Open Collective
Open Collective
Published on December 3, 2023 by Ndindi Kitonga



Our Unhoused Friends Speak Up!

  1. Venice Inside Safe Operation

One of the communities we engage with on Venice Blvd recently underwent an Inside Safe operation. We were on the ground supporting people as best as we could and while most people entered interim motels, we continued to see some of our friends on the streets. Culver City and Los Angeles fenced off the area after the Inside Safe operation forcing those who didn’t get into the program to shelter in more precarious areas. In this interview, an unhoused resident from the community discusses the "campaign of harassment" and the denial of humanity the community on Venice Blvd has faced under relentless sweeps and the city’s hostile policies.

Our local PUMA harm reductionist Jesse G. also recently published an important article in the journal Social Science & Medicine detailing the many harms people who use substances face under city sweeps and other such policies.

2. Our friends who were displaced from Jasmine Ave were recently featured on LA Public Press’s podcast Smogland Radio. It’s titled, There’s No Place Like Home: The Story of the Jasmine Avenue Encampment.

Since their displacement, some remain in interim shelters while others remain unsheltered a few blocks away. No one has yet to enter permanent housing and as they had predicted, the folks who were on housing lists to enter permanent housing in Culver City were kicked off the list because “they moved away”. 

Please listen to Rebecca, Manfred, BJ, Kaz’s stories.

Winter Fundraiser
This holiday season, we encourage you to seek alternatives to donating to non-profits and charities. Please read Kris Rehl’s compelling piece on what the non-profit industrial complex is and the importance of directly supporting our communities.  Kris R. is part of LA Street Care, a mutual aid collective organizing in Los Feliz, Echo Park, Atwater, Historic Filipinotown, Silver Lake, and Rampart.

We just launched a winter fundraiser. Our goal is to raise $4500 to provide life-saving winter supplies for our neighbors. Despite LA's mild winters, we have the highest number of hypothermia-related health emergencies and deaths. Our mutual aid work across West LA, Mid City, and South LA also requires funds to continue providing food, water, harm reduction, tents, summer/winter supplies, etc. You can also see where the funds go if you track our PUMA open collective page.
Check out our PUMA expenses and outreach supplies breakdown for 2023. 
Blanket and sleeping mats

Do you have gently used blankets or sleeping mats to donate? We are collecting these items and ask folks to drop them off to us at outreach on Mondays (4:30 pm in Culver City) and Wednesdays (4:30 pm in Palms). Please DM us on Instagram or email [email protected] to let us know if you’re dropping off supplies. 

Teach-in on Forced Treatment, CARE Courts, and Resistance in California with Rafik

Thank you to Rafik Wahbi for hosting a rich and insightful session.
Rafik Nader Wahbi, MPH is a Community Health Scientist and Educator whose work focuses on the social and political determinants of mental health and drug use, specifically for those who are criminalized, unhoused, displaced, or incarcerated. You can check out the session here. 

Thank you for your enduring support, 

Resource of the month: This article offers some accessible and straightforward ways to support your unhoused neighbors. This piece also features our friends J-TOWN Action と Solidarity who do amazing mutual aid and solidarity work in Little Tokyo.