In the heart of downtown LA, between the buzz of the arts district and the wealth of one of the world’s richest financial sectors, sits a place called Skid Row.

A stretch of about one square mile, this literal dumping ground is home to a staggering 10% of LA’s homeless population – a shanty town for the poor and marginalised concentrated into just four blocks. California is one of the wealthiest states in America – Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor for goodness sake. Yet only this year, California’s government declared a state of emergency because of its increasing problems with homelessness.

Forget The Hills, forget the glam of Hollywood Boulevard, this is actual rock-bottom. In the words of Dizzee Rascal, “Bitch, you’re not ready for Skid Row.”

This is an extract from the Spring Summer 16 Issue of Viper Magazine. Read more from the magazine here. Buy physical and digital copies here.

Photos by HypeMari
Words by Petra Hunt

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