How many in Hollywood? According to the Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty at the Weingart Center, an estimated 254,000 men, women, and children experience homelessness in Los Angeles County during some part of the year and approximately 82,000 people are homeless on any given night. Unaccompanied youth, especially in the Hollywood area, are estimated to make up from 4,800 to 10,000 of these.
Behind the glamour and fame that surrounds Hollywood there is a growing population of homeless youth never discussed in the tabloids or recognized at any of the Hollywood awards ceremonies. These kids and teens, mostly runaways, come to this luring city to “make it big.” With dreams and ideas, but no common sense, and even less education, they end up lost. You find them sleeping next to the marble stars, laid on the Walk of Fame, a hard concrete reality.
You, as a parent, have to appeal to education first, no matter how scarce the financial situation in your household. Learning is everything. Teach them how to balance a check book, show them how to manage money first. It’s amazing how many people are ignorant to basic accounting and day to day spending habits. Train your children from early age on to become responsible adults, and investors of the future of this country.
Hollywood is not bad in itself. It is a beautiful city and a wonderful place to live, if you are grounded and mature. There are two “realities,” two perceptions, which is the glamorous world of TV and movies and the neighborhood next door. It’s been thirty-one years since I first came here and I call myself a true “Hollywoodian.” There are many good people in this town, quite normal (yes, normal is in the eye of the beholder) and hardworking, like the rest of the country.
What’s the difference between Hollywood and other cities? The difference is the perception of people, which, as we know, creates what you experience. More affluent people live in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood area than in the rest of the country. The economy is driven by movie making and TV production. Most of the population, myself included, draws a paycheck from an entertainment industry related company. But you have to be shrewd and careful. Again, it’s all perception. You can get away with printing business cards with a swanky address to give an impression of grandeur, but many work out of their cars or small homes. The iPhones, laptops and internet access make it all possible.
I have worked for, and with, the rich and famous for many years. I have enjoyed many of the experiences and I have loathed some of them. However, I am fully aware of the fact that life here is not what it looks like. And in 2011 I have made a conscious decision to live according to Truth and Universal Laws, letting go of the glitz and glamour. I came to the full realization that I have to look at the important and real things, and not the false and illusory.”
(Excerpt of “Forever…and 365 Days” by ULRIKE)