With the Oscar’s barely over, and the media still focusing on who wore what, I was tempted to research to find some deeper insights. Yes, I live in Hollywood, California, Land of the Glorified. There are two sides to Hollywood. Glitz and glamour, you say? Not so fast.
About 50,000 youth in the U.S. sleep on the street for six months or more. Homeless youth face unique developmental challenges and vulnerability. They are also easy prey on the streets, clinging on to anyone that gives them a feeling of ‘belonging’. Many times this leads to drug abuse, prostitution and in some cases to death.
The United States Homeless statistics reports that approximately fifty percent of all homeless women and children are fleeing some form of domestic violence.
How many in Hollywood?
According to the Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty at the Weingart Center, an estimated 254,000 men, women and children experience homelessness in Los Angeles County during some part of the year and approximately 82,000 people are homeless on any given night. Unaccompanied youth, especially in the Hollywood area, are estimated to make up from 4,800 to 10,000 of these.
Behind the glamour and fame that surrounds Hollywood, there is a growing population of homeless youth never discussed in the tabloids or recognized at any of the Hollywood Award’s ceremonies. These kids and teens, mostly runaway’s, come to this city to ‘make it big’. With dreams and ideas, but no common sense, and even less education, they end up lost. You find them sleeping next to the marble stars, laid on the Walk of Fame, a hard concrete reality.
You, as a parent, have to appeal to education first, no matter how scarce the financial situation in your household. Learning is everything. Teach them how to balance a check book, show them how to manage money first. It’s amazing how many people are ignorant to basic accounting and day to day spending habits. Train your children from early age on to become responsible adults, and investors of the future of this country.
Hollywood is not bad in itself. It is a beautiful city and a wonderful place to live, if you are grounded and mature. There are two ‘realities’, two perceptions which is the glamorous world of TV and Movies, and the neighborhood next door.
It’s been thirty-one years since I first came here and I call myself a true 'Hollywoodian'. There are many good people in this town, quite normal (yes, normal is in the eye of the beholder), and hardworking; like the rest of the country.
What’s the difference between Hollywood and other cities? The difference is the perception of people, which, as we know creates what you experience. More affluent people live in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Hollywood area than in the rest of the country. The economy is driven by movie making and TV production. Most of the population, myself included, draws a paycheck from an entertainment industry related company.
But you have to be shrewd and careful. Again, it’s all perception. You can get away with printing business cards, with a swanky address, to give an impression. Many work out of their cars or small homes. The IPhones, Laptops and internet access, make it all possible.
I have worked for, and with, the rich and famous for many years. I have enjoyed many of the experiences, and I have loathed some of them. However, I am fully aware of the fact, that life here is not what it looks like. And I have made a conscious decision to live according to Truth and Universal Laws, knowing that I have to look at the important and real things, and not the false and illusory.