According to the U.S. News and World Report, the city of Los Angeles is not only the area in the state of California with the largest number of homeless residents, but it is also has the second largest homeless population in the country (behind New York City).
The relatively high cost of living in the state of California has been a significant contributing factor in the state's homeless population. With Los Angeles' median rents topping out at 46.7% of the median income, the plight of homeless and low income families in the city is an issue worthy of the attention of all Los Angeles residents.
As the holiday season approaches, families around the country seek out volunteer opportunities to contribute to making the end of the year better for those less fortunate. There are a number of ways Los Angeles residents can contribute this holiday season to the city's tens of thousands of homeless individuals and families.
- The Los Angeles Mission, located in the Skid Row area of the city, has a Volunteer Hub that is simple and easily navigated for any residents hoping to lend a hand this holiday season. Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older. The Los Angeles Mission provides meals, shelter, showers, and other support to those dealing with homelessness in the city.
- My Friend's Place, located in Hollywood, provides inspiration and essential services to the youth of Los Angeles dealing with homelessness. The organization offers virtual volunteer opportunities that can be found on its website and accessed with a simple email.
- Los Angeles residents may also sign up to participate in the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count through this website. Thousands of volunteers are needed every year to better understand the state of homelessness in the area and to be able to direct the city's resources to where they can be of the most help.
- With recent changes to Los Angeles' ordinances surrounding additional dwelling units, more and more residents are taking advantage of the freedom granted by Assembly Bill 68. Homeowners who wish to make a more significant contribution to the homeless population in Los Angeles might consider creating their own space (ADU) on their property to provide shelter for a homeless person or family.
With no end in sight to the rising cost of living in the Los Angeles area, the issue of homelessness in the city looks to be a long-term challenge. This holiday season, consider taking some time to assist the homeless in the city in any way you can.