Students host homeless migration simulation

Saba Nia

Students organized a simulation in which participants mimicked the movement of the homeless population in Downtown LA on Ted Slavin Field Monday.

Charles Connon ’18, who spearheaded the project, said he decided to host the simulation as a part of the documentary he is making for a fellowship studying the culture of LA.

Connon said he is the first student to receive this fellowship from the school.

According to Connon, organizers wanted to recreate the concentrations of homeless individuals within the city to explain which factors hurt or help the “proliferation of homelessness.”

The 40 participants received one hour of community service for their volunteering and were designated into different groups, including homeless individuals and “agitators” like law enforcement and non-profit organizations, to demonstrate how the population of LA County is divided. Organizers also used tents to represent shelters and pieces of paper to show the boundaries of gentrification.

Connon used drones and cameras to document the simulation from above to get footage for his documentary with Lex Torrington ’18 and Abner Benitez ’18.

“I thought it would be beneficial to film a documentary to inform people about the current state of homelessness,” Connon said. “Later down the line we can do another documentary to see how it’s changed.”

The event also aimed to raise awareness on campus about World Homeless Day, and coincided with the HW Boxing Club’s taco sale, which Connon was also involved with.