Los Angeles, CA

What can you do to help Los Angeles's homeless crisis?

Eugene Adams

Homeless tents in Los Angeles Skid RowRuss Allison Loar, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Homelessness is a problem that Los Angeles has been dealing with for a long time. Sadly, that doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon. 

First of all, the homeless population is growing, not shrinking. 

Secondly, the homeless crisis has been in the news a lot lately. 

The growing frustration surrounding homeless encampments has finally boiled over. That has led to Los Angeles passing new rules regarding encampments

Things have even gotten so bad that one woman got hit by a car attempting to walk around an unpassable encampment. The woman is now suing

Sadly, there isn’t a whole lot we can do on an individual level. Politicians will have to do the heavy lifting if we will ever see the end of this crisis. 

But, if you do want to help, what can you do?

Ten Items Homeless Shelters Need

If you want to help, one thing you can do is donate needed items to a homeless shelter. Here are ten of the most needed items. 

Note: This is not an exhaustive list by any means. For more exhaustive lists, visit this site or this one


Socks are the number one item that homeless shelters run out of quickly. No matter the time of year, socks are always in need.


The homeless obviously can’t always shower as regularly as they would like. That is unhygienic enough. They should at least have a clean pair of underwear to change into. 


It’s easy for us to take having a toothbrush or toothpaste for granted. Nobody should be forced to go without such basic necessities. 


Keeping personal items safe is a huge problem that the homeless face. Having a backpack makes it easier for them to keep their most prized possessions safe. 


It may not feel cold inside your house. But, there are some cold months in Los Angeles when you sleep outdoors. 

Reusable Water Bottles 

Clean drinking water is not always immediately available outdoors. Staying hydrated is especially important during L.A.’s hot summers. 

Winter Coats

Los Angeles is not as cold as many parts of the country. But that doesn’t mean it never gets cold. There are some days where people will be thankful to have a good winter coat. 


Being without a home is dirty enough. People should at least have a bar of soap to keep clean. 


Sleeping outside will always be uncomfortable. But, having a pillow makes it a tiny bit more bearable. 


Sadly, it’s hard to do much in this world without money. Shelters do their best, but their best often requires money. 

If you have the means, please consider donating.

But, do your research first. Not all shelters/charities are created equal. 

Los Angeles Homeless Shelters

Shelterlist.com is a great website to find Los Angeles area shelters. 

The site is useful if you yourself need a place to stay. It’s also great for someone looking for a place to donate their time, money, or items to a worthwhile cause. 

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Certified Personal Trainer | Certified ESL Teacher |I mostly write about all things Southern California, but I also cover national topics.

Fontana, CA

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