The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Homeless Dying on the Streets of Los Angeles

May 9, 2022

In one full year, from April 2020 through March 2021, almost 2,000 homeless people died in Los Angeles County, according to a recent report by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. This is certainly an undercount, according to various organizations dealing with homelessness.

Most of the unsheltered homeless died in plain view of the world around them. Their lifeless bodies were scattered on public benches, alleys, pavements, and bike paths, crumpled under freeway overpasses, and stranded on the stunning sun-drenched beaches of Los Angeles. In some cases, bodies were left undiscovered and unnoticed for hours or days. Others went unclaimed at the morgue despite efforts to reach family members, according to The New York Times.

The majority of the homeless became homeless because of Los Angeles’s very high housing costs and meager wages, pushing those on low incomes onto the streets. Many of the homeless are mentally and/or physically maimed veterans of the wars the U.S. government waged abroad year after year to protect and increase the wealth of a few filthy rich people. Others are mentally ill and pushed to the streets because the state and city budgets for mental treatment for low-income workers have been cut continuously. And half of the women who are homeless were pushed onto the streets because of domestic violence and lack of sufficient financial and organizational support.

Los Angeles is a rich, ultramodern city … for the wealthy few. It not only is the home of the highest numbers of the homeless in the U.S. but also houses the richest people in the world. Yet, these appalling deaths of homeless, alone, on the streets, and the fact that there is homelessness on practically every corner, make this city resemble those in third world cities or war-torn regions.

"It’s like a wartime death toll in places where there is no war," said Maria Raven, an emergency room doctor in San Francisco. Actually, these homeless deaths and homelessness are a product of the class war waged by the wealthy against the working class.