Tag Archives: homeless

Operation Save a Vet launches this Friday – start your Holiday Giving early

Sergeant Major Acosta of Operation Save a Vet. Photo by D'Andra Jay
Sergeant Major Acosta of Operation Save a Vet. Photo by D’Andra Jay

I met Gayle Montgomery quite a while back and impressed with the depth of concern she has for her fellow human beings.  Through her job she met Sergeant Major Acosta.  A disabled Vet who lost his eyesight during a batle in the Middle East.  Gayle also works on a local committee trying to find solutions to our homeless problem and became aware that a large percentage of our homeless are Vets with no resources to help themselves.  Sergeant Major and Gayle got to talking about the problems the expected El Nino will bring for them.  Here are a few of the things they discussed.

  • Homelessness in Vets was reduced from 4 years ago. Now 1 in 10 who sleep on the streets is a veteran.
  • There has been a 6% spike in the last year of homeless veterans, probably attributable to the spiraling cost of housing in combination with the draw down.
  • The largest concentration of homeless Vets anywhere in our nation is in LA County where there are over 4,000 Vets who sleep on the street.
  • It is the position of the group that has who have joined hands in lockstep across a wide geographical area, that no person who honorably served our nation should have to sleep on the streets.
  • No person who served our nation should have to suffer such adverse weather conditions without supplies and without knowing that, Gayle’s employer is Glad to Be of Service to those who faithfully served us.
  • This project very closely parallels the Soldiers Angels Program which serves those on the battlefield. This project serves those who were on the battlefield, came home, and have had difficulty reintegrating into society.

From that conversation came the idea to create Thank a Vet Inc and their first mission  “Operation Save a Vet”.  It will consist of a multipronged approach to help the homeless vets trying to survive on the streets during the coming rainy season.  First is getting in kind materials donated to them for distribution.  Second is to raise funds for care and shelter for these vets, men and women trying to cope with life outside the military. Continue reading Operation Save a Vet launches this Friday – start your Holiday Giving early

Protest L.A. plan to ban feeding the homeless in public

flyer for the protest march, click to embiggen

The movement is gathering momentum.  Some of the major local media has picked it up.  In short the Monday Night Mission is organizing the protest in response to discussions based on neighborhood proposals to ban feeding the homeless in Los Angeles.  In short a bunch of gentrifying NIMBY’s somehow think banning the feeding of the homeless will end the problem and remove them from their neighborhood.

Do contact your local council person and tell them to vote NO on this proposal.  Contact Mayor Garcetti as well and ask him to kill the discussion.

Venice RV Parking Restriction Makes List of 10 Most Ridiculous Anti-Homeless Laws

Car camping
Some of the RVs and campers along 3rd Avenue in Venice

Consider this a parting shot from homeless advocates who have lost the latest battle in the long-running Venice parking war: the National Coalition for the Homeless has named Venice’s “oversize” vehicle nighttime parking restriction one of The 10 Most Ridiculous Anti-Homeless Laws in America.

Continue reading Venice RV Parking Restriction Makes List of 10 Most Ridiculous Anti-Homeless Laws

Sweet Charity: Blogging LA’s Guide To Giving-Help A Mother Out

When you think about “helping the poor and homeless” the concept can be so huge and in some ways abstract that it’s hard to know where to start. Food? Shelter? Clothing? Medical care? Education? Training programs? It’s overwhelming. For me, Help A Mother Out is so specific that it makes it so easy to make a difference.

The facts are these: Diapers and baby wipes are not covered under social safety net programs like WIC and food stamps. And diapers are expensive. And you need a lot of them every day. Poor and homeless families often have to decide between food, rent and diapers. Babies can go without a clean diaper for days, leading to health problems for the baby and more stress for the family.

Help A Mother Out is working to bridge the gap and provide diapers for those in need. While HAMO is based in San Francisco, they have an LA/SoCal branch run by the amazing and tireless Kim Tracy Prince. Along with being a working mom of two, Kim makes time to organize diaper drives and raise awareness of this growing problem.

Earlier this week I attended the final day of the Glendale diaper drive. (I had written about it in November.) A variety of groups, along with Help A Mother Out worked to raise 22,833 diapers in two weeks. Awesome! At the Glendale armory, over 16,000 diapers (I helped count) were there for an official photo and then to be distributed to specific organizations that would hand them out to families who needed them. The overall event was for homeless awareness in general and we handed out diapers to homeless moms with their kids right then and there.

I was particularly touched as I helped a woman who works for Door Of Hope in Glendale. Door of Hope is a transitional housing organization to help homeless families get back on their feet. This dedicated woman specifically works with battered and abused women and children who have left bad situations, sometimes with almost nothing but the clothes on their backs. She had a list of the 11 babies (newborn to toddlers) currently living there who needed diapers. One of the moms was going through chemo and had a one year old. The Door Of Hope woman asked me, “Do you think I could get two boxes of diapers for her?” It was all I could do to A) not burst into tears and B) not put all the diapers you see above in her car.

So this holiday season or even in the New Year — it doesn’t matter when, because there is always a need — please consider donating money or diapers to Help A Mother out. Go to their website and find the “Donate Now” button or if you have diapers you want to drop off in person, click here to find out how to do that. And you can donate diapers online. Click here to find out how.

Every baby deserves a clean diaper!

And if you are wondering about cloth diapers, here is the info about that from the HAMO website:

Our greatest need is for disposable diapers (traditional brand or eco-friendly). However, we gratefully accept NEW cloth pocket diaper kits, similiar to Econobum diaper kits, for distribution to a small percentage of the families we serve. Why? For the vast majority of our partner’s clients, cloth diapers are not a realistic option. We recommend reading the Diaper Divide as a primer on this debate. The Cloth Diaper Foundation is a nonprofit organization that primarily helps families in need get started with cloth diapering, and they accept donations of new and gently used cloth diapers.

Kim Tracy Prince (left) and over 16,000 diapers.

(And yes, I put my money where my blog post is. I have personally donated about 1000 diapers this year.)

Finally some relief!

Notice about the new parking restrictions

For years we’ve had to deal with the increasingly disgusting display (and aroma) of the RVs and other vehicles camped out on Riverside Drive in Silver Lake.

Well, after many complaints, we’re finally going to see some relief: NO OVERNIGHT PARKING restrictions begin tomorrow!

Swiped directly from Diane Edwardson’s blog,

Starting this Friday, 3-14-08, The City will implement a “No Overnight Parking Zone” from 2AM to 6AM daily on Riverside Drive between Los Feliz and Oros St., as well as Allesandro Ave. between Riverside Drive and Glendale Blvd. Residents can obtain permits for “District 527” and more information by calling the Dept of Transportation (213)473-7890.For decades people have lived in motor homes and other vehicles on Riverside Drive. In response to the increased number of vehicles and neighborhood complaints, the City crafted this solution after years of discussion within City Council District 13.Parking District 527 will be expandable if motor homes start parking on adjacent residential streets. The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council and CD13 identified the most likely streets last fall.IMPORTANT NOTE: If motor homes begin parking on your residential street, report the activity immediately to 1-877-ASK-LAPD and your Senior Lead Officer. Additionally, contact CD13 (if you are south of Fletcher) and report the motor homes to Billie Jean Londono (323)957-4500 or Sallie Martinez (323)478-9002. CD13 will create a file to establish justification for expanding the district. However, the downside is neighbors would have to purchase parking permits. So calling the LAPD is important to reinforce that our residential streets are not appropriate for motor homeless living.