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Giving 2(to) Homeless People - Sheltering the Unsheltered

What do homeless people need?

For example, Los Angeles, California, the "Homeless Capital" of the United States of America has 36,000 homeless in the "City of Angels" and 70,000 in the Greater Los Angeles Area City decides to criminalize the homeless...

New laws in Los Angeles punish and criminalize the homeless. Where are the angels now? In addition to catastrophic disasters in various parts of the world such as earthquakes, fires, floods, wars, pandemics, tsunamis, hurricanes and cyclones,  a lack of income and resources and personal tragedies cause many persons and families to become impoverished and homeless.  Homelessness can be seen as an extension to extreme situational or chronic poverty for individuals, families or larger groups.  Many impoverished people live in make-shift shelters in shanty towns which may not classify them as "homeless", but do not provide safe and sane housing.  Tent cities are found in Los Angeles and other parts of the United States, and other nations, as well. The same mild climate that attracts resourceful people to L.A., also provides a fairly comfortable tent location when compared with the alternatives for those who are struggling day by day. Think of the homeless as people who are very poor for a variety of reasons, including government and societal failures, who do not have enough resources to put a stable roof over their heads. Obviously, people living on the streets need a permanent home, but more urgently at this immediate time, they need safe and affordable shelter, to protect them from the elements while more enduring housing solutions are explored.

If a person is drowning, do you throw him a lifeline or do you give him a pamphlet about methods of drowning survival?

Since the supply of affordable housing is sorely lagging behind the need, we need first aid shelter lifelines for people on the streets, public parks and freeway embankments now, as well as more sensible commitments for affordable housing in the future. Regardless of the costs, some people have no resources whatsover, other than a few coins and dollars tossed their way by concerned passersby. And beyond those we observe on freeway offramps, onramps and busy corners, there are hundreds more hidden under canopies and obscure public spaces.  How do we help to shelter the unsheltered?   One answer may be facilitated through the proposed International Interplanetary Commonwealth Conservation Trust of Natural Resources (IICCTNR).

You can also help to prevent child abuse in hospitals, orphanages and homeless camps ...

Symbol of Gender Harmony - Through the Child the Parents Are Unified
Giving from the Heart


 

Homeless Rights and Needs

Homeless in America Families Living in Cars

On a single night in January 2018:

An estimated 180,413 people in families ó or 56,342 family households ó were identified as homeless. Approximately 16,390 people in families were living on the street, in a car, or in another place not meant for human habitation.

Throughout the world, homeless persons and their children often need basic survival provisions, medication, food, clothing, blankets and, of course, housing, or at least a place to stay out of the rain and freezing weather.  Many women and children are homeless, in addition to older people, the mentally ill, teenage runaways and many people of both genders who have been unemployed for months and years and have lost their status in society.  Displaced disaster victims and refugees may live in tents or temporary shelters with minimal subsistence. 

Tragic Mortality Rates Trend

For Los Angeles County, recent data from the Coronerís Office show the mortality rate for homelessness to be 2.3 times greater than the rate in the general population. In addition to high rates from drug-alcohol overdose, the homeless are 11 times more likely to die from transportation-related injuries, 10 times more likely to die from homicide, 5 times more likely to die from suicide, and 3 times more likely to die from Coronary Heart Disease than people in the general population. Not a healthy way to live. More than 1,000 people are dying in our streets every year, approaching 2% of the total homeless count, or 3 deaths per day on average, with increasing trends. If we canít house them, we should at least provide more security and a minimum of critical infrastructure and utilities, while more suitable housing solutions are being developed. This is an emergency!



Right to Life and Light

Power to the Homeless People! may not only help the people sheltered by tents, but may also reduce the number of accidental fires caused by cooking in the wild and other unprotected spaces. According to Capt. Patrick Leonard of the Los Angeles Fire Department, in Los Angeles there were 2,500 fires involving the homeless community throughout Los Angeles in 2018, double the number the city saw in 2017, and the trend is increasing as 2019 tallies show. The numbers include arson as well as accidental fires caused by people cooking or warming themselves. Some of these fires are arson attacks against homeless people with incendiaries or explosives. We also know that campfires in general have caused 3.8% of California wildfires in recent years, as charted here.

If thereís some way to carefully provide and distribute electric power available to certain encampment areas, this power may provide a safer way for the homeless to cook or warm themselves. In Berkeley, there are several camp locations who have used donated solar panels to provide power for charging batteries for cell phones, but the solar panels do not provide enough amps for cooking or heating. Of course, homeless encampments also need sanitation, potable water, etc. A few propane stoves to share, would be very helpful, as well.

The constitutional Right to Life today may be elaborated to include the right to cell phone connectivity and power for batteries, or Connectivity Power. Many desperate disconnected souls also resort to stealing power in the streets from outlets intended for patrons or other purposes. Are these disconnected folks new plaintiffs for the Right to Life and Light? See common hacker solutions in this video. The existential light. Like the inventiion of controlled fire in the prehistoric communal cave that sustained the lives of our ancestors for millions of years, as we evolved.

There was a time when all land, mountains, water, seas, rivers and the earth beneath belonged to all people, and all animals, as well. Donít know if the first Fire Shaman ever charged the tribe for his services. Mysterious fire magic. An evolving science. But the skill was shared and passed on to all descendants. We evolved with fire. We cannot survive without it or some type of power for heating and light. Our nutrition was enriched by the facility to cook foods that were otherwise inedible or less digestible. Big brains require digesting a lot of calories from enriched proteins available from animal prey.

Kings and Corporations

Things got more complicated when powerful groups began to claim land and water rights. Paying for water is like parceling the air you breathe. Next we may have to buy breatheable air by the tank, thanks to all the contamination caused by industrial power suppliers. For kings and corporations to claim land is to steal land from the original commonwealth of people. And letís not ignore the corrupt oligarchies complicit with capitalistsí interests. Money wins, people lose. The face of money is well protected and hides in intricate webs, but always smells the same. The smell of excrement in the streets. Doling out water from the pipe owners on land stolen from the people. A house without power is like a cave with no fire. Not sustainable, whether in the tundra or tropics or any other occupied places, where fires are essential for cooking and baking traditional foods and preparing staples like rice, wheat and corn or cassava bread in Equadorís Amazon jungle. When nature was the master merchant of life, all struggles were meritorious, win, lose or share. The bank-owned marketplace today cleverly favors the game of wealth accumulation for chosen patrons, playing with house money.

Now with climate change, we know that temperatures will extend to extremes in both directions. Caused mostly by the same entities who stole our water rights and mineral rights. We dig the coal to feed our families. We dig the coal to bury our bodies. Just calories in and calories out, human blood and sweat in and a lump of coal out, regurgitated by the earthís bowels. And, of course, a few dollars per calorie to shareholders, plus a lot of bloody bucks to few fat cats who pull the strings. The sacred cow of capitalism. More snow and ice in the winter. More heat and wildfires in the summer. Life threatening extremes, just numbers to read about for those protected by ivory towers in Beverly Hills, Monaco or Miami Beach.

Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous peoples in recent decades have been struggling to retrieve or maintain title or use of lands and natural resources overtaken or threatened by sovereign colonial regimes, based on the common law doctrine that the land rights of indigenous peoples to customary tenure persist after the assumption of sovereignty under settler colonialism. Unfortunately, the courts for settlement are housed in the ministry of the same governments that have already overtaken and often exploited the land and natural resources in an unsustainable manner. Even when agreements or new treaties are established, enforcement is too often lacking, frequently due to corruption. The Global Tribe of Planet 3 has yet to find itís voice to defend against insidious invaders from within. This tribe includes displaced natives, like those pushed off agricultural fields and open mines, and refugees from so many rulers of repute: The masses currently confined to the cultural incubator of nameless urbanity and trying to build a new way of life, and claim, perhaps in secret, a new, more positive identity. °Si Se Puede! One planet, one sky, one earth, one ocean, one tribe. We are all and each responsible as tenants and landlords of the spaces we inhabit and manage, including the disposition of our products and waste.

International Interplanetary Commonwealth Conservation Trust of Natural Resources (IICCTNR)

Ultimately, it is self-evident and necessary that the world commonwealth of natural resources is endowed with the inalienable right to claim a lien on any and all natural resources, including, but not limited to, land, air, wind, sunlight, water, minerals, gases, plants and living organisms (except human beings) under control by any person, tribe, organization, business, corporation or government, which lien may be exercised as necessary for the sake of the sustainable reconciliation of existential resources. Thus we so proclaim and witness hereby for all to acknowledge, recognize or refute.

