This year saw a dramatic increase in the homeless population of Los Angeles. News outlets report daily on the epidemic of homelessness, looking at factors such as soaring rents and the high cost of living anywhere in Los Angeles County. The visuals are striking: a drive through urban areas of the city will find tent encampments or people sleeping on bus stops and sidewalks. An estimated 58,000 men, women and children are homeless nightly. What gets lost in this difficult situation are actions the business community have taken to help collaboratively solve homelessness.
Since 1989, Shelter Partnership has operated the S. Mark Taper Foundation Shelter Resource Bank project which secures goods from companies and distributes goods to homeless service agencies across LA County completely free. The effectiveness of the program and how many lives we are able to reach depends on donations secured from companies of all sizes, from start-ups and local businesses all the way to movie studios and Fortune 500 companies. Homeless agencies have received products from over 750 donors since the project began.
Changing a person’s life begins with taking a first step and you need shoes to take that step. Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) made a major donation of athletic shoes and socks to homeless youths and adults in Los Angeles. APL’s stylish, performance-driven shoes will be a critical resource to thousands of people getting ready for their next step. At our annual warehouse luncheon in October, APL was honored by representatives from the Mayor’s office for their donation, with October 12 being named “Athletic Propulsion Labs Day” in Los Angeles.
Personal care items like hygiene products are among the most important life necessities. Unfortunately, they are also among the most difficult items to secure in donations. This is why a donation of 30,000 adult and children’s toothbrushes from United Exchange Corporation (UEC) is so crucially important to homeless service providers. Oral care is central to physical health and well-being. An item as small as a toothbrush can be a life-changing gift, greatly improving a person’s health and even their self-identity. According to UEC President Carol Choi, “Being able to pay back and sharing with others is the BEST gratifying gift.” We couldn’t agree more.
During our 2016/2017 fiscal year, we distributed over $10 million worth of new goods to local social service agencies serving the homeless. To donate new items to Shelter Partnership, please contact our Gifts in Kind Manager Jennifer Marquez at email@example.com or (213) 447-2274.