"The Cave": a netherworld
where homeless people live
Pearl Mibbs, who lives in the Cave, gives her dog Queenie water before making herself some coffee.
To reach the secret place they call the Cave, its denizens must climb a ladder toward a small, hard-to-notice opening in the tall concrete slab that helps hold up the 10 Freeway. They must squeeze beneath a rusty metal grating, balance on a ledge and descend a second ladder into thick, dead air and darkness. This is home, a vast, vault-like netherworld, strewn with garbage and syringes.
Richard Dafoe likes it here, even with 3-foot cobwebs and the constant thrum of freeway traffic overhead. For the decade or so he has lived here, he has found it a reliable sanctuary against daylight, police and other people.
"It's basically a safe place to be because the cops can't get into it," said Dafoe, 56, known as the Wizard for his ample white beard and wild hair. "They're scared."
Authorities are clearing out the Cave, evicting the people who live there and trying to close it off for good.
Read the Los Angeles Times report here.
As my colleague Steven at Stone Soup Station says: "It's simple, really; when we can't provide housing to those on the lower rungs of our society, we end up with ... dungeons like this one."