Open Collective
Open Collective
A Beautiful Day for a Resource Center!
Published on February 21, 2023 by Lisa Redmond

Once again, the weather gods blessed us with a beautiful day for our most recent Resource Center on February 18th. We had over 66 guests and more than 50 volunteers during the day. The day flowed so wonderfully as guests and volunteers arrived throughout the day, never at anytime feeling crowded or unaccommodating. Our terriffic driving team once again excelled to pick up our guests in personal vehicles from all over the Westside and take them home again.

Volunteers ready to serve at the Breakfast Station

What once started as a simple "lets get coffee and donuts for our early set up volunteers" has grown into the highly popular Breakfast Station. We not only have coffee and donuts, but fruits and other pastries as well. In the past we've had donated bagels to toast with cream cheese. This month, Erica Moore of Bonne Bouffe Catering in Venice provided a generous donation of pastries, waffles and yogurt. (Side note, Erica also lets us borrow her catering van every month to help with guest pick ups.) We have several guests who arrive early while we're still setting up, and the Breakfast Station is an opportunity to provide instant hospitality to all our arrivals, including guests, volunteers and service providers. And who doesn't enjoy a hot beverage first thing in the morning? The day also included our now traditional hot meal of beans and rice with all the toppings and additions one could imagine. Our cooking, food serving and kitchen clean up crew are par excellence!

Enjoying the Chill Space

The Chill Space is one of the best ideas we've implemented. Beyond the services and supplies provided, so many guests come for camaraderie in addition to a change of scenery and pace. And the Chill Space is a popular place to take it all in.

Clothing tables

Our clothing table continues to be a popular destination for our guests. A huge thank you to volunteers from our host St. Bede's Episcopal Church who continue to sort and fold clothes throughout the month in preparation for our Resource Center. Cash donations help us to purchase new items like underwear for distribution. And speaking of our fabulous host St. Bede's, we were excited to meet their new Rector, the Reverend Jennifer Wagner Pavia. Welcome Jennifer!

Many of our guests are now indoors with the Mayor's Inside Safe Program. While folk are generally happy in to be indoors, they are far from being housed in dignity. Please be wary of the Mayor's and City Councilperson's PR propaganda. Our guests are in bug ridden motels, some are often shuffled from place to place without warning, and have even been sent to motels with no linens, blankets or hygiene supplies. And they are not being fed properly as well. Many of our guests from motels came super hungry and went directly to the food. The PR machine is also false in saying that people are being given mental health care as well. Even if indoors, the loss of community, short notice moves and not knowing when you can eat again, to name a few, has been traumatic to our friends. We continue to keep track of who we can and provide as many needed supplies and special requests as we are able.

If you 'd like to help support our friends in the motels, please donate to us here. Also check out our wishlist, which includes items that guests requested for our next Resource Center (to distribute at our "special items" station). Feel free to share :)

And if you'd like to part of the fun, please volunteer for our next resource center on March 18th. You can sign up through this link.

Special thanks to all of our service providers:
Art, music, + chill space by Palms Unhoused Mutual Aid
Bike repair by Bikerowave
Bike share by Metro Bike Share
Caseworkers from St. Joseph Center & LAHSA
Hairdresser by Humanity Resources
Harm Reduction from ClareMatrix
Hygiene Kits from Housing MV
Library by ACAB Library with South Bay Mutual Aid Care Club
Medical help by UCLA Homeless Healthcare Collaborative
Phones from Assurance Wireless
Social support by Miracle Messages
Venue and storage provided by St. Bede's
Vital Records by LA County Registrar/Recorder