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PhiLAnthropist: Walking on Skid Row

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"The measure of any society is how they treat their weakest element. The widows, the orphans, the strangers on the land. How we do anything is how we do everything. We're not doing so well on Skid Row." ~ Sam Slovick

For many people living in Los Angeles, Skid Row truly embodies the phrase "out of sight, out of mind". The homelessness, drug abuse, prostitution, violence and mental illness that continue to thrive on Skid Row has successfully been tucked away within this 50-block concentration of shelters, missions and other social services. As a result, it has remained out of the eyes, ears and minds of the majority of Los Angeles residents. Estela Lopez, Executive Director of the Central City East Association, describes it as a real-life Dante's Inferno. And this is after the area has seen improvements in the past few years; the number of people on the street has dropped from 2,000 to 600 and most of the tents are gone. Most recently, however, blogdowntown reports that the numbers are again on the rise.