometimes from Hispanics. The thing was, for a long time, I lived near the Rio Hondo and Alhambra washes, which had become a residence for some folks. Some appeared to be immigrants, and some did beg. Some were winos. I sometimes gave money. This was a long time ago, like the 1990s. It’s just how it was.
I didn’t know their stories, but, come one. There were so many trailer parks in the area, and they’d be demolished a little at a time. It just happened slowly over the decades. These were the west SGV’s low cost housing. Some locals didn’t like the trailer parks. For the most part, I barely noticed that they existed, and didn’t think about them.
Most of them were tucked away in commercial streets, so you just didn’t see them. Honestly, until I started doing a little political canvassing, I didn’t even know there were residences and streets in some areas. The frontage would be really narrow, like 100 feet wide, but the lot would go way back, and have a bunch of apartments, or, sometimes, it would be a mobile home park.
For the most part, they weren’t like the stereotype of “trailer parks” that you see on TV. Some were pretty run down, but most were just like temporary buildings you see at most schools.
Anyway, I’m digressing a lot.
There’s something we have to face, and these two stories from the LA Times are sobering: