June Cigar tells us the story of her own brush with homelessness, then LaRae and Molly interview Monique King-Viehland about how racism in America has fueled homelessness and how LA might start to address the disproportionate impact of homelessness on black Americans. We close with a poem by Michael Nelder.
Monika Wood tells us how she was pushed from her home by rising rents, found refuge in a safe parking program while living in her car, and then got herself back on her feet and into her own place with the help of a rapid rehousing program.
Then Molly interviews Christina Livingston about how the financialization of housing has driven rising rents and the connection between the housing crisis and homelessness crisis.
We close with an impromptu rendition of "A Change is Going to Come" sung by James B., DJ of our January 9th Housing Justice Summit, who formerly lived on the streets of Downtown LA, mere blocks from where the event was held.
Lydia Garcia tells us how her life began to fall apart after the death of her husband. After turning to drugs and losing her home, she found solace at the library, studying the religions and customs of her native culture while living outdoors in a park. A run in with a concerned case worker would eventually set her on the road back to having a place to call home.
Then Molly and LaRae interview Ananya Roy, Professor and Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Inequality and Democracy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, about poor peoples' movements, the financialization of housing, policy problems exacerbating California's housing crisis, the invention of foreclosure as a tool to confiscate native lands, and what responses in other countries to similar crises can teach us--including that of her own native Kolkata, India.
We close with a poem called "City Indians" by local Tongva artist and activist Kelly Caballero.
The video originally accompanying the poem can be found here: https://thehundreds.com/blogs/content/tongva-land-forever-the-true-first-citizens-of-los-angeles
We begin our episode with the journey of Anthony Haynes, from a normal childhood in Carson, to running away from home. Eventually he finds himself living on Skid Row, later finding housing and beginning a career as a peer advocate at Skid Row Housing Trust, helping orient the newly housed.
Next, Molly and Larae interview Chris Ko, Managing Director, Homelessness & Strategic Initiatives at United Way of Greater Los Angeles, to learn what is currently being done to ameliorate LA's housing crisis.
Finally, we close with Larae's poem, "Mourning of Tears."
Jayden Alexander opens our episode with his personal story about being forced to leave home as a teenager due to his gender identity. After living in a group home, he moves from Florida to San Fransisco for a job offer that doesn't pan out and finds himself alone, an entire continent apart from everyone he knows. After days of wandering along the freeway, he eventually lands in Los Angeles, finds permanent supportive housing, and begins work as an advocate for others in the community.
Molly then interviews Colleen Echohawk, executive director of the Chief Seattle Club, a non-profit dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless and low-income urban Native people in Seattle. They discuss the unique circumstances and inter-generational trauma facing the native community, as well as the specific measures needed to address urban indigenous homelessness.
We close the episode with Molly's son Jack reading the poem "Rabbit Is Up To Tricks" by Joy Harjo, the first Native American US Poet Laureate.
Molly and Larae gather via Zoom to discuss the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their lives and their work with the homeless community.
Then, Gloria Johnson joins us to share her lived experience as well as describe what it's like to advocate for the unhoused at such a unique and important time.
Molly and Larae then interview Va Lecia Adams Kellum, President & CEO of St. Joseph Center and Heidi Marston, Interim Executive Director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, about how the work their organizations do has been affected by the pandemic.
We close our episode with a prayer from Gloria Johnson.
On this episode, Larae interviews her son Melvin about the day he was shot outside of their home in a Los Angeles housing project, his recovery, the trauma it inflicted, and how he uses music as catharsis in order to heal.
Molly and Larae discuss how violence and a lack of overall safety often affects the sense of community and well being of residents in the areas where clients and case managers are able to find affordable housing.
You can find Melvin's music and social media links at: https://linktr.ee/thee.2hungry
We begin today's episode with a personal story from Reginald Murray about his experience trying to retain permanent housing after an extended prison stay, along with his work as an advocate helping to secure housing for the recently released.
Then we are joined by Becky Dennison, the Executive Director of the Venice Community Housing Corporation, to discuss othering and NIMBYism in Venice and Los Angeles at large, the results of "Broken Windows" policing on Skid Row, and the importance of not severing clients from their local communities in the process of providing them with services.
We close the show with a poem called "Wash Your Hands" by Dori Midnight.
On today's episode we flip the script, beginning with a personal story from Pamela Marshall. She tells us how a health crisis lead to finding herself living on Skid Row. A moment of human connection with a worker at the Downtown Women's Center gave her the confidence and information she needed to begin on her road to recovery. Having been on the receiving end of positive outreach, in turn, she helps a woman she meets at the shelter secure services and housing, and eventually becomes a Peer Advocate at Skid Row Housing Trust.
Then, Keris Jän Myrick, Chief of Peer and Allied Health Professions at LA County's Department of Mental Health, joins us to discuss mental health, and challenge our assumptions about the nexus of work required to ameliorate our nation's homelessness crisis.
We close with a live poetry reading by Suzette Shaw at the Housing Justice LA Summit earlier this year.