Hi! It’s been a moment but the dispatch is back with its sixth installment and we’re grateful you’re here right now, reading it. Before anything else, we’d like to uplift the Services Not Sweeps coalition and community that have been fighting the expansion of the immensely harmful, violent, and deadly 41.18 ordinance, which makes it illegal to sit, lie, sleep or store property in public and is intended to harm our unhoused neighbors. We have witnessed up close how this ordinance truly destroys lives without offering any meaningful path to shelter, much less housing. When people are swept and displaced–oftentimes moving just a few blocks away–they can lose connections to services, life-saving items like medicines and identification and a familiar community needed for survival. This destabilizing paired with the severe lack of available services makes 41.18’s existence, and especially its expansion, even more illogical, violent, and cruel to our unhoused neighbors.
Unsurprisingly, the abuse continues at city hall as our City Council chooses to limit public comment, leaving very little to no time for the very people who are affected by this ordinance to address the council. We support our community of housed and unhoused organizers who shut down the council meetings in an attempt to give the public a chance to speak – a people’s public comment. We wholeheartedly reject the comparison of this demonstration of first amendment rights to the January 6th insurrection. The violence and racism shown by the council members themselves and through LAPD is beyond unacceptable, and we all need to be opposing their actions, racism, and violent legislation.
It’s hard to find words right now given the state of everything, especially with the heat as an added layer of heaviness, concern and emergency. But again, we’re glad you’re here and especially appreciate your patience between dispatches. We’ve outgrown Mailchimp’s free newsletter account and took some time to migrate everything over to Buttondown, a more transparent and simple, human-feeling platform run by a friendly and generous (in our experience) person named Justin Duke.
No matter the platform, we will always work to be a free, straightforward, reliable and increasingly accessible resource for those who are just starting out or continuing to plug in to these supportive communities, and in doing so, find and create hope. Let’s bring more people in and be working together toward a better quality of life for everybody in this city. We also hope you are finding space to care for yourself and your immediate community. Remember that joy is radical!
As temperatures rise in Los Angeles, Water Drop LA (WDLA) continues the work they began with their formation in September 2020: getting drinkable water to people and communities with little to no access. At that point in time, the recent college grads had no grand plan to build anything like the Water Drop LA team we see out there today. This was just a group of friends, responding to an immediate need. But the concept of mutual aid had reached social media and was getting an unprecedented amount of attention from the general public and attention translated into money. People were more than willing to donate in the face of the pandemic and the city's relentless efforts to keep resources from those that actually needed them. Water Drop directed most of their resources toward Skid Row, where there are only 8 working water fountains for the estimated 4,662 houseless individuals and heat related emergency room visits are double LA County’s average.
We’ve watched the Water Drop's operation evolve as funds and people power allowed for it. From U-haul rentals to more pallets ordered each week to setting up a donation drop-off for folks to bring supplies and clothing specifically requested by Skid Row residents, you could feel a steady pace. Consistency is valuable because it means you can be relied upon. To rely on something means there’s trust being built and eventually relationships. These are things emphasized by WDLA's organizers.
In addition to their in-person consistency, WDLA is impressively consistent online. They use instagram not just to update us on initiatives but to educate us by letting us in on what they learn. One instagram post reads, “While rich Angelenos fund philanthropic water insecurity initiatives abroad, many don’t realize that #waterinsecurity exists right in their backyard. In Skid Row, for example, thousands live without regular access to clean drinking water. The same goes for low-income communities in LA who are subject to poorly maintained housing with landlords who don’t replace the pipes.” Nothing is posted on the WDLA account without ways we can act in response to the dark realities they often present. And these actions are all very doable, like checking in on your neighbors or passing out frozen water.
Consistent donations enabled WDLA to expand their reach and capacity beyond the 6-7 pallets of water (or 3,000 dollars worth) they’d been distributing in Skid Row each weekend. They could now invite other groups to sign-up and receive a substantial amount of water on a monthly basis. By procuring and transporting the water, WDLA helped fuel and sustain the work of so many groups, like that of Solidarity and Snacks or of Polo’s Pantry which took them out to distribute water to the farmworkers of Coachella Valley–who feed Los Angeles every day.
