Car Life

Last week, we featured a first-person essay by a young professional who moved into his pickup truck in order to stay in L.A. after being laid off (“I Live in My Car“). The story's sidebar, by Chris Walker, looked at the bigger picture (“Car Dwelling in L.A.: A Sizable Problem“).

Readers had much to say in response.

“Very good article and well written,” Raydevtec writes. “I happen to be an old crank of 65 years and just recently bought a '79 RV. I'm on my way to another journey. I admire your honesty, openness and willingness to experience the 'out of the norm' lifestyle.

DJShaman agrees. “Fantastic write-up. I especially enjoyed the thought-provoking part about the young basketball players. We forget how different everything around us can be.

“It's pretty crazy how some people just can't accept the fact that there are people in this country who choose to live differently than the average American, whether by choice or circumstance,” Schnozberry writes. “I think this is a beautiful article. Best of luck to you and your journey, man.”

All in all, the online feedback on our car-dweller's first-person account was so positive, MedievalPundit wasn't sure what had become of our online readers. “I expected most of the comments would be from cranky, housebound residents, annoyed at the old RVs parked overnight outside their homes,” he writes. “What a pleasant surprise to see there are so many people who admire the author's independent spirit!

But Peisley has a different take: “If it's a lifestyle choice, as in this author's case, then you can make other choices than to live in your car. I am not a home owner, but I do respect their rights. They are the ones paying taxes to keep the neighborhoods as crime-free, attractive and clean as possible. You are not their neighbor just because you park on their street overnight. If the rents are too high, then this city is probably not the one for you.

Jules Falcone wants to look at the big picture. “We have varying levels of homelessness in Los Angeles — always have! What are we going to do about it? Most people who live in their cars live in their cars because they can't afford any better. Despite what the media says, the economy is not good. Until things change, we are going to have people living in their cars, and we are going to circle these same topics over and over. Unless we engage in real discussion, it's all just masturbation in public.


Our July 25 story “Barbarians at the Gate” incorrectly described the Downtown Women's Center. The organization was founded in 1978 and in 2010 opened its San Pedro Street facility, which includes 71 units of supportive housing. It did not open in 2006. We regret the error.

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