Since 1999 we continue to serve thousands of unsheltered individuals and families in Los Angeles County through powerfully impactful programming. These programs provide volunteers with unique experiences – educational workshops, hands on assembly of survival kits and often the opportunity to personally deliver survival kits to those in need or to a community partner also providing direct services to homeless individuals, children, and families. They also allow us to address the needs and issues of specific universes of poverty.
The Giving Spirit’s humanitarian approach to assemble volunteers and serve thousands of our neighbors with life-sustaining aid each year includes use of reliable research and data in addition to partnering with frontline service providers.
Owning The First Mile --
Caring for the poor and vulnerable in our City is a “journey” that is shared with our amazing peers who own and are responsible for their own sections of the road to lasting and sustainable care.
We are proud of owning and being responsible for the First Mile of Care and Learning around poverty and homelessness. We meet our constituents - unhoused and housed – directly where they are in their struggle or in their learning to measurably and realistically address the myriad social issues that tragically effect every community.
Our goals? To provide essential life needs, educate our volunteers and community about the human face of homelessness and to connect unsheltered families and individuals to services and housing.
Summer and Winter Outreaches
The Giving Spirit’s Winter and Summer Outreach events provide opportunities for volunteers to learn about the myths and realities of homelessness and help assemble and personally give out survival kits on the streets or at agency locations. During the assembly process, volunteers and community members can attend Learning Experience workshops about homeless needs, experiences and current issues. These events strengthen our community through connection, acknowledgment, understanding and action.
- The Winter Duffel Bag Survival Kit includes 75+ – food, hydrating drinks, hygiene items, toiletries, clothing, weather protection, a blanket and more
- The Summer Backpack Survival Kit includes 45+ items designed for warm weather
Our network of 20 plus partner agencies include Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, United Way of Greater LA, Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, Safe Place for Youth, The People Concern, Downtown Women’s Center, Union Rescue Mission and many more
Backpacks 4 LAUSD Homeless Students Program
In partnership with the Home Education Office of LAUSD, The Giving Spirit procures thousands of school supplies and hygiene items needed to assemble backpacks for homeless students.
LAUSD counts more than 20,000 self-identified homeless students. Studies show that homeless students are twice as likely to be absent, have higher suspension rates and lower achievement scores than the overall average. Yet homeless students in California graduate high school at a rate of 70% with 50% going on to college! This demonstrates the resilience of these children who possess the incredible will to learn and succeed despite immense challenges. We supply tools and essential items for them and their families to encourage students to feel valued and to “learn their way out” of homelessness and poverty.
- Sturdy backpacks contain age-appropriate school supplies for elementary, middle, and high school students as recommended by LAUSD teachers and counselors
- Family size hygiene products are included for all family members, including PPE
Women’s and Girls Initiative
Women represent 32% of the homeless population in Los Angeles, including recent increases in homeless families. These women are vulnerable to outdoor elements, effects of isolation and assaults. A high percentage of homeless women report unmet medical needs. The health needs of pregnancy and menstrual cycles create special challenges.
- Robust female-focused care kits containing feminine hygiene, health and beauty products are created as standalone kits
- New Mother Kits include 25 infant items for new and expectant mothers are distributed to homeless mothers on the street or at agencies along with cases of diapers and formula
Companion Animal Program
Companion animals play an important role in their homeless caretakers survival. They lovingly blunt the effects of isolation, depression, and loneliness. Studies show that caring for animals can improve the mental and physical health and levels of responsibility - providing unsheltered individuals with hope. Our Companion Animal Kits provide supplies to keep companion animal with their owners. The idea came from a young volunteer who recognized the powerful connections between companion animals and their owners, and asked, “what about them?” Building and distributing these special kits provides opportunities for homeless individuals to gain access to other life-sustaining services.
- Special companion animal kits include food, leashes, collars, grooming supplies, and toys
- Supplies prepare companion animal owners to follow the animal leashing requirements at shelters, transitional housing centers or other service providers