Open Collective
Open Collective
Published on April 24, 2023 by Ndindi Kitonga

  1. Some photos from our latest mutual aid efforts
Highlights from the Chill Space and Art Table at the LA Neighbors for Neighbors April Resource Center. Nate is on the guitar and the free books are by ACAB Free Library.

The next resource Center is on Saturday, May 20, 2023. PUMA will be hosting a little plant stand as well.
You can sign up to volunteer

Students eagerly assemble wound-care kits for distribution across the Westside and for a festival for our friends at Aetna Street. 

2. Our Partners and Friends

Our friends at Aetna Street recently hosted the 2nd Annual Aetnapalooza! Festival. 

Repost from @aetnastreetsolidarity: Aetnapalooza! is a street festival dedicated to reclaiming public space, nurturing our vision for liberation, and supporting our unhoused communities in the San Fernando Valley.

One year ago, we held our first Aetnapalooza in resistance to 41.18, a law that bans sitting, lying, and sleeping on sidewalks in Los Angeles. This year, we are building a shared vision for how we take care of ourselves and the land.
We were honored to share wound-care kits, Narcan, and art supplies. We look forward to working even closer with Aetna Street. 

Read Aetna Street’s collective demands to Mayor Karen Bass on Inside Safe:

b. Free Food Collective

Our friends at Free Food Collective get many requests for cookware. They are looking for gently used hotplates, pots, and pans. A hotplate and a few other items are vital to having regular hot nutritious meals. Please email [email protected] or [email protected] if you have items to donate. Thank you! 

3. About Inside Safe

Inside Safe is a program launched by the Mayor’s office to provide temporary shelter and support for unhoused participants, while they wait on permanent housing. People with lived experience with houselessness and local community organizations are deeply concerned and frustrated with the program’s current ineffectiveness, lack of transparency, and blatant exclusion from the planning of Inside Safe. 

Learn more about the Inside Safe Initiative from this zine: here.

Please join us in raising our unhoused friends’ demands for housing, supportive services, transparency around the program, and inclusion in the planning & implementation of the program: Inside Starving Tool Kit

4. Our Little Network is Growing!

We have several new volunteers and organizers. We’ve also added a day of outreach and are doing more advocacy work. Here are our current efforts. Please let contact us if you’re interested in joining us. Please DM us on Instagram or email us at [email protected].
  1. Monday Harm Reduction Outreach in Mar Vista, 4 pm-5:30 pm.
  2. Tuesday West LA Outreach, 11:30 am-1 pm. 
  3. Wednesday Palms & Culver City Outreach, 4:30 pm-6 pm, 6-7:30 pm.
  4. Rapid Response- We try to address folks' needs throughout the week. This might mean dropping off supplies or picking them up, taking people for appointments, and the like. 
  5.  Food recovery and distribution-We work with Free Food Collective to get hot meals to folks on Wednesdays for outreach. To make this happen we have volunteers pick up food on Tuesdays from a local grocer and take it to a church where it is refrigerated until the next day. Free Food Collective also does produce distribution across the Westside on Sundays at 3 pm.  Please email [email protected] to learn more.
  6.  The Resource Center Art Table & Chill Space in Mar Vista, the third Saturday of the month. Please email [email protected] to learn more. 
With gratitude, 

P.S. Resource for the month: 
One of the harm reductionists at PUMA was involved in this important study on the long-term effects of the displacement of homeless individuals who use drugs.

According to the study, “Involuntary displacement is estimated to worsen overdose and hospitalizations, decrease initiations of medications for opioid use disorder, and contribute to deaths among people experiencing homelessness who inject drugs” and that “ceasing involuntary displacement of people experiencing homelessness may mitigate some health-related harms associated with homelessness”. 

This is why we continue to work for the end of sweeps and fight for the right to housing & services.