Homelessness in Silver Lake Committee Reports on Milestone

By Nithya Raman and Darius Derakshan
Co-chairs, SLNC Homelessness in Silver Lake Committee

As we have written in the past, members of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s Homelessness in Silver Lake Committee have partnered with nearby communities to create a volunteer coalition (SELAH NHC) that reaches out on the first and third Saturday of each month to our homeless neighbors. This past week marked a very big step for our movement: it was the first time that homeless service providers also went out to meet with people who were interested in services.

It all began last Saturday, August 19, which was a typical day for the coalition. Ten volunteers with hot coffee, breakfast bars, bottles of water, and pamphlets with information about homeless services canvassed multiple sites. Several people agreed to meet with outreach workers, and we passed their names and locations to PATH and Homeless Health Care employees. With time, our hope is that people will be able to move off the streets, with the assistance of caseworkers.

SELAH NHC (The Silver Lake, Echo Park, Los Feliz, Atwater Village, and Hollywood Neighborhood Homeless Coalition) was born out of the realization that our neighborhoods had an increasing number of homeless residents, but did not have the kinds of resources–shelters, access centers, and regular outreach worker presence–that is needed to address our homeless neighbors’ needs locally.  We’re now combining forces and voices to build a neighborhood-level movement to respond to homelessness in a proactive, compassionate, and effective way. If you’re interested in volunteering for an upcoming engagement, please email us at dderakshan@gmail.com and nithyawriting@gmail.com.

In our last meeting, the SLNC Homelessness in Silver Lake Committee approved a $2,000 funding motion to perform a hygiene kit drive. The motion will go to the SLNC Governing Board for review, and, if approved, the homelessness committee hopes to work jointly with both the 50+ Committee and the Youth Committee to create a multigenerational event. The hygiene kits will be used by SELAH for the bi-monthly engagement days and beyond.