How to Serve the Homeless this Holiday Season

These 11 organizations provide relief to those who have nowhere else to turn

In our December issue we feature portraits by Martin Schoeller of nine people living in Los Angeles without homes. Those nine individuals are among an estimated 26,000 who are homeless in our city. Many organizations are working to alleviate the immediate difficulties of homelessness by providing shelter, necessities, and rehabilitation to those in need. If you are looking for a way to volunteer, know someone who is homeless, or are homeless and looking for help yourself, these resources are a great place to start.

Step Up on Second
The organization offers permanent supportive housing, vocational training and placement, and supportive services, with a goal of eliminating youth homelessness by 2020.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Los Angeles
Their mission: helping those in need “become self-sufficient by providing financial and emotional support, food, clothing, furniture, appliances, housing and by connecting the disadvantaged to helpful resources in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.” Donations to their thrift stores makes their work possible.

Upward Bound House
They focus on families and provide housing, supportive services and advocacy.

Los Angeles Mission
The mission offers free primary emergency services (hot meals, overnight shelter, etc.), recovery services, and a rehabilitation program to help participants find employment.

Union Station Homeless Services
This organization is about long-term solutions. The Web site reads, “Our programs give homeless families and individuals everything they need from the time they walk through our doors until well after the time they have keys to their own apartment.”

Union Rescue Mission
The oldest rescue mission in Los Angeles, Union offers emergency services like shelter, meals, showers, haircuts, clothing, medical care, and counseling, as well as longer term programs for individuals, families, and seniors.

Weingart Center for the Homeless
Weingart invests in people living in poverty and transforms them into “productive, self-sufficient members of society — creating a better LA for everyone.”

Midnight Mission
Midnight Mission serves as a safety net for the homeless, providing connections to career resources, mental health professionals, and housing opportunities.

Dream Center transitional family housing
Provides up to six months of housing, food, showers, clean clothes, and mentorship to families who have been evicted and no longer have a place to stay.

School on Wheels
This organization provides academic tutoring to children living “in shelters, motels, cars, group foster homes and on the streets in Southern California.”

Skid Row Housing Trust
The Trust provides permanent supportive housing “so that people who have experienced homelessness, prolonged extreme poverty, poor health, disabilities, mental illness and/or addiction can lead safe, stable lives in wellness.”