Supposedly, the Goodwill Thrift Store is the largest private employer in LH. They do have lots of people coming in to their massive sorting complex/headquarters/whatever it is, but they also provide jobs for many of the “shoppers”: at all times there are throngs of people waiting for the next rack of new items to hit the floor, so they can scavenge for something useful that they can resell. At the loading dock in this photo, they buy full racks of stuff and the buyers spend the next couple of hours trying to fit it all into vans, trucks, and improvised pickups. You’ve seen them, those little pickups with plywood sidewalls, packed to teetering heights with an assortment of things by a complex process of stacking in a not-fun game of Junk Jenga. (Or would that be Trash Tetris?) Or maybe you’ve sped past them on the freeway, hoping to avoid the very real possibility of colliding with some of the falling detritus of our modern society. A number of those trucks begin their travels here, or maybe at the St. Vincents a block away.
This is the “First World” equivalent to the “Third World” trash dumps where kids and grownups roam mountains of trash scavenging for things to use or sell, we are just one step and a fence removed from that scenario, but since they don’t let you check things out in our local dumps, we remain a classy country. Many people seem to make their living this way, in a parallel poverty economy. I once made lots of extra video game cash by, umm, rescuing boxes of Toffifay chocolates from a local landfill: sold them 2×1, played lots of Mario Bros, and nobody died. Hey, I was a kid, I didn’t know I could charge full price! 😉 In any case, it will be be helpful to have the Goodwill nearby during the coming economic collapse!