An international and interplanetary conservation trust of natural resources should be established to adjudicate claims and complaints regarding natural resource monopoly, restriction, impairment of access through any space, misuse, destruction, pollution, contamination, ecological insult or abuse and to mandate corrections as needed. As a supra-governmental institution this trust will not be dependent on the official endorsement, approval or financial support of any government or other polity. The constituents are the public at large within the globe and solar system or beyond. That is, if we, as a people, survive long enough to increase our horizons to the galactic perspective, which is questionable at this time. Nor does this proposal demand such ambitions beyond the protection of our dear Planet 3, the ground we walk on, the earth that feeds us and shelters us, the water we drink, the air we breathe, or try to breathe.

This authority may also be applied to judge whether any new specific planned or pending claims for natural resources on this and other planets, moons or interstellar objects are prudent and sustainable, when it is alleged that such claims may potentially yield unsustainable consequences in the local, international or interplanetary scheme. Mining our moon and Mars for water is already in discussion by NASA.

The International Interplanetary Commonwealth Conservation Trust of Natural Resources (IICCTNR) authority, as proposed, will supersede and override existing or historical claims, mineral rights, water rights, fishing rights, logging rights, titles or deeds, etc., held or granted by kings, corporations, local residents and any governments, although all such claims will be evaluated with due regard and due process accorded. The most sustainable common good reconciliation as adjudicated will prevail and, if necessary, will be enforced by economic sanctions and the redistribution of resources accordingly. A means for mediation or arbitration may also be provided between claimants and defendants when acceptable to all parties. When necessary, eminent domain will be exercised to take, or control the use of, vital resources for the public benefit.

The IICCTNR will also provide incentives for responsible stewards of natural resources by recommending investment funds or low rate loans through the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, private investors and philanthropists. Existing treaties for the conservation of protected wildlife species, such as CITES, will serve as a model for international cooperation and will be relied upon for the solution of ecological issues within their purview. The World Trade Organization (WTO) will also help to bring many conflicting parties together for cooperative negotiations and arbitration.

The United Nations Convention on Climate Change is another example of organized international cooperation. Unfortunately, this convention is a clear demonstration of the failure of leadership and goodwill versus corruption and the conflicting common interest of profit and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources by and within member states (as recently demonstrated by the whimsical withdrawal of the United States of America from the Paris Agreement). To benefit by such well-intended conventions and treaties, as well as the pertinent research, findings and conclusions therefrom, the Conservation Trust may serve as an enforcement arm of such conventions as necessary in response to existential threats. When it comes to climate change and corporate greed, as well as thousands of unsheltered people trying to survive in our urban streets, enough is enough! Let this Conservation Trust provide a more civil alternative to bloody revolts in the streets already evident in many parts of the world by people demanding environmental justice and access to vital natural resources.

Ironically, the United States of America, a group of colonies at the time who declared their independence as a protest to the colonial intrusions of Great Britain, did much the same intrusions, land grabbing and oppression to Native Americans. Talking about apartheid? What can you expect from a culture who imported slaves from Africa and included slave workers in the construction of the White House? People were a commodity, except in the wording of the constitution. The wording that is still struggling to become a reality to this day.

Treaties only work when they can be enforced, and itís obvious that many of the treaties may have been negotiated under prejudicial circumstances with little or no recourse. Sadly, many treaties with native tribes were dishonored over the years, largely due to increasing numbers of invasive settlers (Manifest destiny?). In addition to the abuse of the human commodity, the Manifest destiny also targeted the commodities of natural resources once valued and protected in futility by Native Americans. The enforcement of judgements under the proposed commonwealth conservatory will in some cases rely upon existing treaties, but would ultimately be better served by establishing the primal authority of common law for the best interests of the greatest numbers of interested parties and stakeholder populations, treaties or no.

Although international law, conventions and treaties may be involved, this commonwealth authority will be devoted to representing the interests and claims by an open scope of plaintiffs including any person, entity or group of people, whether they be organized or defined as a tribe, state, party, corporation, clan, religious group, atheists, political group, refugees in flight, convicts, queers, age cohorts and so on, so long as their claims and complaints are based on the deprivation or unequal distribution or the pollution and misuses of existential natural or environmental resources. Likewise, the defendants may be defined as any other group or entity within the same governmental state or beyond: corporation vs. corporation, tribe vs. tribe, tribe vs. corporation, corporation vs. government, seniors vs. health insurance company, low-income folks vs. utility company, unhoused people vs. city, county or state, wildfire victims vs. land developer, children vs. oil company, etc. Any person, group or entity vs. any other person, group or entity anywhere, regardless of citizenship or voting rights. Environmental and natural resource justice for all!

Since all state governments have borders and natural resources within such borders, history has shown that each will be inclined to protect such borders and promote the exploitation of its internal natural resources and related industries for profit even in some cases at the expense and injury to people and ecologies in other countries or those within its own borders.

Court fees may be applicable especially since this is not a state-supported governmental service, nor will any criminal nor penitential judgements be adjudicated. A civil court for civil remedies. No rioting, civil war nor violence needed. No military enforcement branch or police needed for this civil court other than internal court security. This authority is intentionally and necessarily completely independent of any government body or polity for support, sanction, military protection or policy approval. Supporting conventions are welcomed but not required, due to anticipated conflicts of interest with state members from time to time. As a politically independent court, less international tensions will hopefully result as cases get resolved. Since so many wars, conflicts and international tensions have over the years resulted from disputes and skirmishing over valuable natural resources, this avenue for resolution may hopefully create a new aura in anticipation of peace in our small world.

Although state governments are absolutely beneficial and necessary, they should not have the final say on the use or abuse of natural resources that are existential to the world commonwealth. Nor should any global corporation or industrial group be allowed to threaten any of our our planetís populationsí food security or equitable distribution of vital resources, or to contribute to the pollution, waste or misuse of any such resources such as the water we drink or the air we breathe without accountability to the commonwealth of all people.

It is, after all, a small world, Planet 3. Borders well defined. Water plentiful but finite, much like the oxygen in our atmosphere, or the carbon that we eat and then expel as waste. All measurable. The odometer on your vehicle may be falsified, but the polluting emissions will never completely disappear without effect and are incrementally added to your personal carbon footprint. Science now has the tools to precisely measure all we emit in the air and flush into our seas. Letís use these data to fortify not only that within our political borders but also our worldwide agronomy and respiratory health. Accountability that is accurate and comprehensive with regards to the use of natural resources would better underwrite the policies beyond borders and potentially may benefit all people and stakeholders. This will enablewith less dependance on political consultants, trade representatives, foreign agents or professional lobbyists that may contribute to unconscionable corruption. Even wealthy executives need clean air to breathe, and most also have families to protect.

Much like national parks and conservation areas that were commissioned to protect specific natural resources within geographic areas, the world commonwealth trust will go a step further to recognize that many vital resources must be protected for the benefit of all, beyond any borders or claims of ownership, domains or mineral rights. These include many natural resources such as the air we breathe, the water we drink, as well as the seas that nurture vital nutrients, and incubate food and oxygen-producing organisms, and many more.

And if anyone ever mines water from the moon or Mars, who will sell it to whom? To whom does it belong, in the first place? Should any one government, covenant or corporation independently make such choices? Do not the taxpayers and native populations ultimately have an interest in all such goods, the stakeholders of all planetary resources whether discovered and looted by some in the past or yet to be?

Who owns the sun and its plenitude of energy? I do. You do. We all do, whether you worship it or not. Better yet, just use a solar panel to harness the energy, easier on the knees and much cleaner and healthier than burning coal, oil or other carbon-based fuels. Donít tax my sunlight! Donít block my sunlight!

Who owns the Artic and Antarctic regions of our planet that help to balance the climates that we have always depended on? The tropical forests also contain resources and produce elements and biota which are existential to every living being on the planet, including people thriving in regions of the tundra. What is precious to some, may be existential to others. All must have a voice to at least claim protection and relief from loss, if not a fair redistribution or correction of damages to vital resources.

A small planet. The recent pandemic is a lesson on how small a planet this is, and how quickly the world population may be threatened, requiring a world-wide coordinated effort to fight the novel virus. If we donít learn to cooperate and share the new vaccines with the entire world population, the novel virus will be unstoppable. Some rare elements or biota in the tropics may also be existential to our survival in the future with the ongoing threat of new pandemics, as predicted. We tend to think of evolution as a multi-generational process. But now we are reminded that even one small random mutation can spread billions of novel viruses globally in the blink of an eye. Sharing resources, sharing knowledge and trying not to share certain viruses, our challenge for this millennium.

