THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD… –  

July 12, 2022 – A hole in a chain-link fence around the restaurant parking lot opened onto a ragged train of tents. They clung to a steep embankment above eight lanes of whooshing traffic on the 101 Freeway. From her vantage point, Mckenzie should have been able to see her encampment.

But while she was in court, a Caltrans crew had cleaned her out. Everything was gone: the tent with built-in lights, a blow-up mattress, a new laptop, her birth certificate, housing papers and prenatal vitamins.

“I was like, ‘No, no, no, hell no,’ ” Mckenzie said, recalling that August 2018 evening. “It’s like my whole city was against me.”

Mckenzie was 22, and 6½ months pregnant. Her boyfriend, Eddie, 26, was HIV-positive, although his viral load was undetectable and he could not transmit the virus through sex.

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