These Photos were taken at Gladys Park today. The person with the nice shooting form with the left hand is Jeff Page, the Director of Marketing for the Skid Row Street Ball League.
I walked over to the park because Gordon Turner, a City Deputy Attorney, told Jeff that he could play basketball and they both talked trash and decided they were going to play today at 10,00AM.
I do not know what to say. I thought that City Atrorneys kept their appointments. We will have to look into this matter further. I was looking to take some great shots of the game and film it as well and put it on my blog. I am truly disappointed.
The other two photos were taken at Gladys park as well. People sleep at the park all of the time while people play basketball and chess.
It was my 2nd time at Gladys Park other than when the League was playing. The first time was about a year ago when I first arrived on Skid Row.
At that time, there were not 6 or 7 people sleeping in the park. The place was packed. Every square foot was covered with people sleeping on the ground. I do not know what happened to everyone--if they are in programs or in jail. I just know that there are not as many people out there. Definitely, the drug traffic has disappeared.
I have said that the drug traffic is not the major problem on Skid Row. The major problem are the conditions that keep people down here.
I was talking to a woman who moved out of my building today. I have known her since I arrived on Skid Row. We never had a conversation about Skid Row. She has always been at meetings that I had to attend and she was serious about staying clean.
Her name is Jennifer. Jennifer
commented about the Skid Row system. "Walter, I do not understand one thing. I am moving into permanent housing. I will pay 60 dollars a month. I can save money now. But when I moved in here, to our building I was just starting out. I had no money. I had nothing. I was paying over twice as much for half the space. It seems to me they should charge you less when you first start out and more after you have had time to get situated. "
Jennifer continued,"I do not believe these places are here to help you. They do not do anything for you and the only reason you are in the buildings is because you have money. If you miss rent you are on the streets. Then you go back to the shelters until you can get back on GR. Some will take your money. Others will save it for you. They beg you to stay until they can not receive any more money from you and then they bum rush you out."
"Walter, my place is so much nicer than the room I had and I pay 50% less. I can now save money to get out of this place soon. I watched alot of people go from these temporary housing situations to the streets or back to the shelters. Then they go back to the streets. And it is not because they are doing drugs."
Nothing can drive people to do drugs but I will say this. I can honestly see why people give up down here.
I walked on San Julian St. this morning. I walked to the southern end of the street towards 6th St. It was filthy and it stunk. Jeff Page has been diligently trying to get people to clean up San Julian.
It is dirtiest around Lamp and the Union Rescue Mission. Those are the worse streets on Skid Row. When it gets the dirtiest is when the crack smoking escalates. Today I walked down the street and when I got in front of the mission, I noticed 6 people smoking crack. They were not on the sides of the building. They were in front of the mission.
That has to be stopped. If the Mission told their clients that if they were seen smoking cocaine in front of the building , they would be kicked out, they would stop smoking. At least between the first and the tenth of each month. That is the worse time. They need to get a person to walk around their perimeter around the first of each month to monitor the situation.
Lots of people on Skid Row believe that the missions do not care what happens in the community as long as it is not done on their property. I am asking the missions to prove people wrong.