L.A.’s Housing Crisis Hits Hollywood: The Entertainment Workers Living in Their Cars

L.A.'s Housing Crisis Hits Hollywood: The Entertainment Workers Living in Their Cars

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by Katie Kilkenny
December 19, 2018

In response to exorbitant rents, many assistants, craftspeople and working actors are adopting a transient lifestyle, some by choice, some less so: “It’s hard for me to say this because I don’t think of myself as in need of help, but right now I need help.”

Even by Los Angeles standards, Noelle spends a lot of time worrying about parking. A writers room production assistant for a major streamer and script reader for a premium cable network, Noelle wakes up at 6 a.m. on weekdays to secure a spot close to her jobs in West L.A. After work, she moves her white, unassuming Ford Transit to another spot, carefully chosen to be located in a non-residentially zoned area without nightly parking restrictions and far away from any schools, daycare facilities or parks. She is constantly rotating these “day spots” and “night spots,” as she calls them, so as not to annoy neighbors or attract too much attention. These days, Noelle jokes, she’s more worried about a cop knocking on her window than getting “murdered or attacked.”

Noelle, 25, who is using only her first name because she signed a no-publicity clause for one of her jobs, is one of the 15,748 Angelenos currently living in his or her vehicle, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Their ranks are growing amid a worsening income inequality and homelessness crisis: As of January 2018, 9,117 vehicles were being used as homes, up 600 from 2017.

Hollywood homelessness
Noelle shown at the Santa Monica beach parking lt in her sprinter van that she lives in on 12/9/18. Noelle is a script reader.  Photograh by Damon Casarez

The entertainment industry, one of the city’s biggest and most capricious employers, counts a number of car dwellers like Noelle among its workforce. Though the precise figure is unknown, it’s a small but visible population. Of the 45 or so people hosted each night by Safe Parking L.A. — an organization that launched in 2016 and opened its first facility this year providing guarded, secret lots for vehicle dwellers to sleep in — an actor and a couple of part-time production or lighting professionals usually show up, founder Scott Sale says.

See the full article at: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/meet-entertainment-workers-living-cars-housing-crisis-1169781

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