Serving Hope on Hope Street
Chelsea, Resource Navigator at St. Francis Centre: “We’re located in Downtown L.A. area, near Skid Row. We have a lot of unhoused guests in this area. Everywhere you turn, you’ll see either a tent or someone sleeping on the street. It’s very highly populated with people who are unhoused and need assistance. So for us, it’s a perfect place to be, because they can come in and get the help that they need.
Life on the street can be pretty difficult in L.A. You really need a car to live here. Resources are far away. If you’re on foot, it can be hard to get food or assistance. If you’re unhoused, you’re constantly going around, trying to find your next meal, trying to find a safe area to sleep. Waitlists can be over 100 people, just to get into a night shelter. There’s a lot of services, but not enough beds, not enough of anything.
I think the Shelterbag does help. As I said, shelters are limited. And also a lot of unhoused individuals have bad history at shelters. You’re in a room with people you don’t know. They may feel unsafe. Or they have a history of trauma, where they might not feel comfortable being around a bunch of strangers. So having that Shelterbag to be able to be warm on the street is so helpful. Because we don’t have a lot of resources, but even that one resource can make the difference between I slept ok last night, and I can make it to the next day.”