Los Angeles is anticipating an influx of tourists during Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium, and while many may be expecting world famous beaches and the glitz and glam of Hollywood, they are also going to see the homelessness crisis.
NBC4's Streets of Shame series has chronicled the life on LA streets for more than three years now, shining a light on the homeless crisis and asking the tough questions that lead to true change on the streets.
Images captured Friday show LA may have a long way to go.
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“I’m absolutely blown away," Ken, a tourist visiting from London, said.
Tourists still come from around the globe, expecting one thing, but see something else.
"No, this is not normal. For me this not normal, and not good for people to stay outside," said Salah Alnaabi, visiting LA from Oman.
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In Los Angeles and in towns across Southern California, it’s as though homelessness is so common, it’s been normalized, and yet, so far from normal for anyone else.
“It’s not something you thought was actually going on here. You see it in film but you don’t actually think it’s true," said Stone, visiting Hollywood from London.
With the Super Bowl on its way and SoFi Stadium in the spotlight, clean-ups have been happening in Inglewood, as NBCLA captured earlier in the week. Caltrans saids the cleanups were nothing out of the ordinary, and not in response to the Super Bowl.
But look at downtown LA just a week out from the Super Bowl Experience at the LA Convention Center shows security trying to subdue a half-naked man. Just up the street, tents line the underpasses of the 10 Freeway. It's the view drivers could see as they head to the Convention Center. RVs line the other side of the street, and garbage is just about everywhere.
Historic Olvera Street appears to have gotten a clean sweep by Friday: all but one tent that used to line Cesar Chavez are gone. Even the 101 Freeway overpasses look less cluttered with encampments than captured on camera before.
Right outside City Hall, tents line the sidewalk: still a haven for homeless with no where else to go.