LOS ANGELES – It’s been well-documented that those who live in homeless encampments are running out of options for places to throw their trash.
It’s an issue that the city has said it's working to rectify.
Richard Howard says that he’s not seeing it.
"Usually they come once out of the week, it's been three weeks now, almost a month, and this is what we have to deal with," said Howard, who lives in an encampment.
Something else he’s not seeing are officials from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
"You're supposed to help us get the street. You want to regulate us, but yet you don't want to do nothing for us, with the tax dollars," said Howard, referring to LAHSA.
His frustration is rooted in a perceived lack of care offered from organizations like LAHSA -- which Howard says he’s never even heard of.
According to a report released Wednesday by the City Controller's office, only 39 individuals were referred and obtained substance abuse services, out of 668 such individuals who'd been targeted for such services.
For Howard, and many others in similar circumstances, all the sitting and waiting around leads to self-medication as a means to cope with the hardships of life on the streets.
"Either we drink, we smoke, or we eat. Everything in life is an addiction to me. Money, drinking, smoking, sleeping, eating," said Howard.
He also says that for once in life, he wishes he could just catch a break.
"I've never been blessed with like, recovery, mental health, homelessness, shelters, anything like that of that nature," said Howard.
If the opportunity arose, Howard says he would absolutely jump at the chance to get into housing, especially if it came with health services for addiction and substance abuse.
"I would love to because I mean, I become a better person. I'm not saying I'm a bad person, it's just, I wouldn't be drinking as much. I wouldn't be using as much, I wouldn't be out here in the streets as much, I'd be content and housing and home recovery," said Howard.
Sitting and waiting for someone to show up and help.
It's just another ordinary day for Howard and the roughly 56,000 other people experiencing homelessness in and around L.A. County.