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UCLA Magazine Fall 2003
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Fall 2003
City Of Angels
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Volunteers gather at the Mobile Clinic van to discuss the needs of clients and obtain supplies before starting their nightly rounds on the street.

Nearby on this warm August evening a small cluster of bare-chested men and women in sleeveless blouses dance in place next to a rattletrap vehicle that is blaring funk through its open doors, and a little farther down the sidewalk a woman in a tattered dress sits on the curb vigorously scrubbing her teeth with a new toothbrush. A rangy young man steps onto a scale, looks down at the number and shakes his head. "I've lost 15 pounds,” he says woefully, admitting a few moments later that he's been binging — "tweaking” — on speed for the past month.

On a table outside the open rear doors of a white and blue van is a small rack of brochures about HIV, hepatitis, herpes and breast self-examination. Next to the literature is a clear plastic container filled with condoms. An assortment of clothing is stacked on another table, along with paper cups and a gallon container of juice. Scattered up and down the sidewalk are a dozen or more men and women — a mix of young and old, black, white and Latino, some in wheelchairs, some on crutches, all homeless denizens of the streets of Hollywood and the surrounding area — socializing or having their own intimate conversations with Bruin students like Lozares who volunteer every Wednesday night with the UCLA Mobile Clinic Project.

"This ain't an act,” says Fats of the student volunteers, looking up and down the sidewalk at the activity going on around him. "I don't think they have a school that can teach this sort of thing. Being out here with us, it's just something these young people have in their hearts.”

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