(FOX 11) - At a jam-packed forum Tuesday night the goal was to change peoples minds about where to build housing for the homeless.
"Anybody could be homeless, it doesn't come with prejudice, it doesn't pick or choose the gender. " said Randolph.
At the age of 27, Sam Randolph lost his cook's job and found himself a homeless single father with a 3 year-old son.
"I found myself sleeping on couches and floors and friends and family members that would accept us, it's not just one mouth it's two mouths cuz it was me and my son." Said Randolph.
With help from social services, Sam was able to get back on his feet. now, eight years later, he is among those sharing their stories to a packed house of city leaders,neighborhood residents and celebrities including actress Emmy Rossum.
"Everyone has a right to housing and to have a chance to be a real contributing member of society and to achieve their dreams." Rossum said.
In 2016, voters passed a measure to build affordable housing units across the city. As of now, there are 7 projects in development with a total of 615 units for the homeless but it is not enough to house the nearly 34-thousand people living on the streets. La City Councilman David Ryu outlines part of the problem:
"And many people are scared, and many people are worried with the rise in crime and homelessness that it will bring a bad element to their neighborhood." Said Ryu.
So the goal of this event is to change the minds of those who say not in my backyard by putting a face on homelessness.
"These people are normal people, wonderful people and fabulous neighbors." Said Homeless Advocate Marilyn Wells.
People like Sam and his son Treshaun who is now a happy and thriving 11 year-old.