connect / 2020
LA Homeless Outreach
Funding/support for the costs of our essential aid kits (50%). Our kits contain food, hygiene items, weather protection, toiletries, socks, and more. Funding/support for increased capacity costs for additional event space and storage (25%). We need a second location to increase capacity for aid and volunteer participation. Funding/support for our educational program for production of videos, including moderated panel discussions on pertinent homeless topics/concerns and about formerly homeless telling their stories (25%).
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- San Fernando Valley
- South LA
- South Bay
In what stage of innovation is this project?Expand existing program
What is the need you’re responding to?
Greater Los Angeles is home to 59,000 men, women and children experiencing homelessness — 75% living without adequate shelter. Our volunteers offer hope and sustenance by providing survival kits to our homeless neighbors with essential aid to survive. The kits provide vital aid and allow the opportunity for homeless to seek help as well as an empathetic connection, relieving the loneliness of being ignored. By personally giving out the kits, volunteers learn about the empathy chasm between our housed and homeless neighbors. Volunteers’ perspectives are changed and improved through the meaningful heart-to-heart conversations they have with the homeless they encounter. Their worldview and perspective on homelessness becomes one that is filled with more compassion, empathy, and concern. Bridging this empathy gap, whether small or large, is crucial to building community support to make our housing policies and solutions to homelessness in Los Angeles more human-centered and inclusive.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
Our outreach and educational programs are foundational to our mission to provide essential aid and a connection to the homeless and to educate volunteers and the public about the realities and myths of homelessness. Our work is important to us and to the LA community because our outreach and education programs recognize the homeless as fellow humans in need of help and a hand up, rather than as “others” to be ignored and forgotten.
The Giving Spirit has 20 years of experience in reaching out to the homeless where they are - on the streets or in shelters. We provide a service that no other non-profit provides - aid and direct engagement with the homeless in our communities. In 20 years, we have served 55,000+ homeless friends and recruited 20,000+ volunteers. We succeed by providing aid efficiently - sourcing in-kind donations, managing volunteers, and events, coordinating logistics and developing a volunteer and donor base. Our accumulated expertise allows us to maximize our impact.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
#11 states that ~9,000 people would be directly impacted by our work. ~3,000 volunteers will serve ~6,000 homeless. ~9000 people will be indirectly impacted assuming that each of the 3,000 volunteers will share how their experience has impacted their view on homelessness with 2-4 friends. We wanted to show the full impact of our program and how this proposal will enlarge the impact of the ~3000 volunteers who share their experiences serving ~6,000 homeless. This shared dialogue will further bridge our empathy gap between housed and homeless neighbors, as well as drive a much-needed discussion raising awareness of housing policies and existing/failed solutions. This will grow support for more human-centered and inclusive policies.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
Success will be measured by:
- The number of homeless lives served
- The number of volunteers engaged and recruited
- Quality of experience for both our volunteers and homeless friends (Note: Quality of experience” will be based on feedback from our volunteers and the homeless agencies our volunteers visit)
- Quality of our educational, moderated panels at outreach events
- Quality of our educational videos
- Our ability to publicize our educational videos across all channels of communication
- Success of our expansion and scaling of our operations to reach more homeless and volunteers at all levels.
Our long term vision for success is to help people become more empathetic, knowledgeable and aware of the homelessness crisis in Greater Los Angeles, and in turn, build a stronger sense of community support for programs aimed to aid the homeless and ultimately end homelessness altogether. We believe that our work and program to provide knowledge empathy in our volunteers and the public we reach will help drive policy and structural changes in society with the goal that one day, every single Angeleno will have a roof over his or her head.
Which of the connect metrics will your submission impact?
- Social and emotional support
Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?
- LA is the best place to LEARN
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Communications support
- Capacity, including staff