The up-to-no-good vato standing outside the Union Station is the ultimate danger sign lingering around the minds of people who fail to recognize their hidden prejudices. The African-American man next to him talking to the homeless guy is probably enough to keep some people walking.
As soon as I crossed Cesar Chavez Ave. towards their direction, I noticed their t-shirts. The 2009 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count was sprawled across their chests.
"There's a lady with a baby asking for money," a man told Draper Hughes--the guy chatting with the homeless guy.
He finished up his conversation with the homeless guy and walked up to the woman, who was accepting a bill from a young girl.
After a short conversation, he went back to his formal spot and this time I noticed the clipboard. Turns out that Hughes and his friend (who's name I failed to catch because I was in a rush and he was on his cellphone) work and also volunteer for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority through the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count.
During our even shorter conversation, Hughes explained that his job consists of asking homeless citizens a couple of questions regarding their situation (why are they homeless, health issues, etc.) The surveyed people get a $5 McDonald's gift card after answering the questions. More information on Hughes and the 2009 GLAHC on a later blog.