Sophia Lee

A day in the life of John Simpson

Homelessness | Learning to understand a man living homeless in Venice Beach
by Sophia Lee
Posted 12/11/17, 02:50 pm

John Simpson is a man I met while reporting on homelessness in Los Angeles: He’s 60 years old, about 6-foot-1, and has been homeless for five years. He has flushed cheeks, a belly that protrudes like a loosely tied sack, and a bushy beard nestled with three years’ worth of dirt and crumbs.

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Jae C. Hong/AP

Remembering the homeless this Thanksgiving

Homelessness | Meeting deep needs calls for more than a soup line
by Sophia Lee
Posted 11/22/17, 02:40 pm

Something I’ve noticed in my travels: Homelessness in America looks very different from homelessness in other countries. Two years ago I was in Batam, Indonesia, where I visited a homeless couple who lived in a “hut” made of trash. They lay on a wooden plank with their two young daughters and toddler son, surrounded by flies and hoping to find enough rice in the dumpsters.

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Greg Schneider/Genesis

Housing shorts

Homelessness | The federal and state governments and many nonprofits are pushing a homeless policy that works for some but not for many others
by Sophia Lee
Posted 11/07/17, 09:56 pm

LOS ANGELES—The day Les Jones got his own room after being homeless for decades, he couldn’t sleep on the bed. He didn’t sleep on his bed the next day either, or the next. For an entire year after he no longer was homeless, Jones slept on the floor—the way he’d slept on the streets for more than half his adult life.

Jones always felt detached from the world. He tried to belong, but even as a little kid, he felt he was always doing things wrong. To punish himself, he hit himself over and over. As an adult, he heard voices. He looked for jobs but couldn’t find or keep them.

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