An orderly process for the divestment of carbon emitting resources in balance with claims and complaints is one that will protect related markets from calamitous collapse and untimely impositions. Related industries, banks and corporations should step up and take a supportive role in the establishment of the IICCTNR for their own best interests. Only a completely apolitical institution devoted to the protection of vital natural resources and their use in an appropriate and sustainable manner at the scope of our solar system can be capable of moving beyond the global chaotic state we see today.

Due to the competitive nature of nation states on this planet, much like the tribal origins of all human society, no government nor group of governments, can reliably assume such an objective and pure perspective. The same chronic selfishness and competition, of course, also applies to corporations and businesses at all levels. An element of bigotry or racism may also creep into politics from time to time, along with tribalism and xenophobia, which tends to tilt the scale of environmental justice to favor the majority or those with strong capital interests. This partiality occurs in both democratic and autocratic governments, even when constitutions so prohibit. How do people vote for food or water or sustainable fuel to cook their food?

The ever-expanding populations of human and animal consumers in various parts of the world, and the total global population cipher also apply additional pressure for better coordination and management of critical resources, regardless of proprietary claims and insults of greed. Even if all is managed fairly and efficiently, there may come a time when certain resources globally are insufficient to meet existential needs.

Climate change also poses additional challenges in various regions. To adapt, some crops may do better by migrating to more favorable ecologies. Another challenge for claims of natural resources. State and national borders as well as property lines will be irrelevant when treasured green valleys can no longer produce the crops that sustained their farms in the past. Extreme pandemics like COVID-19 can also upset the cart for various crops like processed meats, a major source for protein, perhaps now unsustainable, if only temporarily. Food insecurity, for example, will occur in some areas before others. We have already seen migrations of people severely deprived in various regions. National governments cannot necessarily feed their populations adequately, nor can they prevent their populations from seeking greener pastures. The politics of most governments are unfortunately very shortsighted.

To mitigate the subsequent damages to many sectors of society, there are fortunately a number of responsible businesses and political groups here and there who have voluntarily adopted green policies and assumed advocacy for sustainable practices. These include members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and IMAGINE, for example. Although this is very helpful, when looking at the catastrophic damages from hurricanes and wildfires, the short sighted practices of industrial greed, especially in the energy sector, seem to overlap green with chaotic results, leaving green in the dust and ashes. From fossil fuels to charcoaled forests and murky, toxic skies. It only takes a small rupture in the hull to sink an entire ship. Thus, we need the jurisprudence of an objective third party, the IICCTNR, to keep the boat afloat. Planet 3 is listing. When it comes to climate change, timing is everything! Letís fix it now!

There are also a few groups of advocates, scientists and experts in critical fields that are organized as non-profit groups and devoted to posing solutions for ecological crises, resource inequities and climate change, such as the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the U.S. Climate Action Network (USCAN) -- the largest network of nonprofit organizations in the United States working to address climate change. These groups and other similar interests together with corporate industrial and development groups will hopefully lock arms and organize the framework to embody the proposed IICCTNR. Consumers and providers must work together for the common interest of the equitable distribution of existential resources.

When people die, they consume only a small space of dusty earth, if even that. Nor do they pay rent, buy food or consume internet bandwidth from their final resting place (RIP). Death is costly, even to big killers like weapon-producing countries. Without healthy taxpayers, the military budget and the entire economy will wilt. Obviously, healthy people are also more productive and essential to the workforce of both small and large business entities. Even robots need to be maintained and supported, much like human workers. Simple logistics. Corporate board members be alerted.

What we see now is just the beginning. How many lives are lost when people without power try to innovate to keep warm? The unpowered housed. Let there be light, but only for the privileged? What does it really take to protect your right to life for those in the streets and the unpowered housed? Some are fortunate enough to be able to maintain a vehicle for minimal shelter while trying to work and take care of a family. Without a significant income that is beyond reach for thousands of Americans, you join the lot of economic outcasts. In the streets and riverbeds you meld with the ranks of the untouchables, such as the mentally ill, ex-offenders, illegal aliens, youngsters seeking asylum from their own families, gangsters, drug addicts and so many chronically unemployed. A few steps from a warm hearth to the cold street. A formidable mountain climb to reclaim your former doorstep. A place among the socially embraced.

Right to Life and Light - The Big Tent - Existential Essentials Today --
10 Lís of Love and Uplifting for Outcast Survival in the Urban Jungle ...

  1. Light for Connectivity Power and utilities including sanitation, water for cooking, heating, cooling and basic safety
  2. Land access to pitch a tent, build a house or grow essential nutrients, and at least a small place to sell whatever goods or services we can produce or acquire through barter
  3. Layers of garments to protect your body from the wind, rain, sun and cold
  4. Literature and libraries to learn and study in a safe place
  5. Legal aid to demand justice and accountability from other people and institutions who have mistreated you or violated your rights actively or by neglect
  6. Legislators and judges who care more about people and their rights ahead of profits for land developers
  7. Laws to require minimal shelter and emergency care in a timely manner for all who fall on hard times Ė the big tent, or tents for special populations, if no other shelter is immediately available
  8. Long term policies, such as zoning to provide more affordable and very affordable housing
  9. Low cost or no cost medical care for all, including mental health care and substance abuse treatment, as well as long term elder care.
  10. Love, smiles, compassion, respect, family, food -- Give first, then vote, then pray Ė Shall the blessed embrace the least among us ... including the charitable support advocated by nearly all religious and humanist faithful believers.
In December, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider whether state and local governments can make it a crime for homeless people to sleep outside. Thus, the 9th Circuit Court decision will stand for now which allows folks to occupy public land when shelter beds or housing are not available. To further protect the rights of homeless people, several states have passed legislation to define a Homeless Bill of Rights. While the wording and objectives of proposed bills vary from state to state, most proposed legislation seeks to protect these central rights for all unhoused individuals:

Homeless Bill of Rights

  • The right to use public spaces without fear of discrimination of harassment by law enforcement
  • The right to vote
  • The right to non-obstructively seek shelter, social services, legal aid, and education
  • The right to privacy of property in public spaces
  • The right to feel safe
A pending California Senate Bill 608 introduced by Liu Ė Right to Rest Act - would provide specific rights as follows:
  1. The right to use and to move freely in public spaces, without discrimination and without time limitations that discriminate based upon housing status.
  2. The right to rest in public spaces and to protect oneself from the elements, in a nonobstructive manner.
  3. The right to eat, share, accept, or give food in any public space in which having food is not otherwise generally prohibited.
  4. The right to pray, meditate, worship, or practice religion in public spaces, without discrimination based upon housing status.
  5. The right to occupy a motor vehicle or a recreational vehicle, provided that the vehicle is legally parked on public property or parked on private property with permission of the property owner.
The National Coalition for the Homeless envisions a world where everyone has a safe, decent, accessible and affordable home, and advocate that Homeless Bill of Rights measures work to ensure that homeless individuals are:
  • Protected against segregation, laws targeting homeless people for their lack of housing and not their behavior, and restrictions on the use of public space.
  • Granted privacy and property protections.
  • Allowed the opportunity to vote and feel safe in their community without fear or harassment.
  • Provided broad access to shelter, social services, legal counsel and quality education for the children of homeless families.
For the housed and the homeless, we need skilled medical providers and the technology now advancing beyond the science fiction of yore. Whether or not we need the insurance companies to compete with shamans for existential care is more of a political boxing match than a test of our constitutional and human right to life. Nothing is more fair than a free service to all consumers at the time of need. And for the homeless what we also need are a few big tents in safe areas here and there with adequate security, sanitation and utilities. Emergency provisions for our own domestic economic refugees. Think Red Cross. Special care may be needed for those with special medical needs, drug addiction and vulnerable populations. Make sure thereís access for food trucks, as well.

It's more of a question of logistics and management, than a question of what is needed. Since our military are experts in providing support, mobility and emergency services for thousands of troops in all terrains throughout the world, this challenge should be well within our means. A state of emergency should be declared, and FEMA should be directed to garner the needed resources and provide immediate care in centralized areas. Imagine a scene of 50,000 unhoused people marching down to Pershing Square in Los Angeles in protest to the lack of affordable housing and shelter!

Along some rivers where itís safe, we can fix some benches with canopies that can also serve as an overnight stop much like a nice shaded park bench . Within the canopy and bench structure, we can integrate a perforated metal screen to help interrupt the flow of embers during a fire storm. If we outfit the canopy with solar panels we should have ample power for a little LED light and a couple of cell phone chargers. This should be mainly for recreational hikers or bikers and others who would rather not stay in available shelters. Sanitation should be available along the way, as well.

