Stories of the Homeless 

The Who and the Where

Donations Needed

Here are the most important needs:

Please make sure everything is clean and in 'good enough' condition.

The volunteers who do the sorting don't have time to evaluate the condition of each piece. They receive so many bags at a time. This means PLEASE check the quality of your stuff before passing it on:  no dog hairs, no underarm sweat stains or rips or broken zippers.

  • They receive a LOT of women's clothing from various sources, so that is less a priority. Except: the women always need underwear, bras and pants - USED is fine, as long as not stained. Clean, obviously.
  • MEN's clothing IS a need - undershorts, long pants, casual pants, walking shoes. A lot of women check the men's clothes for large sweat pants.
  • BELTS!!
  • Comfy clothes always useful - sweatpants, elastic waistbands, T shirts. Very large and very small sizes are underrepresented.
  • Everyone needs socks, all the time.
  • Amenity stuff - giveaway shampoos, lotions etc from hotels - always useful, also brushes, combs and sanitary pads.
  • Pretty costume jewelry.
  • SHOES!! Old athletic shoes, good for walking. No mismatched shoes. No high-heels.
  • Blankets and jackets, especially in winter when it's cold at night.
  • Suitcases/backpacks with wheels - hot ticket item!
  • Also plastic bags, grocery cloth bags.
  • Towels and washcloths. The women LOVE washcloths!
  • NO night clothes, kids clothes, dress clothes.

You can take donations directly to St Luke's Episcopal Church on Thursdays, between 9 and 11, when they have volunteers on hand to sort things.

The need is endless and nothing will go to waste.

Thank you!

September 9, 2018

The meaning of life is to give meaning to life, and love is the ultimate force that connects all living beings."

Ari Mahler, the self-described "Jewish Nurse" who tended to the Pittsburgh shooter

Here in California in 2018, we are dealing with homelessness on many fronts. The asylum seekers from Central America at the southern border, the thousands displaced by fires to the north of us, and our own growing homeless population here in Long Beach, who like the poor seem to always be with us. All these people who have lost everything are overwhelming to contemplate, let alone help.

When people have been ripped from all that is familiar, one of the ways I know to give meaning to life is to write about it. I have been writing about my once a month Saturday experiences volunteering with the Shower Program at St. Luke's Church in Long Beach for some time now on Facebook. The responses have always been positive, and have resulted in many donations to the program locally, have even inspired a similar program through a church in the heart of London. My wish is that people will see the homeless not as The Other, who can then safely be ignored, mistreated or worse, but as fellow human beings, just like us.

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