Hello from LA! And hello to my new blog set up! I’m still working on it, but BBB needed a facelift!
But that’s right, when you read this, I will be on my way back to New York from the City of Angels. Steven and I went with his cousins to support his other cousin’s DJ event. It was so fun.
We listened to some absolutely amazing music, ate some outrageously delicious food, and explored DTLA and Little Tokyo.
I haven’t been back to LA since I was 17 years old, when I studied at a USC summer acting program, where I never really left the campus.
And let me just say, I was absolutely shocked by the current state of things in downtown LA.
There is a serious issue here: homelessness.
Driving down the streets was truly a heartbreaking experience. Row after row after row of tents, with homeless encampments literally taking over sidewalks.
Walking around, we passed more people passed out, or literally shooting up some sort of intravenous drug, or acting very strangely on a trip. It was just the saddest thing I’ve ever seen.
The sidewalks reeked — absolutely reeked — of urine and human feces. Since LA never gets any rain, and unlike NYC, (where people spray the sidewalks every morning), spraying is not permitted because of the drought and water preservation. So it literally stinks to high heavens.
I mean, it made NEW YORK seem clean.
And every place we went…even a hole-in-the-wall coffee joint…had hired security. Bars gated all the windows. Crime in LA is absolutely rampant.
Honestly, I just had no idea things were this bad here. And it was heartbreaking to say the least.
Yesterday at Mass, Jesus once again showed up, in exactly the right place at the right time.
In the Gospel yesterday from Luke 14, Jesus proclaims:
“When you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
It was as though Jesus knew that I would be face to face with such devastating poverty this weekend, and had a message so timely and fitting.
Two thought went through my mind all weekend: First, that inside every single one of those tents is a child of God – a person who was created by a Father who loves them unconditionally. And secondly, where are the people that love them here on Earth? Where is their family? Their loved ones? What happened in their life that they had absolutely no one to turn to when they fell on tough times and had to resort to living on the street?
I know mental health and addiction are huge culprits that can sever relationships, but to see that played out to such extremes — where is the help?
What do we do? Truly, what would Christ do to help the homeless? Because as a young woman, it’s not safe to be poking around a homeless encampment trying to evangelize, or drop gift cards to McDonalds, or other things.
Honestly. How do we help?
This problem just stared me in the face all weekend. And it left me, quite frankly, rather discouraged and disheartened.
Shelters are helpful, but there are issues there too. Most are overcrowded, or dirty and ridden with bedbugs. People get things stolen. And they’re dangerous.
I know there are “Safe Injection Sites” where people can “safely” use drugs and have access to clean needles, but frankly, I feel like those are more enabling than anything. Advocates argue that they decrease overdose deaths, and the resource costs of ambulances and hospital visits, but I see the real goal as getting people to stop using drugs in the first place.
I love the idea of offering resources for job trainings and drop-in centers to help a person get back on their feet, but the issue at play here is that a person has to want to get help. And much like recovery, no one can want it for you.
Ugh. My heart feels heavy thinking about all of this.
What do you think? How do you think we solve this tragic issue that is riddling, not just LA, but all major cities?
Thank you for your support on Patreon!! You make this blog possible 🙂
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
MAGIC TOOTHPASTE? Yes! I am in love with this superior whitening toothpaste. It keeps my smile sparkling, without sensitivity or bleach! I made a website where you can directly order this miracle product! So if you want to give it a try, you can go ahead and grab a tube for yourself. I promise, your smile will thank you!Get a tube!
Be sure to check out my affiliate, Audible. Listening to audiobooks while I cook is literally my new favorite thing. And just for you, they’re offering a Free 30-Day Trial Membership. And with this free membership, you’re going to get 2 free audiobooks! Literally. Free. It is the best deal ever. And if for some reason, you decide it’s not for you, you can cancel within those 30 days and it’s zero money out of your pocket, plus, you get to keep the 2 audiobooks. Soooo…it’s pretty much a no brainer. Plus, it’s a free and easy way to support this blog! So thank you!!
@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram
And really quickly, I’ve had several questions concerning my Amazon link (amazon.com/shop/beautybeyondbones) — You do not need to buy one of my specific highlighted products on my page, in order for it to “credit” my account. Any purchases that you search or make from anywhere on Amazon, after first visiting my Amazon page, will credit this blog and help support this blog ministry. I am truly so grateful and appreciative to those of you wanting to do so! So thank you! Again, it is an absolutely free, and easy way for you to help keep this blog going!