Skidrow, Los Angeles— Homeless rights activists are outraged after a woman had her tiny home structure destroyed by L.A’s department of sanitation and her belongings thrown away with no discretion.
Stephanie Williams stood behind yellow tape on skid row watching LAPD guard city sanitation workers, as they threw everything she owned on the back of a city dump truck.
Williams is well known in the skid row community in downtown Los Angeles, an area that has remained blighted by extreme homelessness since the 1980’s.
She is an advocate for other houseless women, offering them whatever resources and shelter she can including blankets, bedding and food.
Many believe Williams was targeted and her tiny home intentionally destroyed, based on multiple calls to the city regarding her housing structure.
Recently, a video was posted online showing her living space, which had an elevated platform and a rain repellant covering. Inside, Williams had a king size bed, appliances, as well as an inflatable pool which was her portable shower area.
The video was shared on TikTok by another individual in the skid row community.
Mayor Karen Bass has declared a state of emergency on homelessness, vowing to get people off the streets with her Inside Safe Initiative.
Several homeless encampments have been cleared in South Central, including the one on Western near Manchester by the now closed Bank of America.
“In less than two months, the program has moved 247 unhoused people into temporary shelters at motels and last week, 40 of those people who were at motels were placed into permanent housing.”ABC 7 Los Angeles
This recent situation in skid row makes activists question Bass’ current process to clean up L.A’s streets, while pointing to the continued lack of respect for houseless folks and their personal property.
Individuals living on L.A’s streets are supposed to be offered shelter and it is a bit unclear if Williams declined assistance, although she was at the scene in protest against her tiny home being destroyed.
Dismantling Williams’ structure does not erase the fact that a large population of skid row residents are African-American’s, many who were directly impacted by the crack epidemic.
Hundreds if not thousands of mostly Black people are living on the fringes of society on the streets, or in single room occupancy units in the buildings located near the L.A Mission.
Entire city blocks in the skid row area are loitered with tents and people walking around with severe mental health issues and drug addictions. The sale of narcotics, assaults, robberies, and other illicit actives happen in broad daylight.
Yet, the city of Los Angeles are more worried about throwing away everything that a Black woman owns during Black History Month.