Public Parks - Sustainable for All

America has invested in public parks in the federal, state, county and local city domains. Some parks and natural conservation areas are devoted to preserving and protecting native flora and fauna, and our favorite migrating birds. We also love our parks for recreation and sports. None seem to place a priority on preserving misplaced humans of the homo sapiens type. Perhaps we are not considered a native species, even though there are also many Native Americans in homeless shelters, as well. In their day, Natives didnít need to own land, or water or trees. They just pitched a teepee tent wherever appropriate. And they protected all natural resources for the benefit of the commonwealth. Sustainable for all. Sharing vs. greed.

We donít expect bald eagles to pay for rent, nor the wild mustangs to pay for their foraging lands. When we rescue seals and whales, we are proud to contribute to their care, no ID required. But maybe we figure that since our species is abundant in overpopulated areas, no need to pitch a little tent and shelter with amenities and sanitation for unhoused folks.

We all know of unauthorized public park homeless settlements that have been dispersed every year or so in all parts of the country. Kicking them out of one park, only pushes most of them to another park or neighborhood, or beach or watershed, and some to the morgue. People canít fly like the migrating birds. A better solution would be to provide a percentage of all public park acreage to supporting unhoused shelter spaces with sanitation, amenities and security.

Each jurisdiction can find practical solutions for space in designated areas and security to protect humans and the ecology equally. Good management can also help to prevent wildfires that are often caused by careless people trying to cook their meals or keep themselves warm. Providing a common cooking area with safely fueled stoves may be an essential resource. A campground devoted particularly to helping unhoused people just survive until the current storm passes. Theyíre going to be there anyway, so why not make it safer and healthier for them and everyone else? Especially during a pandemic, this one or the next one. A safe buffer zone to intercept radical migrations from any and all directions.

NIMB (Not In My Backyard) is only natural, but the same people who complain are mostly supportive of some type of practical solution in care of the homeless. While more available housing is awaiting, whatís practical may be more care and services to manage those areas designated for homeless campgrounds. Keep people safe, keep the ecology safe, and diligently manage the designated areas for capacity, sanitation and compliance with necessary standards. Not every park will be blessed with a designated homeless campground. Perhaps some new parks will be devoted to exclusive encampments with all the services and safeguards required. It will be rational to include designated homeless campgrounds near urban centers where important resources are located. With accessible transportation, some remote areas may be capable of providing more available acreage.

The goal of establishing a certain percentage of park acreage to homeless encampments in each jurisdiction is to formally and heartfully acknowledge that the homeless own a part of our parks, just like everyone else. Letís hope we also seriously examine what the standards for homeless encampments should include regarding safety, sanitation, capacity per acre, social services, amenities and so forth. Yes, it will be costly. But so is the cleanup and neighborhood degradation when necessary services or standards are neither defined nor managed. To determine what logic to set as a percentage of park acreage for this purpose, letís start with the obvious metrics of homeless encampments or isolated shelters currently scattered in our parks or on public pavements. Letís be real.

Due to housing evictions, loss of income from illness or family disruption, abuse by caregivers or parents, lots of people just need emergent housing or a place to camp out. Some women may need a fire escape to flee a violent partner. Some of us may just need a safe place to unwind from the torments of life in our current environment. Recently it was reported that as many as 20% of community college students and 5% of University of California students are experiencing homelessness in California according to the Daily Bruin.

A few orange trees, apple trees or avocado trees would be useful for foraging, as well, for all species in the area, based on the local climate and ecology. In addition to a few edibles on trees, or possibly some fishing opportunities for proteins, just walking around the park to enjoy the trees, birds and natural environment will help to nurture the soul of misplaced people, if not threatened by eviction or unkind policing. Why is it we invite hikers to camp along remote trails, but not in urban parks? Parks equity is one thing. Holistic access is another existential dimension. Have you ever tried to sleep on the pavement?

Maybe these campers can also help to feed our favored migrating birds that are suffering from climate change along with the people? Campers may be expected to help with park maintenance and other chores around the campgrounds. The work may be organized into small crews to help build a sense of community. Recreational activities and tours may also be encouraged. Possibly, some experience and training in the park may lead to gainful work opportunities down the line.

First shelter, then work out better housing solutions and employment, if needed. Some of the campers may already be in school or training for employment. Many of us find it difficult to even believe that such huge numbers of unsheltered people exist. Believe also that they are part of your family, our family. If we can protect bears, mountain lions, wolves and coyotes who live in or near our dwellings and farms, we should be able to protect a few misplaced humans, as well.

Letís make our public parks sustainable for all creatures, plants and humans and make them accessible, as well. For remote areas, some type of public transportation should also be provided for needed trips to the store or to access medical care and social services when needed. In addition to park rangers with frequent patrols, each camp area should also have a panic button station with a phone to connect with 911 emergency phone services. The surrounding neighborhoods would feel safer if fire extinguishers were also distributed around each camp. A public charging station for phones would also be a necessity, possibly powered by solar energy. Can we plug in adequate Wi-Fi connections, as well, to help keep us all connected?

Obviously, we donít need our rangers to enforce drug abuse problems. A special patrol of social workers and health service providers would be more appropriately assigned to provide care to these special camp dwellers. We need a special troop of social service rangers, not police. Help without correction is more sustainable in the long run. When a person feels safe and connected, he or she is less likely to be a threat to anyone else. More likely to join a caring community. Treating people like enemies may actually create new enemies and more hostility. Hospitality vs. hostility. Hospitality and care may be safer for all. Casting people out to the unprotected streets is inhumane. We know that. Letís embrace all people who find themselves stumbling on our pavements, alleys, parks and watersheds. Thatís not a good way to die. Our parks are uniquely endowed with the potential capacity to provide a doorstep to managed emergency housing services. Not the only doorstep, but one with several strategic resources and the capacity for thoughtful management.

Is land development and profiteering more important than human development and sustainability? Can we find a better balance? The only walls that may block holistic accessibility to natural spaces are not in the wild but may reside in a few closed hearts. Looking for a golden gate with no tolls or trolls. And a few smiles. Strangers welcomed.

Safe Tent Space

You may want to join one of the groups of Ďhomeless shelter activistsí in your area by searching these keywords. In Los Angeles there is at least one City Councilmemeber, Mike Bonin, who supports designated homeless campgrounds but only in certain parks and other public lands as a temporary emergency solution. You may wish to Send Feedback contact Mike Bonin if youíre interested in his ideas or wish to support or oppose some of the projects he advocates. Your choices:

  1. Allow people to continue to camp in parks, sidewalks, beaches, watersheds and anywhere they can pitch a tent due to inadequate housing and emergency spaces, often in inhumane conditions, or
  2. Designate appropriate and adequate spaces for temporary camping shelter in parks or other public grounds with adequate safety, sanitation and management to sustain the integrity of the neighborhood and surrounding ecology, until we can provide sufficient emergency or extended housing in a sustainable manner.
Every tent takes space. Every safe tent, even more space and infrastructure. The people out there are not trying to make a political statement. They are just looking for a place to sleep, to weather the storm. Yes, they also need to breathe and eat, etc. Letís not politicize hunger and chilled bones. A pilot program in East Hollywood may cost as much as $2,663 per person per month, according to a report by the City Administrative Officer and noted in an informative story on KCRW.com. This includes an outdoor food pantry and a shower stall. The parking lot-turned-campground can accommodate as many as 120 people at a time in 12-foot by 12-foot squares, marked by white lines painted on the asphalt. Is this the cost of safe tent space? Safe for campers, safe for the community, safe for the environment and ecology?

Costs like these are also underwritten by the City of San Francisco for a similar homeless encampment in the civic center, both administered with the help of Urban Alchemy which San Francisco installation they call the Safe Sleeping Village. Yes, California has more homeless people than any other state , but it also has more people overall and more resources to apply to solving this unhealthy problem, including the wit and determination of their unhoused folks. Human resources that should be protected and put to work ASAP!

Let me confess, I used to complain about homeless tents and people close to my favorite public tennis courts in Northeast Los Angeles. There was also adjacent acreage set aside for a doggie park, which we also enjoyed with family pets, and also a very large Audubon park just across the way. Enjoyed hiking there several times. A number of homeless tents were also scattered beneath trees or next to the freeway.

