Homeless and Pregnant: The Epic of a Young Woman in Hollywood

Good morning and welcome to Essential California the news. it’s a Wednesday 13 July 2022. I’m a columnist Gustavo Arellano (So ​​I’m allowed to get opinions, nice readers!), and I’m writing from Orange County.

I met my colleague Gail Hollandwhich covers homelessness and poverty, only once: in Los Angeles Times Syndicate They met again in 2018. But I’ve always been impressed by her sensitive, elegant, and comprehensive coverage of one of the most confusing issues Southern California faces.

All of Jill’s talents are shown in her latest project, a comprehensive look at the life of the 26-year-old Mackenzie Tran. Homeless since she was 13, the Louisiana native was living in a campground off Highway 101 in Hollywood in 2018 when she found out she was pregnant.

The Netherlands takes us through what happened next with words accompanied by touching pictures Christina’s houseand video Claire Hannah Collins. Mackenzie Ann’s daughter is born. Struggle to stay off drugs. An account of past traumas and attempts to reconcile with her homeless mother as well. Searching for permanent housing. And McKenzie’s bitter struggles with the many nonprofit and government organizations set up ostensibly to help her, but she has usually proven to be more of an enemy than a friend.

I spoke to Jill about her project. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

There are so many stories to tell about the homeless. What drew you to McKinsey?

In covering homelessness for eight years, there are many things that I have seen that are shocking, especially in a country as rich as ours. A 60-year-old man is bound with rags around open sores on his legs. A woman with a hospital ID tape and wires from an EKG machine still hanging from her chest, was discharged from the hospital with no real plan or landing spot. To see a pregnant young woman in a tent on the highway – I thought we were better than this. I also grew up seeing what were called Hollywood runaways and I’ve always been curious who they are.

Then we met MacKenzie’s mother, who is also homeless, and saw something up close that I had only read about: intergenerational homelessness, which seemed to be a particular problem in Los Angeles where you meet a lot of people who have lived on the streets for years. In some ways, though, I think we covered these women that deep because they were so wonderful and energetic and they welcomed us. They wanted Los Angeles residents to see them.

Mackenzie, right, and her mother Kat walk with baby Anne in the corridors at Adventist Health White Memorial Hospital in Boyle Heights.

(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)

How hard would it be for people like McKenzie to want to get out of their situation by the time you covered homelessness?

I think there is a lot more help and skilled service providers in Los Angeles now who understand homeless people and what they need than when I started. In the past, I think we as a society were content to let the homeless languish in the foster care circuit – from prison – to the streets as long as they were contained in slip row, Hollywood as faded and other hotspots.

The problem now, of course, is the acute housing shortage. It took MacKenzie a year and a half to get an apartment – now, she’s stayed inside about the same amount of time. There is too much bureaucracy involved in acquiring housing for the homeless and not enough units.

We do not appear to have the resources to effectively respond to the methamphetamine epidemic. We are still experimenting with effective treatment for methamphetamine addiction. It’s well known that users regress after treatment at a very high rate, but I’m not sure we know how to stop that.

After spending four good years with MacKenzie, her daughter, and her mother, do you plan on continuing to communicate with them?

We remain in touch with MacKenzie and her mother, Mama Cat, and don’t expect that to change. We hope that readers will see the value and promise of the people who live in the tents we pass through every day and the complex interrelationships of the institutions we pay for that have shaped their lives. Reporting this story was fun at times, heartbreaking for others, and incredibly difficult… which I think is a taste of what the homeless live with every day.

