It’s 78 hours and 53 minutes until I turn 57.
This is a month when many give thanks officially in the continental United States. I’m thankful I’m dry, only a little cold, and writing up a storm.
It’s cold outside and my apartment is in the midst of an area where my street peers are huddling, shivering and focusing on surviving.
Did you know that 2 blocks from where I live, a mobile shower appears in the parking lot of a church for my street friends? The same location houses a food bank to help feed those in my neighborhood.
Are you aware if the same type of love is going on in your neighborhood?
Are you aware that I have a ‘hood and am not still on the streets because one woman and the organization she runs pays my electricity, gas, water and 10% of my rent monthly. This has been so for the entire 9 1/2 months that I’ve been housed. It is only with help that I am not homeless and on the streets with my peers.
That’s my unsubtle way of sharing with you there is no low income housing in the Los Angeles area.
It’s also my less than elegant way of asking you to do something tangible for your neighborhood.
What can you do?
Spread the word, if you have nothing else to give. Either pass this on, or write a piece yourself asking your friends to do something. Heck, I even ask my enemies to do something.
Give inkind if you have it available. Blankets, jackets, plastic rain ponchos, warm socks, gloves, mittens, umbrellas, warm dry clothing.
Give money if you have surplus.
Volunteer your time and talent.
Pick one, pick more than one suggestion. If homelessness isn’t your cause, pick another cause.
If you choose to make a dent in the lives of those giving their all to surviving homeless right now — my suggestion is to give to a place that is a hub for my street peers.
I see nothing wrong with giving to an individual person, if that is your bent, and I encourage that as well.
However, if your personal goal is to help in a big way, give to a place that can distribute what you have to give efficiently, effectively and to as many as possible.
If you are unable to find a list of places in your area, write in the comment section to me at the bottom of this post. We can use the internet to find places close to you. As well, I know homeless all over the world, and animal rescue workers, and many others … I’m fully willing to give to you by doing some research (which is one of my fortes) to locate a hub of help close to you for your given cause. As long as it’s not a Hate-oriented cause.
If you are in the SoCal area, here is a list of locations to get you started:
Check out their Get Involved menu tab. And consider this a place to take your spare blankets; warm, dry clothing; and plastic rain ponchos.
PO Box 7511
Westlake Village, CA 91359
E-mail info (at) skip1.org
- Winter Shelter —
I personally don’t know where it is this year, but I guarantee you, if you connect with invisiblepeople.tv or Ascencia, they may at least be able to share with you if there is going to be one and where it may be in the SoCal area. The Winter Shelter I slept at in January/February of 2011 was always in need of sheets, pillows, blankets, volunteers, food for those seeking surcease, and in many cases, people to provide simple companionship to those of us who slept there.
And that’s that.
It’s 2:37am. It’s raining, it’s cold, and I turn 57 in 78 hours and 16 minutes.
Of all the things I’m consciously thankful for, one of them is the opportunity to write this month.
Thank you for reading! ::grin:: Have a smile, I have plenty to spare, and I feel great giving them [smiles] away.