Then I realized if we could set aside designated spaces for dogs and birds and other precious critters donated by nature, why not also just a little space for people who lost their way? We have also found spaces for large public baseball, football and soccer fields, as well as swimming pools and track facilities. Although I havenít played golf recently, an average 18 - hole golf course with fairways and roughs covers about 150 acres in the U.S.A.. On a national scale, there were a projected 1,408,412 total acres of maintained turf for golf in the U.S. in 2015, including both public and private facilities, based on a study by Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. We also earmark playgrounds for kids and hiking trails for adults, as well as equestrian trails and remote campgrounds in our mountains and seashores. Each space with appropriate safety standards and protective infrastructure and amenities. All paid for and owned by the people. We also pay the salaries for those who make and enforce the rules to close the doors for the homeless.

Where do people go when the game is over or the library closes? Letís be real. People need space, too, just to live. Few years ago, I remember encountering a young man sleeping on a bench near tennis courts where I practiced in the San Fernando Valley. His tennis bag was next to him. A real Ďtennis bumí, so to speak, who I noted was on the same bench in the early mornings on several occasions. No tent. Never had a chance to talk with him, but I thought that may someday be my fate, as well. So far, Iím good. But here in the City of Angels, no backup guarantee even for safe tent space.

Perhaps in hindsight the industrial revolution led to urbanization. Urbanization ultimately to more condensed populations and a percentage of people with nowhere to go. Canít keep them on the farms. Canít go back to the farms. Only a limited number of hearty soles can work the farms which jobs diminish, year by year. Climate change, no help. Robotics? Social media platforms? People need jobs. People need space for survival. They come to California and New York for a reason. This pressure for safe survival space will only increase in the foreseeable future. Let the historians explain how it happened. But today, if we donít like seeing helter-skelter tents where we live and recreate, letís make some realistic plans, now.

Safe survival space > healing > jobs > income > shelter > housing. In that order. These needs are not new. Only the numbers increase, year by year, partly due to increased mobility which also factors in the deadly pandemic. Planning for the next pandemic may also need to include safe survival space, safe bubbles for unexpected migrants, whether authorized or emergent. Anticipate the threats of global mobility exacerbated by climate change and disparate resource distribution. Letís plan to use our resources prudently. This planning is critical for places like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and similar magnets of wealth and people throughout the globe. It doesnít take a rocket scientist to figure out where these blimps of untethered people are headed. But it may take more than your average politician to understand the most prudent and humanitarian way to support their needs and employ their talents. Asking, giving and holistic plus sum sustainable for all. Garden of Eden Equity.

Street Vendors

With a little space on a sidewalk or parking space, street vendors provide productive work and essential snacks and products for many people. Most street vendors provide the main source of income for their households, bringing food to their families and paying school fees for their children, as documented by the Informal Economy Monitoring Study (IEMS). Good news in January, 2020, is that cities like Los Angeles are now providing official permits for street vendors in the city, according to specific safety and health regulations.

Bad news with the advent of the COVID-19 health crisis in Los Angeles and other areas, street vendors are not allowed, permits or no, at least for now. Unfortunately, the street vendor community is one with very little backup support. Helpful allies may include Inclusive Action in Los Angeles and the Street Vendor Project in New York.

When the dust settles with the pandemic, we would like to see our community colleges providing training and access to materials and local goods and food that can be bartered on the street in a safe and economic manner for vendors and consumers. Consider this training resource an economic boost and safety protocol for most large cities in America, especially to benefit from the crafty skills and small business successful accomplishments carried by so many new immigrants. Most newcomers only eager to learn the language and get to work on transplanting their successful experiences from home.

Homeless Shelter Logistics

Finding or providing adequate affordable housing is one thing, providing emergency shelter is another. Los Angeles and San Francisco areas have accumulated tens of thousands of unsheltered men, women and children. You see them in many public spaces with small tents in streets and parks. In contrast, New York unhoused are mostly sheltered. Although they have large homeless numbers like the west coast, they systematically provide emergency shelter in a timely manner.

Letís start the solution discussion with a needed statewide policy requiring emergency shelter in every county for all unhoused people in a timely (one day) manner. The Red Cross provides this type of emergency shelter service on a regular basis, so we know it can be done. The logistics for masses of unsheltered people would most likely include a number of large tents with amenities, utilities, sanitation and essential care. Not every unhoused person may like a large tent solution, but this new policy will not allow them to otherwise hide in the bushes. People residing near emergency big tents may also feel uncomfortable about the situation. But, most people do not either like to see unhoused folks in the street and the messy debris and unhealthy waste left in public spaces.

COVID-19 Crisis

With the foreboding prospect of a novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, sanitation in our streets and public spaces becomes an urgent concern for all policy makers. The costs for emergency shelter will be borne by taxpayers. Most voters will probably be willing to support this measure not only to help those in desperate need for shelter, but also to eliminate the unhealthy conditions for those living in the streets and the surrounding communities.

You can give money, materials from your business or collections, or items that you purchase.    Below the list of Needed Gifts, the Giving Resources will help you distribute your gifts to the intended recipients.  Your local phone book lists many charities and you can also use the new Google "Local" search tool for charities in a particular city or ZIP code.  Check with the Giving Resource or charity to make sure that they can accept and distribute material or in-kind gifts.  Even if the item is listed on a wish list, it's best to communicate with the organization in advance of shipping any donated materials.  Some people need help with signs to ask for help !

Needed Gifts and Supplies:

Charity Giving is Personal...

Give Hope to Texas Flood Relief!
Texas flood relief...

 

  Need a New SmartPhone ? Prepaid?

60 Ways to Choose a Gift!


Need a Travel Discount?

The Waves ... Poem by Ray Cruz

Give a Sign of Hope!

Medication

Many homeless people need medication to help them survive day by day.  Some have serious illnesses and substance abuse problems and are in critical need of medical care, medication and treatment for drug dependencies.   Because they often live in unsanitary conditions, face masks and hand sanitizers will help them avoid spreading contageous respiratory diseases including the ominous novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please see video. If you or your business can contribute medication, this will be much appreciated. The Sunrise House is one resource dedicated to helping homeless people and others suffering from addiction.



Food

Many homeless persons in various parts of the world are disabled and need food for themselves and their children.  Unfortunately, many homeless people live in places where opportunities for earning living wages are hard to find.  This problem occurs in the United States and many parts of the world, especially in the developing nations.  Hunger and homelessness are the immediate effects of poverty and unemployment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people into lockdown and created a stampede on food and various vital supplies. The toilet paper people did not create the stockpiling crisis, nor did the stores and distributors. This is an artificial demand created only by policy makers, albeit with good intentions. For this reason, our government bureaucracy needs to own up to the incumbent responsibility to flatten out the critical demand curve for toilet paper by direct management, including mandating the supplies and distribution as needed.

The lockdown of Wuhan required governmental management of food and grocery distribution involving large grocery chains and local markets integrated tightly to avoid food insecurity for the masses. Volunteers and staff safely delivered food and supplies to each apartment, all wearing protective gear. But, for now, in order to avoid dangerous long lines at stores, we need to directly supply each household with a monthly supply of toilet paper, and possibly other essentials. Another solution may be to deliver face masks and toilet paper directly to the people as demanded in this Hope Package Plea.

Clothing

People who are too poor to afford housing need clothing for themselves and their children.  In general, homeless families and their children need clothing such as play clothes, sleepwear, socks - stockings , shoes - boots, underwear and sweaters - hoodies to keep them comfortable during cold weather. Your local charity specializing in helping homeless people will advise you on specific items in need.

Basic Necessities

Many homeless people are unable to work or earn a living.  They need your help.  In addition to medication, food and clothing, as mentioned above, they need personal care, volunteer services, housing, items for personal comfort such as blankets, pillows, beds, radios, televisions, books, and other items.  toiletries, toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, cleaning products, razor blades, underwear and clean socks are items needed in temporary shelters and in the street. Children's reading books can be helpful to accelerate the education of children while dealing with family stresses and living in temporary shelters, cars and tents. Step Into Reading books are available from Steps 1 - 5.

Electronics

Some homeless people are in need of electronic devices, such as prepaid cell phones , laptop computers and various tools for mechanics and other trades to help them make a living.  In addition, many of the helping organizations list office supplies, such as computers, printers and other electronic devices, on their donation wish lists.  Several wish lists are provided in the Giving Resources websites listed below.

Shelter

Temporary shelter including tents , camping equipment and tent cots are very helpful while people struggle for more permanent housing.  Many homeless people need camping supplies to help keep warm and prepare their food, for example.


Tools

To build a house, you need a variety of tools like digging tools and other tools and materials to help with temporary shelters.  Others need tools for various trades to help them get a job.  If you're living in a car, a few tools and maybe a new battery and some gasoline may help to get you through some cold weather.

