Homelessness can impact a person’s ability to navigate public spaces, find employment, meet basic subsistence, and have access to essential social services. Instead, the long-term consequences of homelessness have been focused of the criminalization of unhoused people. This fieldwork analyzes the daily obstacles that individuals face east of main street in downtown Los Angeles. Although wide variation exists from different locations many challenges stemming from mental illness, substance use disorder, and ostracization from mainstream society make these circumstances increasingly difficult to navigate. All these factors are influenced by the policy environments that continuously impact these targeted populations. I will present findings regarding informal social dynamics, subsistence adaptation, mental health within the unsheltered homeless, as well as alcohol and drug use. This research will provide a better understanding of the criminalization of homelessness by considering the unique needs of the individuals. It will also illuminate potential changes in policy amid efforts to move out the homeless into permanent housing.
"Los Angeles Homeless Encampments: East of Mainstreet,"
Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science: Vol. 11
, Article 7.