“We are human beings who live here,” Silvia Hernández says emphatically.
She is speaking of Los Angeles’s notorious Skid Row, though she no longer lives there herself. Hernández doesn’t look back fondly on the year she spent nights alternating between streets and shelters, but she appreciates what she believes is a strong sense of community among neighborhood residents. “Now with this new idea of gentrification, they want to take it away,” she says of the business interests and developers remaking downtown, and the police and security officers who are doing their bidding. “They don’t recognize the community as a community.”