Who We Are & Why We Exist
Most individuals homeless in North East Los Angeles are natives.
The Mission of Recycled Resources for the Homeless
We believe in the dignity of all people, especially the chronically homeless with mental illness who have fallen through the safety net and subsist without basic necessities. We offer people the opportunity to assist others when the nature of mental illness strips away human dignity, creating a link between those who seek aid and those who are able to provide it.
Our vision is that all chronically homeless mentally ill individuals living on the streets of Los Angeles be allowed access to basic human services. Our founding principle allows people to receive assistance without meeting any pre-conditions.
It is our hope that outreach to these individuals will allow them to “feel safe” and eventually establish the rapport and trust needed to enter existing services. Although we do pass out lunches and needed items to people we also pass out referrals for community services to individuals in order to educate them on services available to them. People are given bus tokens and maps to access these services, linking them to agencies already in place to assist them. It is our hope that we will develop the necessary trust with the people we outreach to in order to empower them and allow them to improve their lives.
Who are the Homeless?
In 2011 the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) estimated there were about 69,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County. These people live on the streets, in emergency shelters, vehicles, garages, abandoned buildings, or other places not normally meant for human habitation.
Of these 69,000 people, more than 31,000 of them were chronically homeless- people with a physical or mental illness who are continuously homeless. The majority of people chronically homeless have been diagnosed with mental illnesses: Major Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Schizophrenia, Psychotic Disorder, and Anxiety.
Over half of these people have tried to access programs set in place to help them. However, they are frequently turned away because the inability to comply with program rules or the lack of available beds. Emergency shelters may be staffed by people who are unfamiliar with the mentally ill and are often places of violence, overcrowding, and unsanitary conditions. When asked why they sleep on the streets, some homeless people admit that they’re scared of shelters, a result of their previous experiences. Many have had items stolen, contracted lice, TB, or Scabies, or have been denied access to locations that made them “feel safe.” They have felt vulnerable, anxious, and in danger of being attacked, often leaving them without services. The vision of Recycled Resources For The Homeless is to bring hope to these individuals by providing aid without pre-conditions. It is our hope that outreach to these individuals will allow them to “feel safe” and eventually establish the rapport needed to begin rebuilding their lives. There are no homeless services in this area of Los Angeles, known as North East Los Angeles. We are working to change that!
We are located in Northeast Los Angeles with volunteers stretching from San Diego to Sacramento however the main areas we serve are Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Glassell Park, Cypress Park, and El Sereno.