Well guys and gals, there have been many changes in our neighborhood over the past few years. Some may call these changes gentrification, others a rejuvenation of business and interest in our community.
Sometimes when I drive down York I notice a new café or a new art gallery opening. I read comments on Patch about desires for new places to eat and shop, new night clubs and bars, or animal services such as adoptions or shelters.
Is housing a basic human right? Does everyone have the right to shelter or, in this case, does meritocracy rule? Does it bother you when you drive, bike or walk past a homeless individual? I would like to know people's thoughts.
In 2009 a small group of people who were concerned about those homeless in our neighborhood connected. We examined the lack of services for people homeless in Northeast Los Angeles--services like access to toilets, laundry, showers, meals, shelter and affordable housing.
We explored the impact mental illness has on our neighbors. We also talked about the impact of "NIMBY"-ism, harm reduction and substance use. As a result of these meetings, Recycled Resources for the Homeless was formed. Recycled Resources is a small nonprofit group with one goal, to improve the lives of the chronically homeless in our community.
For the past few years Recycled Resources has spent time getting to know those homeless in our community. We have outreached and engaged over 300 individuals from Cypress Park to South Pasadena, many of whom were born in Northeast L.A. They attended and have family who still live here. They call this area home like you and I; we feel that they deserve to be part of this community as much as anyone else. We also welcome your thoughts.
In an effort to connect with those living outdoors we host outreach events once a month. During outreach events we deliver basic necessities like food, clothing and hygienic/medical supplies. However, we also offer bus tokens and referrals to services needed to improve lives. Our outreach and engagement events are open to everyone. The next event takes place this Saturday, April 21 at 10 a.m. All information can be found on our website.
During outreach events teams gather vital information that allows us to connect people to services and also check on these individuals in the future. This information also allows us to advocate for much needed homeless services in Northeast L.A. Anyone who is interested in assisting the homeless is urged to attend this event, as it is a good way to talk to people, listen to them, and learn their personal story.
I welcome discussion and suggestions regarding this issue.