Tomorrow is #GivingTuesdayNow, a new global day of giving focused on supporting nonprofits big and small during this unprecedented time. We hope you will support Project Ropa so that we can continue to help our homeless neighbors in Los Angeles.
Project Ropa was started in 2016 to address the challenges that people experiencing homelessness face in obtaining and keeping clean clothes and personal hygiene products. Most homeless people literally have only the clothes on their backs. When meeting basic needs is a daily struggle, imagine how hard it is to build a better life.
For weeks now, we as a community have sheltered in place, practiced social distancing, washed our hands and done everything within our power to slow the spread of COVID-19. Now with our city in the grip of the pandemic, the homeless crisis has only gotten worse. COVID has exposed just how vulnerable those who live on the streets are, making the need for our service greater than ever.
Our mission is simple: to help restore dignity, rekindle optimism and empower the lives of the most vulnerable among us. Our retrofitted van, functioning as a mobile walk-in closet, brings hope as well as a full selection of clothes, shoes and accessories, along with personal hygiene products, to LA’s sprawling homeless population. We operate in tandem with another nonprofit that provides shower facilities and we employ previously incarcerated individuals and people transitioning out of homelessness. Project Ropa believes everyone is capable of growth, and that the path to personal transformation can start with a shower and a change of clothes.
We are the only nonprofit of its kind in Los Angeles but we now find ourselves at a crossroads. Out of concern for the safety of our staff and our clients, we made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend our mobile service in March. We want to get back on the streets as soon as possible. But the rising costs of working on the front lines of this pandemic are daunting.
We need to purchase additional cleaning and safety equipment and provide hazard pay to our staff. We also have to partly rebuild our supply chain of donations of hygiene products and men’s and women’s clothing. Many of our suppliers are now closed indefinitely due to the virus or have reallocated supplies to larger organizations for the foreseeable future.
We are proud to announce that in the last week, Project Ropa was awarded two grants to help us continue our work. We received $10,000 from the LA County Employer Assistance Grant Fund and $5,000 from the David C. Bohnett USC College Community Investment Donor Advised Fund. These grants will reduce our budget shortfall but can’t close it entirely.
As we look to resume operations on May 19, we know there will be many new challenges ahead for our organization and our homeless neighbors. That is why we are asking for your support today. Here’s how you can help:
2) We are seeking financial support to help cover the increase in operating expenses. Your donations will purchase hygiene, safety and cleaning supplies and contribute to hazard pay for our staff. DONATE NOW
3) Please share our social media posts! By doing so, you will amplify our message and let others know what we need. Links to all our social accounts are in the footer of this email.
We know that you are receiving many requests for support during this painful period. Whether you are hearing about us for the first time or have supported us from the beginning, we hope you will see our value and donate whatever you can.
Wishing kindness and comfort to you, our community.
Founder and Executive Director of Project Ropa
The Federal government has expanded the availability of tax deductions for charitable donations through the CARES Act. If you believe that everyone should have access to essential basic hygiene services, especially in the wake of COVID-19, please donate now.