Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic
A couple months ago, my Senior Producer, Carline, sent me a note about an intriguing press release: Pras, of Fugees fame, spent over a week on L.A.'s notorious Skid Row... with a hidden film crew. Interesting. Any time a celebrity or political figure vows to spend a week in someone else's (worn out, downtrodden) shoes, it seems like a stunt. But I loved the Fugees, and we've had Wyclef on the show before, so Pras had a bit more credibility in my eyes. So we decided to give the documentary a look. At first, yeah... I didn't feel terribly sorry for Pras, nor feel like his experience the first day was authentic — his Adidas were squeaky-clean, and he panhandled for $15, which he spent on a single meal at a reasonably fancy restaurant. However, things got real pretty quickly after that, as he began to get to know some of the locals on Skid Row... and his life became nearly as precarious as theirs. It's a a graphic, stomach-turning, and ultimately fascinating documentary, and it really did drive home for me how unimaginably horrific life on the streets really is. What it didn't do — and Pras is very clear on this — is offer solutions. Fortunately, there are some folks who see some, and they join us today. Have you seen the documentary? Have you ever been homeless?