Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the outpouring of support we’ve received over the past month. We would like to thank everyone who donated to our #GivingTuesdayNow fundraiser last month. Thanks to your generosity we were able to raise nearly $5,000.
Some quick highlights below…
- We’ve Resumed our Mobile Hygiene Service – Earlier this month we returned to the streets of Los Angeles to provide essential hygiene products to our homeless neighbors.
- Volunteer Spotlight – Anel has been helping us every week for the past year sort our clothing donations and setup for our mobile hygiene service.
- Clothing Donations – In the last month we seen a 200% increase in clothing donations from individuals and received in-kind donations of PPE, clothing and hygiene products from over a dozen companies and organizations.
- Grants Received – We are thrilled to announce that last month we received two grants totaling $15,000!
- Black Lives Matter – Systemic racism has been affecting every aspect of our country for hundreds of years. In Los Angeles, blacks make up 36% of the homeless population, compared with less than 9% of the overall population. Read our full statement here.
Keep reading to learn more how our organization is working on the front lines to provide people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles with essential hygiene services.
We’ve Resumed Our Service
Earlier this month we resumed our Mobile Hygiene Service in Echo Park – providing clean clothes and hygiene kits as well as masks, gloves and water bottles to our homeless neighbors. Our service may look a little different, but our mission remains the same. Clean clothes that are wrinkle-free and the right fit and style can be the key to securing and keeping employment. We believe that access to clean clothes must be provided in a safe, humane and dignified way and is essential to helping reduce the spread of transmittable diseases such as Covid-19.
Visit our website to learn about our new safety standards and how our organization is adapting our services as a result of the pandemic and continuing to provide our service in a safe, humane and dignified way.
Anel is our June Volunteer of the Month!
Anel has been volunteering with Project Ropa for over a year and has continued to help us during the pandemic while also being an essential worker at her job.
“My name is Anel Cholico. I am 24 years old and I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I attended UCLA, where I majored in Sociology and I’m currently pursuing a career in law enforcement with the Los Angeles Police Department.
I decided to volunteer with Project Ropa because homelessness is a huge problem in the United States. When I learned there were thousands of people experiencing homelessness in the Los Angeles county alone, I felt it was necessary to help in any way I could. While doing some research, I came across Project Ropa and I saw the amazing work that they were doing to help bring basic necessities to people experiencing homelessness. They were looking for a volunteer to help sort clothes and I felt this was a perfect opportunity to get involved and make a small difference.
What I enjoy the most about volunteering with Project Ropa is the immediate impact I know it’s having. I know that whatever clothes I’m sorting in a given week will very soon be going directly to the hands of someone who truly needs it. This makes the work incredibly rewarding.“
Thank you Anel for all your hard work and support!
We would like to thank the following amazing companies and organizations for providing us with PPE, clothing and hygiene products:
Grants We Recently Received
We are proud to announce that last month 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.
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 to help us provide these services to people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.
Black Lives Matter
Over the past weeks we all saw the global protests against the police brutality and murder of George Floyd, and of the countless other black lives that were lost before his. Systemic racism has been affecting every aspect of our country for hundreds of years.
Systemic racism helps to explain why:
- In 2019, black people comprised about 40% of the estimated 568,000 Americans who experienced homelessness, yet accounted for only 15% of the total population.
- In Los Angeles, blacks make up 36% of the homeless population, compared with less than 9% of the overall population.
- Our criminal justice system incarcerates blacks at more than 5 times the rate of whites. Fully a third of those jailed in the United States are black.
- Blacks are 2.5 times more likely than whites to be killed by police.
- Blacks face higher rates of unemployment. Because of the pandemic, less than half of all black adults have a job right now.
Three-quarters of the homeless clients we help are African Americans, and we know that they face a constant uphill battle against racism that is deeply embedded in so many of our institutional systems.
Felony records, stagnant wages and a deepening housing crisis, combined with policies that exclude or punish marginalized groups, trap far too many vulnerable black people in homelessness. Even without felony records, blacks face more difficulties finding employment and housing than do those of other races or ethnicities.
We know that change needs to happen locally as well as nationally and globally. We know that we all have a part to play to end the unequal treatment of black Americans. It’s long past time.
Read our full statement here.