Toys

For families living in cars or temporary shelters, a few toys may help to brighten the day for the kids and the parents who desperately want to make their children happy.  Children need toys to help them get through the day, to exercise and to learn.  Whether they play with balls or electronic gadgets, children are less likely to get in trouble or pick on their siblings when they're having fun.  The need to play and keep busy is important for children, not just during the holiday season, but every week of the year.  For practical considerations, toys should be low maintenance, safe and small.  Educational toys are a plus, especially if they're low-maintenance and selected for the right age group.  Children's books may also be welcomed in temporary shelters for families.
 

Giving Resources:

Note: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many of the resources listed below may now be in need of face masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, non-touch thermometers and other supplies in addition to any needed items that may be listed in their previous announcement as quoted below. This list represents only a very small sample of the many resources available in any area. Use the search tool for charities in a particular city or ZIP code. Just edit the text on the top left corner of the search page for your area of interest. Please contact the organizations to determine their priority needs at this time. They may prefer donations in checks or online payments for better safety or efficiency.  In-kind donations may also be purchased online and shipped directly to the charity at a specified address to expedite the donation and minimize the risk of contamination. Sealed, unopened packages may be required. Some charities may also welcome in-kind contributions from corporate sponsors.

See what one man can do to help another human...



American Indian Community Housing Organization - Duluth, Minnesota Gimaajii-Mino-Bimaadizimin - We are, all of us together, beginning a good life. AICHO's headquarters at 202 W. 2nd Street in Duluth. Gimaajii features 29-units of permanent, supportive housing utilizing the ďhousing firstĒ model. On-site services include assessment, advocacy, limited case management, and limited programming. Case management and mental health services are provided through a partnership with White Earth Mental Health. Gimaajii also provides a place for people who have a common history and culture to come together, to learn from others, and to share that culture with others. In the traditional manner of respecting elders, life-long learning is encouraged throughout the Gimaajii. Donate to the American Indian Community Housing Organization.

Dabinoo'Igan Emergency Domestic Violence Shelter - A place where you are safe, comforted and sheltered. DabinooíIgan is a 10-bed emergency shelter for victims of physical and sexual violence, trafficking, and stalking who need immediate shelter. Women and children can stay up to 30 days and receive a variety of services including advocacy, information and referral, housing search assistance, financial assistance, limited follow-up, limited on-site legal services and culturally specific programming.



If you are currently fleeing domestic violence and in need of support, call our Hotline at 218-722-2247.

Day One Emergency Shelter and Crisis Hotline can be reached at 1-866-223-1111.

Giiwe Mobile Team - He or she goes home. 35 units of scattered site housing. The Giiwe Mobile Team provides opportunities for homeless families and individuals to build a strong sense of community while obtaining safe, decent, and affordable housing.

Climate & Cultural Resilience Initiative - In 2017, AICHO received a grant from Enterprise Community Partners to explore ways to overlap sustainability efforts with cultural practices. From this grant, we were able to develop our two urban gardens, implement the Water Protector mural designed by NSRGNTS, implement a worm compost system, explore rainwater collection options, and build 16.5 kilowatt solar array on the roof of the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center. AICHO is committed to making sure we leave a better world for future generations, and as such we will continue our efforts to promote awareness and cultural solutions in the face of environmental crisis. Visit Minnesota USA.

If you are at risk of homelessness or are homeless TEXT "homeless" to 85511. This will result in a text based pre-screening and can get you scheduled for an appointment to discuss housing options.
Coalition for the Homeless - New York, New York The Coalition has limited capacity for accepting in-kind donations. If you would like to make donation of new clothing, please contact us at 212-776-2112 or development@cfthomeless.org. Please note: We cannot accept walk-in donations, furniture, mattresses, kitchen appliances, or other large items. The Coalition accepts non-perishable food items on an ongoing basis. Please click here for a list of suggested pantry items. Please note, we cannot accept canned foods unless they have a pull tab. Generally, packaged foods are much easier to open and store. The Coalition accepts new and unused hygiene items on an ongoing basis. ďCare KitsĒ can vary, but they are generally small, zipped bags or totes filled with travel-sized hygiene items that are easily distributed to people on the streets and in shelter through our Crisis Intervention and Grand Central Food Programs. Please click here for a list of suggested hygiene items. We accept hats, gloves, and scarfs in the fall and winter only. We accept t-shirts and sweatpants (larger sizes preferred) year-round, space permitting. We also accept NEW, packaged only socks and undergarments year-round, space permitting. Each holiday season, the Coalition organizes a citywide toy drive to collect gifts for girls and boys living in shelters, helping to brighten their holidays. At the end of each summer, the Coalition reaches out to caring New Yorkers and businesses to collect thousands of backpacks, notebooks, pencils, crayons and other school supplies for homeless kids in shelters across the city Ė giving them the basic tools that they need to succeed in school.

Coalition for the Homeless in New York, New York is the nation's oldest advocacy and direct service organization helping homeless men, women, and children. We are dedicated to the principle that decent shelter, sufficient food, affordable housing, and the chance to work for a living wage are fundamental rights in a civilized society. Since our inception in 1981, the Coalition has worked through litigation, public education, and direct services to ensure that these goals are realized. Visit New York USA .
Committee On The Shelterless - COTS - Sonoma County, California Founded sometime around March of 1988, COTS was a response to Mary Isaakís and Laure Reichekís concern for the adults and their children who were sleeping outdoors in culverts, dumpsters or in other unsafe and unsuitable conditions. Both women realized that FISH (Friends In Service Helping) and other charitable organizations were not able to respond to the increasingly numerous requests for shelter.  COTS, the Committee On The Shelterless, offers hope and help to homeless persons in Sonoma County, California, by providing emergency food, shelter, housing, education on skills in parenting, money management, mandatory savings programs, job internships, critical support and other life skills, helping them toward their goal of getting a home of their own.

Items needed include Towels, Toiletries (no soap bars please, only liquid body wash), Gift Cards (for Gas, groceries, Target, Payless Shoes, haircuts, etc.), Trac Phones and minutes, Menstrual products (pads, tampons, etc.), NEW socks and underwear, Pot Holders (thick), Dish Scrubbers, Tissues, Tote bags, and Backpacks. If you have an item not on this list to donate, or you have questions, please contact Community Engagement Specialist Diana Morales at (707) 765-6530 x136 or dmorales@cots.org. See more Ways to Give. Visit Sonoma County, California USA near San Francisco.
Compass Family Services - San Francisco, California Compass Family Services provides shelter and critical services to San Francisco's homeless and very low-income families.  The agency's nine interconnected programs support more than 3,000 parents and children each year in their efforts to achieve stability and self-sufficiency.

Compass Family Shelter



Services include crisis intervention, emergency shelter, food and clothing, transitional housing, case management and therapy, job training, enriched infant care and childcare, and permanent housing placement. Visit our Get Help page for direct contacts or email info@compass-sf.org.

You can provide a Compass family with a Family Care Kit for $500. $450 will go directly to a vulnerable family via digital gift cards for emergency supplies such as food, pharmacy needs, and cleaning products. $50 of each contribution will go to maintaining emergency remote and in-person services for homeless and at-risk families. Alternatively, instead of funding a full Family Care Kit, you can make a contribution of any amount which will be combined with other thoughtful gifts to build Family Care Kits for Compass Families totaling $500. We also welcome Corporate Sponsors. Please explore more donation options. Visit San Francisco, California USA .
Covenant House Texas - Houston, Texas USA Founded in Houston, Covenant House Texas opened its doors in 1983 and for over 30 years, has continued to help kids in crisis with residential programs, community services, and outreach efforts designed to keep young people off the streets. Our 80-bed emergency shelter is available on a 24-hour basis to youth in need. We work with dozens more who come in for walk-in services and serve hundreds of homeless kids and at-risk youth through our outreach and prevention efforts. Covenant House Texas is honored to serve over 99,000 free meals every year though our Community Services Center.

The original Covenant House was founded in 1972 in response to the growing problem of kids living unprotected on the harsh streets of New York City. Since then, the organization has become the largest private shelter organization for homeless kids, with 31 locations spanning North and Central America. Located in the Montrose neighborhood, CHT primarily serves Houston and Harris County, the third most populous county in the United States.

