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AP PHOTOS: Skid Row, a battle of misery and hope

Published October 19, 2013 4:49 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Los Angeles • Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles has been home for thousands of homeless people, a tenuous comfort zone for many who hit the rock bottom of their lives in America.

The area, originally agricultural until the 1870s when railroads first entered Los Angeles, has maintained a transient nature through the years from the influxes of short-term workers, migrants fleeing economic hardship during the Great Depression, military personnel shipping out during World War II and the Vietnam War and low-skilled workers with limited transportation options who need to remain close to the city's core, according to the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.

It's also become a battleground where the poor fight merciless drug addiction and alcoholism.

On Skid Row they're offered a place to sleep, food, counseling and even spiritual support. Some win the battle and turn their miseries into testimonies. Others don't. It's not a rare scene on Skid Row to spot addicts doing drugs in the open even when police patrol the area.

Temptation lurks on every corner of the grid — but so do helping hands.

The fight continues today. The warm afternoon sunlight shines on those who sleep on the sidewalk.

Here's a gallery of images from Skid Row by photographer Jae C. Hong.

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Follow AP photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo

Follow Jae C. Hong on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jaethephotog