"The COVID-19 crisis affects our entire community, but has an acute impact on people experiencing homelessness and those who serve them,” says Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, president and CEO of LA Family Housing. While the organization—which helps children and adults transition out of homelessness—regularly interacts with participants, team members’ day-to-day missions have changed. In addition to partnering with local businesses to procure donated personal protective equipment for the team and with individual donors, LAFH is working with city officials to open new shelters and provide handwashing stations at encampment sites.
LAFH is also collaborating with businesses to overcome the food insecurity needs of vulnerable clients. So far, restaurant Redbird has prepared 1,300 meals daily, and Big Sugar Bakeshop delivers baked goods to children in LAFH’s interim housing sites.
“COVID-19 is an unforeseen tragedy, but it is also an incredible opportunity,” says Klasky-Gamer. “What the city, county, state and local providers like LA Family Housing have been able to do is unprecedented. We’ve unlocked critical resources to open thousands of units of housing to bring people inside within a matter of weeks."