Urban Fold

The Kids Of L.A.'s Skid Row

Hundreds of children are growing up in an area Police Chief Bratton refers to as the biggest social disaster in America.

"Depending on whom you're talking to, there are 400 to 700 kids living on Skid Row. Kids are part of the fabric here. I see them out my window all the time: Moms making their way through clouds of second-hand crack vapors with 4- and 5-year-olds, sending them off for the day on a big yellow school bus. Teenage girls in teenage-girl gear stand on corners in the middle of a parade of tragedy. They wait for city buses to deliver them from this local facsimile of Calcutta to public schools somewhere in the greater Los Angeles area. At school, they will presumably lie about where they’ve been and what they’ve seen on this fine morning in the heart of what Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton calls the biggest social disaster in America."

Full Story: Coming of Age in the Mouth of Madness

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