Anyone living in Los Angeles has been impacted by the homeless crisis.  There is not one neighborhood you can drive through without seeing the tents and shopping carts of the unfortunate with no place to live. The homeless crisis has grown to such a magnitude that it has made Los Angeles a nationwide, if not worldwide, scandal.

Yet it isn’t a problem without hope.  While homelessness in Los Angeles has soared 40% in the last decade to over 60,000 people living on our streets, we discovered the homeless population in Pasadena decreased by 50% during the same period of time.

We hooked up with Calvin Chan at Union Station Homeless Services in Pasadena to find out why they are so successful. In this enlightening interview, Calvin exposes the myths that surround homelessness… and lays bare the root cause of soaring homelessness in Southern California. With that he tells us what has to happen to eradicate homelessness in Los Angeles and what you can do to help make it happen.

Unlike efforts to deal with homelessness in other communities throughout Los Angeles County, Union Station works to eradicate homelessness… not “manage” it or sweep it away to somewhere else.  We encourage you to watch, get educated and get involved.

Regardless of your socio-economic status or the neighborhood you live in, you are impacted by the homeless crisis in Los Angeles.  Each time one of our former neighbors is forced to take up residence on the streets, the quality of life drops just that much more for everyone in Los Angeles.  And as you will see in the photos below – the man sweeping the street around his tent, the young man standing tall proud and determined by his tent, or the handicapped man in a wheelchair with his teddy bear – the homeless may not be the low-lifes we like to dismiss them as.

Get involved.  Get educated.  Demand change at the policy level that will bring about the changes necessary eradicate the problem.

For more information on how you can help, visit the Union Station Homeless Services website at http://unionstationhs.org or email Calvin Chan at cchan@unionstationhs.org.

Video produced by Mark Stout Photography for Totally-LA.com

LA Homeless
A homeless man sweeps the street around his tent on the sidewalks of Skid Row in Los Angeles

More photos after the break…

Click an image to see full size and start slideshow.