As Water Drop LA celebrates their 2 Year Water Drop-Aversary, 105+ consecutive Sunday drops and about 200,000 gallons of water distributed, it's noticeable that the flood of attention from 2020--and the money that accompanied it--has slowed all the way down to a trickle, while of course the need for water has not. But WDLA organizers have the marathon mindset when it comes to this fight. While Water Drop has had to do some scaling back, they’ve also remained steadfast and in sync with a foundational commitment to one another as humans and our collective access to clean, drinkable water. A slide in an instagram post reads, “Let's be clear. We need permanent water infrastructure solutions because homelessness will never go away overnight, but while focusing on access to permanent housing, we need to also ensure that the basic human needs of those waiting for housing are met.”
*PLEASE clean, sort & fold all items you are donating. Items should be new or gently used. Socks, underwear and hygiene items should always be unused.
WHO: Gracie's Giving Hands
WHAT: TIME ITEMS MONEY
Our efforts are to give out as much food as possible, to the community and to our unhoused neighbors. We are in need of volunteers to pick up food from our food distribution center, and help restock outdoor community pantries and Los Angeles Fridges. We also need volunteers to serve food in Skid Row (timing varies) and to deliver food to families around LA. To sign up for food pick ups or donate hygiene, email firstname.lastname@example.org or send an Instagram message.
WHEN: Food deliveries are every first and third Saturday of the month.
WHERE: Skid Row, El Sereno, Eagle Rock, Glassell Park, and surrounding areas.
$$$: Donations can be made through Venmo: @graciesgivinghands.
WHO: West Valley Mutual Aid
The goal of WVMA is to support our unhoused and vulnerable neighbors in the West San Fernando Valley. The summer heat is upon us, especially in the Valley. We have set up a Patreon to help us fund coolers and frozen water bottles to our unhoused neighbors.
WHERE: Chatsworth, Northridge, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Canoga Park
$$$: You can join our Patreon for as little as $2 a month and make a huge difference.
WHO: Period Project Los Angeles (PPLA)
WHAT: TIME ITEMS MONEY
PPLA is a student-led project that serves as a mutual aid for our houseless, low-income, & marginalized folks in Los Angeles experiencing period poverty by providing them menstrual hygiene products and education on reproductive rights. We need menstrual hygiene products (pads, liners, & tampons), water bottle cases, sandwich-making supplies (bread, jams, ham, cheese,etc), basic hygiene products (toothpaste, toothbrushes, hand soaps, hand sanitizer, wipes, mini shower bottles), & contraceptives (birth control, condoms for male and females). Folk can coordinate a pick-up or drop-off with the group by sending us a DM @periodprojectla or email email@example.com.
WHEN: Monthly distributions conducted usually on Saturdays (dates tbd) from 10am-12pm in Downtown LA.
WHERE: Skid Row, Echo Park, MacArthur Park/Westlake.
$$$: People can donate through our Venmo @PeriodProjectLosAngeles and by donating through our GoFundMe or purchasing through our amazon wishlist.
WHO: Vegans of LA Food Bank
WHAT: TIME ITEMS MONEY
We promote a vegans lifestyle through spirituality and kindness. We need mass quantities of vegan products. We serve more than 300 people in a single day.
WHEN: We operate every 3rd Thursday of each month from 8:00am-11am (volunteers needed at 7:30am), and every 3rd Wednesday, we need help from 11:30am-3:00pm to sort and pack produce items.
WHERE: 22nd and Union Los Angeles
$$$: Donate here.
WHO: Los Angeles Neighbors for Neighbors
WHAT: TIME MONEY
LAN4N is a volunteer-led organization fighting for housing justice and services for unhoused Angelenos. We host a monthly resource center where unhoused folks can get the services and supplies they need to survive. The Resource Center occurs the third Saturday of every month from 10am-2pm, with volunteer shifts from 8am-4pm.
WHEN: The next Resource Center will be September 17th and we're always in need of drivers for the day of the event! Sign up to to volunteer for the event or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
WHERE: The resource center will take place at St. Bede's Church in Mar Vista. We provide transportation around West LA: Mar Vista, Palms, Culver City, Venice, Santa Monica.
$$$: Become a monthly supporter or contribute a one time donation here. Donations go toward the costs of running the event, transporting guests, and durable goods such as tents and sleeping bags.
