The Islands: L.A. River's Homeless Population


Throughout the Elysian Valley and the Glendale Narrows, a series of small islands and tiny keys dot the river with sand banks, rocks and secret hideaways. Many of Los Angeles' homeless congregate here, taking advantage of the area's relative safety and shelter, and tagging their "addresses" on the banks using painted text and color codes. This upsurge in illegal habitation, though, means that current efforts to revitalize the river must not only focus on waste, trash and vandalism, but on one of Los Angeles' most enduring issues: homelessness.

Below is a slideshow of islands found along the Elysian Valley stretch of the Los Angeles River, accompanied by a poem by Lewis MacAdams.