Covenant House - Homeless Teens



In 1988, a health committee was formed, beginning HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention programs. We offer anonymous HIV testing, confidential HIV testing, STD testing, prevention counseling, individual ongoing counseling and health education/risk reduction, and HIV prevention education. Many of our more than 30 shelters accept in-kind donations. To find out the specific items that are being accepted at any of our locations, contact them specifically. You can find their contact information on Our Locations page. We are aggressively stretching to reach more youth each year in our residential programs as well as through outreach, prevention, and education. From 2017 to 2020, we are opening new houses for youth in Anchorage (AK), Asbury Park (NJ), Berkeley (CA), Chicago (IL), Elizabeth (NJ), Grand Rapids (MI), Mexico City (MX), Toronto (ON), Vancouver (BC), Washington D.C., and York (PA). Our plan outlines a series of innovative strategies to make us a data-driven, learning organization that employs high-quality, evidence-based practices to effectively achieve ó and constantly strengthen ó results for and with the youth we serve. See more Ways to Give. Become a Corporate Sponsor.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Virtual Sleep Out page has been added to the website and will continue to be updated with resources you can use on Friday night, including information about how COVID-19 affects youth facing homelessness, how Covenant House Texas is responding, and how you can help. Weíre a part of this movement together, even from our own homes, and you will hear from youth, staff, and your fellow participants throughout the night via email, video, and social media. Visit Houston, Texas USA
Crisis - London, England Crisis very much appreciates gift in kind support from our corporate partners . We are in constant need of it throughout the year to help run our services for homeless people and keep the costs down.  Crisis opens six shelters in London, England between 23 - 30 December offering homeless or vulnerably housed people companionship, access to essential services, learning opportunities and a programme of entertainment.  Based at Crisis HO, Skylight offers a variety of activities for homeless people and the general public.  The Crisis Changing Lives programme provides financial awards of up to £2000 to solitary people who have been homeless to help them move towards a work based, vocational goal.

People who are homeless are hit especially hard by the coronavirus outbreak. But together we can get vital care to vulnerable people.

Itís hard to protect yourself from the coronavirus outbreak when youíre homeless. People who are sleeping rough are more likely to suffer from respiratory conditions. They canít wash their hands. And if someone is sleeping rough or in a crowded night shelter, itís impossible to self-isolate. The generosity and resolve of the public at this time is inspiring. And by pulling together we can make a difference. Make a donation today and youíll help homeless services stay open and protect people who need us most. At Crisis, weíre delivering Ďessentialsí packages to homeless people. Weíre providing people with mobiles, so they can keep in contact and follow health advice. And weíre keeping our services running, to ensure no-one is left isolated and in danger. A co-ordinated response will help more people, so weíre funding local charities and shelters, helping homeless organisations work together and reach more people who need us most. Thereís only one thing thatís certain in these uncertain times. Itís a time to pull together and help each other. Any gift, big or small, will make a difference at this time of crisis. See more Ways to Donate. Visit England U.K.
Downtown Emergency Service Center - DESC - Pacific Northwest, headquartered in Seattle, Washington The Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) relies heavily on in-kind support for a variety of goods and services which are critical in assisting vulnerable individuals reach their highest potential.  DESC is one of the largest multi-service agencies serving homeless adults in the Pacific Northwest, headquartered in Seattle, Washington. DESC currently provides its Housing Programs based on an annual budget of $9.6 million, with a staff of approximately 200. DESC receives funding from the City, County, State and Federal governments, along with United Way and private philanthropy.

COVID-19 Updates

Our expenses have increased more than $300,000 per month in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Everything from additional cleaning supplies, to new technology for remote work, to paying staff for COVID-related absences, to transitioning to multiple new locations to reduce the risk of exposure. All of it comes at significant financial cost. Very generous support from wonderful partners and community members is keeping us afloat for now and we know we will only get through this crisis together.

Many people have asked if thereís anything you can do. Right now, we have the volunteers that we need to make masks, deliver food and supplies, and otherwise support our response efforts. Additionally, weíre trying to reduce the number of people who go in and out of our client spaces so we can limit potential virus transmission chains. Fortunately, we put in place many preventative measures and a robust response protocol in anticipation of this inevitable circumstance. DESCís new COVID Response Team of existing medical and program staff provided rapid support to staff and clients, and coordinated closely with King County Public Health to do a thorough assessment and make sure all clients and staff are cared for.

You can help with Corporate Support and in-kind donations of socks, underwear, menís pants, adult underpants, soap and shampoo are all appreciated! Contact Don Rupp, Volunteer and In-Kind Gifts Manager, at drupp@desc.org or at (206) 723-1883 x1071 to learn more and get the latest update on needed items. Visit Seattle, Washington USA .
Habitat for Humanity - Worldwide and Local Habitat ReStores are home improvement stores that accept small and large donations of new or gently used furniture, appliances, housewares, building materials and more . There may be a ReStore in your neighborhood which you can locate by entering your zip code in the page linked above. Proceeds from the sales of these items help Habitat's work in your community and around the world. More ways to support this great housing effort including cash and volunteering, are listed here. Habitat ReStore accepts new and gently used appliances, furniture, building materials, household goods and more from individuals and companies. Each ReStore is unique, and many locations also accept items outside these categories. The money raised by Habitat ReStores helps families build a decent and affordable place to call home. When the items you donate to ReStore are sold, the money helps families achieve the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better future.

Remodeling, cleaning, rebuilding after disaster, down-sizing or just getting organized?



Whatever your project, hopefully not as tragic as cleaning up from recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida as shown in the above video, donít let the items you no longer need end up in your local landfill. Habitat ReStores divert hundreds of tons from landfills each year, accepting hard-to-dispose-of items including new and used furniture, appliances and surplus building materials. In many cases, pickup service is provided for large items. Best of all, proceeds from the sale of these donated goods help families build a foundation for the future.
In-Kind Gifts
Habitat accepts large quantities of in-kind gifts like building materials, furniture, appliances and more. Our corporate partnerships help make our work at Habitat possible. One of our most valued gifts-in-kind are the materials used to build homes. Habitat for Humanity regularly ranks as one of the top 20 homebuilders in the United States and is the largest privately held homebuilder. For example, in each one of the homes we build in the U.S., we require approximately 150 pounds of nails and 400 two-by-fours. With the average Habitat house consisting of 1,200 square feet and three bedrooms, these numbers add up fastóso donations of building materials from corporate manufacturers are welcome! Additionally, in some cases, retailers with overstock items donate those goods. Donations like these are usually sold in our Habitat ReStore home improvement stores, with the proceeds benefiting Habitat for Humanity. We have handled nationwide restaurant chain remodels, going out of business events and everything in between. Please contact our Corporate Donor Coordinator at CorporatePartnerships@habitat.org.
COVID-19 Pandemic
During this time of social distancing and COVID-19, Habitat for Humanity is still hard at work, pursuing many avenues to move forward our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. As we follow the guidance of public health officials to safeguard our volunteers and the families we serve, we have paused our build activities around the world and our travel schedules. We have immediately exchanged our hammers for headsets, and we carry on in many very crucial ways. Just a few examples:
  • We are still using our voices to passionately advocate for affordable housing and to help bring awareness to the role that housing plays in health, education, financial stability and the viability of thriving communities.
  • We have shared with the U.S. Congress recommendations for immediate solutions to inform their conversations and stimulus work.
  • Help us by adding your voice now to tell Congress to act for housing stability.
  • We have joined with more than 200 national charitable nonprofit organizations to urge U.S. Congressional leaders to include a nonprofit track in any future legislation that builds on the CARES Act.
  • Much more....
Jovenes - Los Angeles, California A home and family for those without, Jovenes helps youth, ages 18-25, end their cycle of homelessness. Located in Boyle Heights and serving communities throughout Southeast LA County, Jovenes goes deep with our youth focusing on not only their needs for housing, but also healthcare, education, employment and trauma recovery. We empower those we serve because we believe that homelessness does not define our youth. Our mission is to help homeless youth become active and integrated members of our community. Together we work to develop pathways for personal and professional growth so young people can move into permanent housing and make meaningful contributions to the community we share. We are only able to accept donations we have a need for. We are always in need of backpacks, hygiene items, new socks, household goods, and gift cards (see list). You can organize a drive at your local school or workplace or drop off individual contributions at our Boyle Heights office (1208 Pleasant Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033). Visit Los Angeles, California USA .

