The People Under the Bridge

The Homeless Encampment Under the I-10 Bridge Over Centinela Avenue in West L.A.

There is no monolithic group which falls under the term “homeless.” It includes a wide variety of people, some of whom are in transition to a better life, some of whom are out of their gourds, some of whom want to be able to take drugs and drink excessively without police interference, and some of whom are psychotic criminals.

In Los Angeles, they are begging for “spare change” by every freeway onramp and in front of virtually every convenience store. Many of them have sad stories to tell, some of which are partially true. They stretch out on bus seats and commuter trains and ride back and forth all day, occasionally hassling the other riders. The police are reluctant to deal with them because so many are vectors of communicable diseases. (I once worked with a secretary who was married to a U.S. Marshal who contracted tuberculosis from escorting a prisoner.)

Unlike the terminally Woke, my attitude toward the homeless is not: “Oh, the poor homeless!” In my mind, I separate the ones who are capable of being re-housed and following rules regarding behavior, booze, and drugs from those who actually prefer to live and die on the streets. It is my belief that most of the homeless fall into this latter category. I regard them as intractable bums who should be locked up.

Most bum encampments are surrounded by piles of trash of no earthly use to anyone. Martine and I have seen some bums emptying trash cans into the street or even setting fire to them. I am not inclined to be gentle with such rapscallions. Unless these sociopathic types are incarcerated, setting up a tent on the sidewalk will become an attractive alternative to anyone who is not interested in anything but destroying their minds and bodies.