Councilman Curren Price on Saturday, Feb. 15 joined nearly 100 volunteers to prepare the Safe Landing for Families-Broadway site – and specifically the 10 trailers donated by Gov. Gavin Newsom – to be ready for the homeless families who moved in this past week.
St. Joseph Center, the nonprofit homeless services provider for the site, organized the Community Day event in partnership with Councilmember Price’s Office and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
“This is our way of saying, ‘Welcome home, a new life awaits,’” said Councilman Price. "We want the new residents to feel the warm embrace of their community and to know that we're here for them from beginning to end."
During the Community Day, volunteers assembled a play area, dog run and patio sets donated by the California Community Foundation (CCF). They also installed landscaping and cleaned and supplied the trailers with household products. Finally, they made welcome baskets for the homeless families, many of whom were living on the streets in the immediate vicinity.
“This is the County and City of Angels and we are living up to that name,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “This boundless compassion must continue to drive our collective urgency to bring all our homeless neighbors indoors.”
Among the volunteers and donors was TV host Jimmy Kimmel, his wife Molly McNearney, and members of the staff of the show Jimmy Kimmel Live.
“I am so impressed by and honored to be part of this inspiring and important project," said Jimmy Kimmel, whose team donated food, bedding, dishes, and other household items for the families moving in. "There is no better way to fight homelessness than by getting families back on their feet.”
Residents of local neighborhoods and St. Joseph Center supporters made up the bulk of the volunteers, along with representatives of local businesses, faith organizations, and United Way of Greater LA’s Everyone In campaign.
“It is so wonderful to see the community come together to lift up families experiencing homelessness and to welcome them to the neighborhood,” St. Joseph Center President and CEO Va Lecia Adams Kellum, Ph.D., said. “Being homeless can be an isolating experience. By joining together, we are showing our homeless neighbors that they aren’t alone; we are here with them.”
Previously used by first responders in the Camp Fire, the trailers were re-purposed into temporary housing for the homeless under an Executive Order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Jan. 8. Since then, LA County and City expedited leasing a site and installing electricity, water and sewage connections, as well as other improvements.