It's not very flattering, but Gary Antigua, a social worker in L.A., tells us through the Third World America map that there is help and hope for those in need:
I work for an organization called People Assisting The Homeless (PATH), a non-profit that assists the homeless population in the city of L.A. We provide rental assistance as well as rapid re-housing assistance derived from the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP) funds allocated from the 2009 stimulus bill.
PATH targets people who are about to be homeless or who just recently became homeless. We help individuals who are still bringing in some income. We place them in an apartment, pay their security deposits, first month's rent, utilities, and a case manager follows them for half a year.
We also provide emergency shelter and have a one-of-a-kind "mall" that provides services such as health care, mental health, substance abuse, employment search and a salon.
Every day we meet people that if not for our services, would end up on the street. LA has a lot of homeless people-- a huge chunk of people move out here looking for Hollywood and just get stuck.
I find my job extremely rewarding. You hear so many depressing stories every day it gets depressing in itself, but then to see an individual's face light up when we call them to tell them they've been approved-- man, there's no feeling like it in the world. It's the juice that keeps me going."