This pocket of 2,000 men and women constitutes the nation's biggest concentration of homeless people living and sleeping on public sidewalks, in scattered camps under tarps.
Not surprisingly, sanitary conditions are appalling.
This quarter of despair is now at the center of national attention for another reason: This week, Los Angeles police and a homeless man in a tent engaged in a confrontation, ending with officers fatally shooting the man known only as "Africa," an apparent reference to his home continent.
It was all captured on video by bystanders. Police allege "Africa" tried to reach for an officer's gun, prompting the police gunfire against him.