We’re Screening a Documentary about Skid Row

written by naehblog
July 9, 2014

Chances are when you hear the words “Skid Row,” you immediately associate them with poverty and homelessness. And for good reason: over the last few decades, the 50 blocks in downtown Los Angeles that make up Skid Row have become infamous for their huge concentration of impoverished and transient populations.

In a very real sense, Skid Row is a home for chronically homeless individuals, many of whom live lives under desperate circumstances, marked by drug addiction, mental illness, and poverty. If you’re attending our 2014 National Conference on Ending Homelessness this month, you will have a chance to hear their stories during our screening of the documentary, “Lost Angels: Skid Row Is My Home.”

The film will screen at 4:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 30, in the Mt. Vernon room. DVDs of the film will be available for purchase for $10 during the conference.

Originally released in 2012, the film follows the lives of eight very different people who have all at some point ended up on Skid Row. Intertwining personal narratives with facts and statistics, “Lost Angels” also tells the larger story of Skid Row, recounting the history of the area and its transformation into the community it is today.

Of course, it’s the personal stories of the eight people documented in the film that have the most powerful impact. Their stories reflect a reality of homelessness of which, if you work in the homeless assistance field, you’re already well aware: homeless people come from all walks of life (because homelessness can happen to anybody).

Indeed, one of the eight individuals interviewed for the film, Danny Harris, won a silver medal in hurdling in the 1984 Olympics before failed drug tests ended his athletic career, and he found himself living on the streets. Check out this excellent LA Times story to learn more about the other people whose lives are explored in the film. The trailer for the film is embedded below.