Our Mutual Aid Work Continues
Published on March 22, 2023 by Lisa Redmond
It's been a harsh winter for all, especially for our unhoused guests who’ve endured torrential rain and brutal cold temperatures. But how wonderful for all that our most recent Resource Center on March 18 was not only rain free, but also on the best weather day in weeks at 70°! And how perfect was that for many people’s first time visiting the Resource Center from guests to service providers. A first timer of note is the UCLA Stein Eye Institute who came with their Mobile Eye Clinic. Our guests were able to have their vision checked and will receive new glasses in the mail in a few weeks. The gift of being able to see clearly is invaluable for our guests.
The value of our monthly Resource Center is now extending beyond our wildest dreams in ways we could have never imagined. Some volunteers have shared with us they have formed bonds that go beyond the Resource Center. The clothing crew is even meeting up outside of the event!
As one could imagine, there is a lot of back end work that goes into making a Resource Center happen each month. We’re super excited that we’ve recently expanded our core planning team with new members who are dedicated to our values and the mutual aid work we’re doing. New blood has brought invaluable energy to the team with fresh ideas and shared duties. As well, it helps us continue to grow with new capabilities and care by providing access to essential services that our governments lack in furnishing, or refuse to.
We continue to struggle with outreach beyond our event. The struggle is not based on our capabilities, but the powers that make our work difficult. Our guests continue to experience unnecessary sweeps which pushes them around in a whack-a-mole fashion, making it difficult for them to remain connected to service providers and resources, including us. As well, several of our guests who are participants in the Mayor’s Inside Safe program are experiencing absurd shuffles from hotel to hotel. We are striving to keep up with those moves to continue providing services they're often not getting, including food. We are first hand witnesses to the mental health toll it is taking on them with not knowing where they’ll be staying the next day, and the fallout when they are given extreme short notice to pack up and move once again.
We have an Amazon wishlist that we are constantly updating with needs that will benefit our guests and friends on the street. Please consider fulfilling those needs with purchasing those necessary items.
We are also excited to announce our new website at www.laneighbors.org! The website will now allow folk to sign up directly to volunteer with us or donate funds. You can keep up with our work and we look forward to expanding the website with further information and resources. Check it out and sign up to join us at our next Resource Center on April 15. :)