19 May Homelessness Outreach and Donation Drive at Bond Park CleanUp Site
FoLAR is excited to launch registration to attend our Bond Park CleanUp site on Sunday June 27th. In a typical year this site draws over 500 volunteers and provides FoLAR and our volunteers the opportunity to come together and unite behind the common cause of removing waste from our waterway. This year we’re aspiring to something even greater.
Individuals familiar with this stretch of the LA River know it’s adjacent to a sizable encampment of unsheltered neighbors living in and along the river channel. These neighbors deserve our compassion and acceptance – in short, housing is a human right that is denied to these residents because of unaffordable housing across LA County.
SELAH Neighborhood Homeless Coalition has been providing resources to individuals experiencing homelessness since the nonprofit’s founding in 2017. Specifically, they conduct outreach from Bond Park to individuals living in the LA River without shelter and provide food, hygiene kits, and access to social services. FoLAR has made a dedicated effort to collaborate with SELAH not only at the Bond Park site, but more broadly to improve our approach to dealing with issues facing unsheltered persons.
Recently, as one FoLAR staff joined SELAH’s weekly engagement walk, she met a member of the encampment north of Los Feliz Boulevard. That individual had an important message for us and our supporters: “People view us as a dirty cause of trash. I want people to remember that we have souls…we’re here, so let’s figure it out.” Discrimination against persons experiencing homelessness negatively impacts our collective capacity to provide compassionate solutions to this persistent and growing issue in LA County.
We moved Bond Park’s cleanup date from Saturday to Sunday in order to enable SELAH’s outreach teams to inform individuals living along the LA River of the upcoming cleanup. SELAH representatives will be on-site at Bond Park to serve as a resource to CleanUp volunteers and to unsheltered individuals near our site. We are committed to deepening our tie to SELAH and invite our volunteer supporters to consider ways to contribute to their crucial humanitarian efforts right here in our city and on our River.
In collaboration with the SELAH Neighborhood Homeless Coalition, we will be hosting a donation drive at the Bond Park site. Donated items will be given to our partners at SELAH to distribute to unhoused individuals along the River during their weekly engagement walks and monthly distribution events. Please bring items to Bond Park on June 27th whether you are registered for the CleanUp, or just dropping off to the park. Every contribution makes a difference.
Volunteers are encouraged to donate the following items:
- new sandals/flip flops
- hat/shade coverings
- electrolyte powder
- hygiene and/or first aid kits, and hand/body wipes
- canned goods