[PHOTOS] Down and Out in Skid Row: Homeless in the City of Angels

Skid Row, an area of Downtown Los Angeles, formally known as Central City East, has one of the largest stable populations of transient persons (homeless) in the United States.

There are thousands of people wandering the streets and lying in alley ways. Sidewalks are packed full of people - from one end of the the street to the other. One reason there are so many people on the streets of Los Angeles is that California offers far better benefits to the homeless than any other US state.

A large portion of those on Skid Row come from Arizona where benefits and homeless outreach programs have been cut in recent years.

Local police informed me that during the 'clean-up' last month (and to date), roughly 5 tons of 'homeless stuff' has been cleared off the streets. They stress nothing was taken from people personally but abandoned bags and trollies that were chained to fences were confiscated.

Items are stored in a warehouse on 7th St and Central Avenue and held for 60 days.

The numbers of homeless continue to grow in this area and few large shelters and missions are bursting at the seams.

It's a very problematic situation all round. Over 70% are supposed drug users and there are more and more children filling these places.

I was not allowed to photograph inside the missions but was assured by outreach staff that the situation is beyond 'critical'