Id like to think of myself as well travelled. I've been fortunate to see a lot of the world and all the corners of America but nothing prepared me for what i witnessed today.

Skid Row is basically a third world country within America . This is the most famous homeless neighborhood in the world and what i saw shook me to the bone . I will try to describe the horror scene and the conditions that these humans call home . Its estimated over 17 000 homeless people live in these streets officially known as Central City East.

In the hot midday sun the stench of urine is over whelming . It stung my nostrils and i could feel my eyes watering. The streets are free of all traffic , no cars , no motorbikes and no bicycles. i was the only solitary person riding in the middle of the roads . That alone was eery. The sidewalks on either side as far as the eye can see are crammed with makeshift homes , blankets , tarps , shopping carts and garbage . Rubbish is piled up to head high constructions , almost like nests for people to live in. There are hundreds and hundreds of people shuffling around , dazed , injured , intoxicated, with severe mental illness and the occasional person would be sprinting down the road screaming at the sky. The further i ventured into this atom bomb of filth the more intense it became. I looked at everything and i could not believe i was on American soil. Its like a giant refugee camp but theres been no war. Ive seen a lot of things in my day but nothing compares to this place. This is the real ground zero. Some of the people who live here have regressed from being humans and forage around like animals. All behavior that once was a teenager has long gone and i saw men and women crawling on hands and knees in the decay and in the light brown street gutter water. It was shocking and i was chilled right to the core. I watched some people so deformed by some cruel life struggling to move 2 feet along the sidewalk. I saw a black man with no torso scratching his way along the pavement. Using his fingernails to grip. His lower body where his waist would have been was a mass of raggedy ducktape and dirt. It was like nothing ive ever seen before.

People were asleep everywhere . Some had lost all funtions so they slept right in the gutters , covered in muck and putrid water. I biked on passing a few Missions and Care Centres. in both courtyards bodies were crammed in behind the high fences. It was hard to really make out what i was seeing. Just masses of rags and ripped materials covering bodies that would occasionally move. In the midst of this scene i heard incredible music coming from a street corner. It was loud gospel music. I looked inside the door saw a full gospel band and a huge black lady belting out a tune for a packed audience. Its sunday and church was in full tilt. It was amazing . Lots of dancing and singing. Such an oasis in the middle of this awful place

I continued on but the longer i stayed the more affected i got . I felt awful . It was heartbreaking. It took a grip of me . I write this now 8hrs later at a desk and im still really shook up. it affected me really badly today. I was overcome by the depression and decay of human life i had witnessed and when i talked to the first person that called me later that day i burst into tears.....

I didnt take one photo when i entered inside Skid Row. I didnt want to . Not one part of this did i want to photograph. This definately wasnt Disneyland !!

This is the road leading to Skid Row just to show the streets and the start of the most harrowing place i have ever seen.

This experience showed me a lot ......and i will never forget this place ..........