Read about Mckenzie here, then check out the sidebars about her mother, her file worker, and a brief article by Gale on how she did the story.

and now, Here’s what’s happening across California:

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LA STORIES

“Bad City” alleges bad behavior – by the Dean of the School of Medicine, University of Southern California and within The Times. Paul Pringle – another fellow I met only once – came out with a new book about the investigation he led in Troy, and the battle he led inside a former regime in our editing room. Los Angeles Times

The biggest criticisms and surprises in the Emmy nominations 2022. My cheerful fellow Glenn Webb, who I have Start He met face to face, and his picks for TV’s biggest awards are dwindling. Los Angeles Times

A leaked surveillance video of the Sherif Police Department shows an inmate being beaten by deputies. How does Sheriff Alex Villanueva blame this on the prop.47 And the George Gascon? Los Angeles Times

How O’Doyle’s “Tungsten Arm” tweet became an embodiment of Angels loss. Poor Mike Trout and Shohei Otani are among the funniest burnouts in baseball since the Rolly Fingers slipped on strike against Johnny Bench at the 1972 World Championships.

politics and government

Beer makers need cans. California’s broken recycling system makes it hard to find. Perhaps Governor Gavin Newsom should spend more time fixing this than airing commercials in Florida? Los Angeles Times

Newsom calls criticism of his family vacation in Montana “wrong and unfair.” Gavin, two words: Baja California. Los Angeles Times

MAGA Preacher Sean Feucht has recorded millions of his Trump-loving flock. From Bethel Church in Redding to a million dollar home in Coto de Casa, with a little thought of Matthew 19:24, no doubt. rolling rock

Crime, Courts and Police

Encounter with the Enemy: Was the leader of the Mughal motorcycle gang a double agent of the Federals? Wait, wasn’t that a plot point on “Mayans MC”? Los Angeles Times

Two people wearing Mongols Motorcycle Club jackets

People wearing motorcycle mongoose jackets walk over the newly opened Sixth Street Bridge in Los Angeles

(Damien Devarganis/The Associated Press)

A Cambodian American police officer helps his community recover and looks forward. Fresno Police Sergeant Danny Kim brings a night market to his community and others. Los Angeles Times

Life lessons from Laura Wasser, divorce lawyer to the stars. The so-called “disso” queen, whose past clients range from Kim Kardashian to Johnny Depp, reflects the state of our unions. New Yorker

Daily news podcast

If you’re a fan of this newsletter, you’ll love the daily podcast “The Times” hosted every weekday by columnist Gustavo Arellano, along with reporters from around our newsroom. Skip the headlines. Download and listen to our app, subscribe to Apple Podcasts and follow it on Spotify.

health and environment

The astonishing prevalence of the BA.5 variant explains why the COVID wave in California is so different. Meanwhile, a more virulent species is spreading across India. Los Angeles Times

Spring of Exasperation: Mexican berry pickers strike for a bigger share of the profits. All that little fruit, of course, comes to your grocery store through US-based produce brokers. work notes

Using historical maps to understand the sources of lead contamination in soil: a case study of Santa Ana. An academic study led by researchers from the University of California, Irvine, reached compelling results. Environmental Research

California culture

Biographical record: Helen Hunt Jackson, American Indian advocate and author of “Ramona,” proves that one person can make a difference. Next time you’re wondering why there are so many streets called this Ramona or Alessandro, this author is the reason – but you already know that, right? Coachella Valley Independent

These sisters started the “He’s A 10 But” meme because they wanted realistic dating standards. A story that is not angry from Huntington Beach! Buzzfeed

Free online games

Get free crossword puzzles, sudoku, word searches and arcade games daily in our game center at latimes.com/games.

California calendar

Los Angeles: Sunny, 78. San Diego: Partly cloudy, 71. San Francisco: Cloudy, 67. San Jose: Partly cloudy and windy, 82. Fresno: Hot hot hot, 102. Sacramento: Less hot but hella wetter, 93.

Finally

today California memory comes from Debbie Bradford:

I grew up on a cattle ranch south of Hopland in Mendocino County. One summer day in 1963, my sister and I were out in the morning doing our 4-5 hour daily work moving irrigation pipes in the fields where the cattle were grazing. It was early, about 7:30 in the morning, and I noticed the sunlight was red. Red sunlight always meant there was smoke in the air, which meant that a wildfire was somewhere. This always made us very nervous. The fires were dangerous. We worried all day, only to find out it was a smog we hadn’t seen before.

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, Share it with us. (Please keep your story at 100 words.)

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