Los Angeles Mission - Los Angeles, California Our ďFriends and NeighborsĒ who come to us every day for a shower and clean clothing, do not have access to hygiene products and toiletries unless we supply them. For this reason a constant and abundant supply of these are required at the Mission. Without your help, we must purchase these products. Consider sponsoring a hygiene drive among your friends and associates to assist us in meeting this need. If you are interested in sponsoring a hygiene drive, please contact Kimberly Battaglia at (213) 629-1227, ext 329 for questions or more information. Donation Drop Off: 316 East Winston Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.
Personal Care Items Needed
  • Nail Clippers
  • Lip Balm
  • Toothpaste and Toothbrushes
  • Mouthwash
  • Razors
  • Body Wash
  • Diapers Size 3, 4, 5, 6
  • Conditioner
  • Shampoo
  • Hair Gel/Grease
  • Hair Brushes
  • Formula for Infants
  • Sanitary Napkins for Women
  • Adult Diapers
  • Wet Wipes/Napkins
See more Food items and Clothing items on this page, as well. More ways to give including Corporate Sponsors.

COVID-19
We need your help during this crisis. Tens of thousands of people across Los Angeles are living on the streets and are at a greater risk of contracting the coronavirus due to poor sanitation and crowded conditions. Since we are one of the largest shelters in all of Los Angeles, we expect countless people to come through our doors in need of safe shelter and emergency care. Since we already serve thousands of people every year, our beds and mattresses are in bad shape. We need your support to raise the necessary $45,000 to replace these mattresses and bed frames, and provide other vital care. Please give now to ensure that someone has a comfortable place to stay and a chance to stay safe from COVID-19. Visit Los Angeles, California USA .
Neighborhood Coalitions for Shelter - New York, New York In the 23 years since its founding, Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter (NCS) in New York, New York has helped more than 20,000 homeless and formerly homeless find food, shelter, counseling, employment, and in many cases, a home to call their own. NCS provides a full continuum of services aimed at helping people move from the streets to housing and independence. 

Finding a Way Home - Neighborhood Coalitions for Shelter



A skilled and dedicated staff of social workers, psychiatrists, substance abuse counselors, and vocational and educational specialists, offer the services needed to help men and women overcome histories of mental illness, addiction, incarceration, domestic violence, and economic displacement.
COVID-19 Response
Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter has launched an emergency COVID-19 Response Fund.

This Fund will be used for the increased costs that NCS is incurring due to the pandemic.
  • Food: Many of our residents rely on local free meal programs that have been suspended. NCS is purchasing food so that our residents do not go hungry.
  • Cleaning: NCS has hired outside cleaning services to keep our two housing residences scrubbed clean and safe for our tenants.
  • Technology: New technology is required for tele-med sessions with doctors and case management sessions with NCS staff. This will ensure that clients can have these meetings safely in the privacy of their own room and do not need to rely on the shared computer lab as we try to minimize the residentsí exposure to each other.
SUPPORT NCS TODAY Visit New York USA .
Orange County Rescue Mission - Orange County, California Our Mission is to minister the love of Jesus Christ to the Least, the Last, and the Lost of our community through the provision of assistance in the areas of guidance, counseling, education, job training, shelter, food, clothing, health care and independent living communities.  At the Orange County (California) Rescue Mission, averaged over the last eight years, a full 86 cents of every dollar given goes directly to help the homeless. If gifts received are above a specific need, they will be used for Mission programs where the need is greatest. Visit Orange County, California USA including Santa Ana.
Raleigh Rescue Mission - Raleigh, North Carolina During the holidays and all year long, Raleigh Rescue Mission counts on your donations of food, gently used and new clothing, furniture, household items, and more to supply the needs of the homeless, hungry and poor.  Raleigh Rescue Mission was founded in 1961 to minister to the growing needs of the homeless population of Raleigh, North Carolina.  Since that time, the Mission has provided physical and spiritual nourishment in the form of relief and recovery programs and services for men, women and children who are homeless and/or addicted.  The Mission strives to prevent recurring homelessness through the Life Plan Program, a long-term recovery program providing Bible-based teaching, counseling, job skills and referrals to other agencies to help stabilize homeless adults and allow them to become productive members of the community.  Visit Raleigh, North Carolina USA
Recycled Resources For The Homeless - Northeast Los Angeles, California Outreach & Engagement events:
The best way to get to know who lives in your Northeast Los Angeles neighborhood is through our Outreach & Engagement events. Outreach & Engagements take place once monthly and are the best way to get to know who lives in your neighborhood. Outreaches typically last three hours and involve going out in teams to distrubute lunches, clothing, and hygiene products to your homeless neighbors. Volunteers engage in conversations check to see how people are doing and provide referrals for services. Our outreach volunteers are vital in helping us gather data to advocate for services and also help us better understand how people are feeling.
Emergent Shelter for Winter:
Donate through crowdfunding for shelter in Highland Park temporarily housed at All Saints Episcopal Church. Donate what you can for the Winter Access Center. Each night from now through March 1, the pews of All Saints on Monte Vista Street will be converted into beds that are covered with pads, sleeping bags and pillows the visitors receive when they arrive. The access center is open from 7 p.m. Ė 6 a.m. and can provide shelter for 50 persons.
Donation Pick Up, Sorting, & Soliciting Volunteer:
This is the perfect position if you want to be involved in improving lives however may not feel comfortable approaching people you do not know or do not have the time to volunteer on the weekends. This position entails picking up items in the community and dropping them off to our storage, sorting and organizing items during your spare time, and also asking family friends and community members to donate items we need.
Used items needed include: Clothing: pants, shirts, jackets, tennis shoes, & socks. Blankets, sleeping bags, linens, pillows, & towels.
New items needed: Socks & Underwear. Hygiene Products: toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, soap, razors, shampoo, & feminine hygiene products. Gift cards and money also appreciated. Visit Los Angeles, California USA .
Scotland Shelter - Scotland, UK Shelter is the national campaigning charity helping homeless and badly housed people.  We know that bad housing wrecks lives, so we're working hard to ensure that everyone has a home where they can feel safe.  Through our network of Housing Aid Centres we provide advice about housing rights and options. We also provide support and training for Citizens Advice Bureaux (CABx) through the Scottish Homelessness Advisory Service (SHAS), ensuring that professional advice is always available where it's needed most. Where legal expertise is required, we can refer clients to our own legal team or an appropriate local law service or solicitor. Visit Scotland U.K.
Safe Parking - New Beginnings Counseling Center - Santa Barbara, California New Beginningsí Safe Parking Program provides case management and outreach to the homeless and safe overnight parking to individuals and families living in their vehicles in Santa Barbara, California. New Beginnings has operated the Safe Parking Program since 2004 in cooperation with numerous local churches, governmental and non-profit agencies and businesses. They provide confidential, daily-monitored parking places for those who are living in their vehicles because they do not have sufficient income to provide for their basic need of affordable housing. Visit Santa Barbara, California USA .
Transition Projects, Inc. - Portland, Oregon Since 1969 Transition Projects has helped thousands of people transcend the streets of Portland. On any given dayótoday, for exampleóweíre making the difference in hundreds of lives, providing the tools people need as they transition from homelessness to housing. We offer long-term shelter, for starters, plus a unique mix of valuable services that helps people overcome their own barriers to stable housing and employment. Services like job training, continuing education, alcohol, drug and mental health counseling, and more. Visit Portland, Oregon USA .
Union Rescue Mission - Los Angeles, California We have an increasing number of children at the Mission; currently there are about 100 children receiving emergency services each day.  Union Rescue Mission (URM) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the poor and homeless. Established in 1891, URM is one of the largest rescue missions of its kind in the United States and the oldest in Los Angeles. We provide a comprehensive array of emergency and long-term services to our guests, including: food, shelter, clothing, medical and dental care, recovery programs, transitional housing, legal assistance, education, counseling, and job training to needy men, women, children, and families. Visit Los Angeles, California USA .
Union Station Foundation - Pasadena, California For over 30 years, Union Station Foundation has helped thousands of homeless men, women and families leave the streets and begin leading productive and self-sufficient lives.  Your contributions help to ensure that Union Station Foundation remains a lifeline of hope to the families and individuals that come to us in need. Union Station Foundation (USF), located in Pasadena, California, is the San Gabriel Valleyís largest private agency serving the poor and homeless. Union Station offers emergency and transitional housing for individuals and families, hot meals, job development, healthcare, case management services and substance abuse recovery support. Every year, we serve over 145,000 meals and provide 30,000 nights of shelter to our clients.  View the Wish List of needed in-kind items. Visit Pasadena, California USA near Burbank Airport.

See the Gifts Directory for more suggestions.

You can help homeless people by sending this link to your friends:

 http://www.2givenow.org/giving/2homelesspeople.htm

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Thoughts About Giving: It is when you give of yourself that you truly give -- Thomas Fuller

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