Here’s my stream for @HappsNews on skid row with Franklin Aruburtha 10 years after I did an LA Weekly cover story on him. Franklin made a documentary on houselessness when he was 14 living the nafarous Ford hotel in skid row.
Skid row is 50 square blocks of human misery. It’s also the largest houseless community in the U.S. and a vortex of love. What some people have called the human zoo, is actually a series of neighborhoods, a community of people living in unspeakable conditions. Franklin saw things as a child that no one should ever see.
Franklin Arburtha is skid row famous; it’s a big part of his story. He’s appeared on Tyra, Montel, in the LA Times and Weekly.
These days, he’s thriving, reemerging as a DTLA filmmaker. In this stream he walks the streets of his old neighborhood and and comes full circle to the solution when he visits his childhood mentor, Charles Porter from United Coalition East Prevention Project (UCEPP) and checks out thier new “Refresh Spot” a skid row hygiene center and a community business model that employs locals and is conceivably the solution to the devestating effects of poverty on skid row and beyond.
The magic ingredient in UCEPP and Franklin’s success is love. Big love from skid row.