Open Collective
Open Collective
Published on November 2, 2022 by Ndindi Kitonga

Greetings all!
Here are some recent PUMA updates

1. Healing space at the resource center

PUMA has expanded the art space we provide at the resource center to include a chill space. We have incense, candles pillows, and generally create a relaxing place for guests to relax in. This was a popular offering and we look forward to doing more with this new program. 

The next resource center date is Saturday, Nov 19th, at St. Bedes in Mar Vista. We would love to have you there! You can sign up for a shift here.
2. Community Healing Arts

We’re proud to have collaborated with  Black Unity LA for a Community Art Healing program.

The center of the event are formerly incarcerated folks who are in community-based housing in South Central Los Angeles. Not only residents but the staff of this community-based housing and community organizers took space to heal together. Healing artwork can help express emotions that are hard to put into words, allows extreme emotions of anger & pain to be expressed in a safe manner & art gives a feeling of empowerment, capability & freedom. (Written by R.M of Black Unity). 

We look forward to building more community healing arts programs with unhoused for formerly incarcerated folks in the city. 

3. Harm reduction workshop

Along with the wonderful organizers at South Bay Mutual Aid and Care Collective, we put together a harm reduction workshop. The workshop included discussions with experts in the field, on-the-ground organizers, and with folks with lived experiences.

 We look forward to organizing more skillshares and workshops for local organizers. We’ll be looking to do CPR and first-aid training next. Please contact us if you know of local facilitators.

Here’s our cool little flier.

4. Free Food Collective has a new food program!
We are so excited to announce that we have started a new food recovery effort in coalition with our community partner Palms Unhoused Mutual Aid! We are working together to recover prepared food on Tuesdays, and then reheating & repackaging the meals on Wednesdays for PUMA's outreach efforts through Mar Vista and Palms.
We have reached over 23,000 pounds of food diverted from landfills, 23289 pounds and counting to be exact! This is equal to 1933 pounds of methane saved from the atmosphere and 20,071.05 carbon dioxide emissions. This amount of food waste could power one household for almost 5 years. (Written by B.S. of Free Food Collective).

You can learn more about the program here: 

5. Fairfax Mutual Aid Network

We always work in coalition with other local mutual aid and harm reduction groups. For this update, we want to bring to your attention the efforts of Fairfax Mutual Aid. They address unhoused communities’ immediate needs across the Beverly Grove and Fairfax neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

Like PUMA, they are a volunteer-based network. If you are local to that area and wanted to get involved, please contact them at [email protected]. They say, “There are lots of ways to get involved, whether you're interested in contributing to our weekly outreach team or helping with back-end support. If you have a skill, resource, or supplies that you think would help our efforts we would love to hear about it.”

6. Sleeping Bags and Blankets

Please support our November fundraiser.

7. November 7 CAL-FRESH Sign-Up Event

After learning that formerly unhoused persons participating in Project Roomkey in MarVista are not being fed, we, Free Food Collective and Hunger Action LA are planning on signing up people for CalFresh and giving food to the participants. Volunteers are appreciated to assist with the event and any food donations to prepare grocery bags are highly appreciated!

Please reach out to us if you want to get involved. 

8. Open Collective

We’re slowly moving our grassroots fundraising efforts to PUMA Open Collective. Open Collective is a toolbox for grassroots groups like ours that offers transparency to contributors and fiscal hosting. Your contributions on Open Collective will also be tax deductible.  Please consider moving your subscription to this platform. 

Thank you for supporting our work!


Please look out for your unsheltered neighbors as the temperatures begin to drop. Hypothermia deaths rose sharply in 2021 in Los Angeles. In fact, more unhoused people die of hypothermia in LA, than in San Francisco and New York combined. This article also describes the systemic issues with the city winter shelter program and makes a good case for always demanding permanent supportive housing.