What it's like transitioning from homelessness to housing

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A homeless encampment on South Barrington Ave. in Santa Monica, August 15, 2019. Photo by Amy Ta.

Nearly 59,000 people live on the streets of L.A. County, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. The county and the city are spending more than $1 billion trying to do something about it.

One landmark pilot program in South L.A. set out to move an entire encampment off the streets and into two new apartment buildings, affecting about 70 men and women.   

In a four-part series, LA Times reporter Thomas Curwen spends a year following some of those residents as they transitioned from the streets into housing. 

  • Part 1: After nine years on L.A.’s streets, Big Mama needed a home. But it wasn’t that easy.
  • Part 2: Broadway Place’s homeless residents were promised homes. Had the city forgotten them?
  • Part 3: An entire L.A. encampment moved into apartments. Their past still found them.
  • Part 4: When L.A. moved them off the streets, some knew it was their last chance. Others didn’t see it that way.

Thomas Curwen describes what he learned about homelessness in reporting the series.