WHO: Free Summer Market
WHAT: TIME ITEMS MONEY
The Free Summer Market is a BIPOC-led movement to serve the people. This summer we are hosting free market mutual aid events to support our unhoused neighbors. We share food, hygiene supplies, harm reduction materials, PPE, art, music, and much more. The Free Summer Market is a collaboration between Black Unity and Proper Hygiene Project in coalition with Palms Unhoused Mutual Aid. We are in need of clothing donations and bags. Folks who want to volunteer can bring them to the event, otherwise Ndindi @palmsunhousedmutualaid on IG can pick up.
WHEN: We have opportunities for folks to do mutual aid work with us on September 11, 10am-2pm. Please reach out to organizers: Proper Hygiene Project and Black Unity.
WHERE: DTLA and surrounding areas
$$$: Venmo:@ProperHygieneProject_DTLA CashApp:$ProperHygieneProject CashApp:$themcqueenbee
WHO: South Hill Fridge
WHAT: TIME ITEMS MONEY
The South Hill Fridge (part of the LA Community Fridge Network) has so many ways for you to contribute to it, like by holding your own mini-drive, putting out a call for specific items via your BuyNothing group and/or signing-up for a fridge cleaning shift. ITEMS accepted at the fridge are unopened food, hygiene products, water, wet wipes, pet food and supplies and more (see full list).
WHEN: Times vary for pop-up events / On your own time for cleaning.
WHERE: 2817 South Hill St.
$$$: Venmo @SouthHillFridge / Shop their wishlist.
WHO: Mac Park Breakfast & El Pueblo Crew.
WHAT: TIME ITEMS MONEY
This team just keeps going with their weekly Thursday breakfast in MacArthur Park & Sunday lunch in the El Pueblo Neighborhood, their major supply collections and distro events, their ability to raise funds and the way they seem to make it fun and joyful when possible. As folks who show up for food increase, so does the need for VOLUNTEERS to take on one of the following 1) cook, prep and deliver large quantities of food Saturday nights or Sunday AM. 2) shoppers for weekly food/prep 3) folks to plate & distro meals for Sunday lunch or 7:15am breakfast service. Additionally, volunteers are needed to build hygiene kits on your own time for the group’s upcoming Sneakers & Shelter event. DM @evadotwoods to chat or sign-up for any of this. This effort is most in need of mens or unisex SNEAKERS!
WHEN: Thursday early AM and Sunday lunchtime for weekly meal distro. Sneakers & Shelters event is specifically on Sunday, September 4th @ Noon + remote hygiene kit assembly is on your own time.
WHERE: MacArthur Park (Thursdays) and El Pueblo (Sundays).
$$$: Be super helpful by buying items on their wishlist and/or sending fund$ to fuel the ongoing meals and supplies they provide to unhoused folks via Venmo:@Catherine-Schetina.
WHO: South Bay Abolitionist Collective.
WHAT: TIME ITEMS MONEY
South Bay Abolitionist Collective is committed to building stronger radical foundations and action for the betterment of colonized people in the South Bay. This group is inviting VOLUNTEERS sign-up here or link in bio) to come build hygiene kits, charge phones and distribute food and supplies to unhoused individuals at their August Mutual Aid Outreach this coming weekend with Community Loving. ITEMS accepted are gently used clothing, unused hygiene items, tents, water or anything off their WISHLIST. All cash contributions go directly toward supplies.
WHEN: Sunday, 2nd half of September (lookout for dates via IG), 11am Donation Drop-off/12pm Distro.
WHERE: Alondra Park (Playground #3), Lawndale, CA.
$$$: Venmo: @SBA_Collective
WHO: LA Community Fridge Moving Team.
WHAT: TIME MONEY
The LACF Moving Team makes maneuvering hunks of metal look easy. The team needs your help to coordinate and schedule, source fridges or become a Helping Hand (folks willing to help lift a fridge in the truck). The BIGGEST need is 1-2 TRUCK DRIVING volunteers willing to do about 1 move/month. This role has played an integral part in helping the Los Angeles Community Fridge network stay healthy and growing. WANT TO JOIN THE TEAM? Download the signal messaging app and head to the link in our bio to introduce yourself within the fridge movers team!
WHEN: TBD but pretty flexible.
WHERE: All over L.A. (Moves are within a reasonable distance from YOU!)
$$$: High gas prices means we’re raising funds to reimburse our fridge movers who’ve been racking up miles with fridge pick-ups and deliveries! Venmo: @Sarah-Ginsburg w/ an ice cube emoji.
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