Meet the Entertainment Workers Living in Their Cars Amid Housing Crisis
This is nuts. Everyone it seems in “the industry” as they like to say that wants work is working. Billions in money, studio facilities straining and unions that can’t certify tradespeople fast enough. TBF small apartments are $1500 and up. Rent a room? $800 to a grand. Apartment buildings are going up like cornstalks. But they won’t be done for months or a year.
The entertainment industry, one of the city’s biggest and most capricious employers, counts a number of car dwellers like Noelle among its workforce. Though the precise figure is unknown, it’s a small but visible population. Of the 45 or so people hosted each night by Safe Parking L.A. — an organization that launched in 2016 and opened its first facility this year providing guarded, secret lots for vehicle dwellers to sleep in — an actor and a couple of part-time production or lighting professionals usually show up, founder Scott Sale says. Though LAHSA does not survey professions in its annual
Homeless Count, community engagement manager Jonathan Hans says entertainment-industry types are a familiar group: “Especially within our younger population, it’s not necessarily uncommon that a group of young kids came out [to L.A.] because somebody told them that they would get them a record deal and then they ended up living out of their van,” he says. Many now-well-known industry figures — Tiffany Haddish, Chris Pratt, Drew Carey, Kelly Clarkson — have said they lived in their car before rising to fame.