The Los Angeles Times Holiday Issue: December 2, 2011

Column: $60,000 ‘casitas’ and giant awnings: Caruso, Bass pitch cheaper homeless units in L.A.

By JOSEPH PELTAN, JONATHAN NACKSTRAND, AND LISA GOLDBERG

Updated 12:24 p.m. PST, Monday, December 3, 2011

Photographs by Charles Dharapak

Cameron Mitchell and his mother, Nancy, arrive with his 10-year-old son, Jacob, for an event at the United Way of Greater Los Angeles on Dec. 2, 2011 in Los Angeles. The event promoted the “Building a Home for Christmas” campaign to provide shelter and assistance services for families, children recovering from abuse and neglect as well as children with disabilities. (Charles Dharapak/LA Times via Getty Images)

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The following photographs of Angelenos and their homes — some photographed by Charles Dharapak for the Los Angeles Times — represent the many stories of L.A. living that were chronicled in the 2011 holiday issue of the Times.

It was a beautiful night. The sun was setting in the clear sky as Cameron Mitchell and his mother, Nancy, sat on a curb at a homeless encampment in downtown Los Angeles.

“We can stay here tonight if we want,” Mitchell said, his hands in his lap. “I need a warm place to sleep tonight, because I have been going to these camps for years.”

Nancy, who was wearing a white sweater, with her hair in a ponytail, had tears streaming down her face.

“Those are people’s homes,” she said, pausing before continuing. “They are people and they have people coming in and out of their homes all the time. They don’t have to do that.”

Mitchell, 10, and his mother, Nancy, sit in The Big Orange Tree restaurant at the intersection of Figueroa and South Los Angeles streets, a

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