Every Thursday at about 10:00 am folks can get in line at the YMCA and pick up a box of fresh vegetables and fruit. The address is the Mid Valley YMCA at 6901 Lennox Ave. (Near cross-street of Vanowen), Van Nuys 91405. Their phone number for information is 818-989-3800. They have both a drive up line and a walk up line. Suggest you get in line around 9:30am.
Amelia Earhart Statue at NOHO by Sculptor Ernie Shelton
Here’s some nice food options in NOHO for Sundays, as up to date as I have it. I’m working on a combined Valley list that should be done shortly. Any info on Glendale, Eagle Rock, Pasadena area is helpful, please email us.
1st Sunday of each month – 4 pm. Amelia Earhart NOHO Park. Food provided by a Simi Valley Church at picnic tables.
2nd Sunday of each month – around noon. Amelia Earhart NOHO Park. Starbucks coffee and a really great lunch provided by the nice folks at First Christian Church of Studio City. They also distro clothing, and often some musicians show up for entertainment. If you go away hungry from here it’s your own fault.
3rd Sunday of each month. About 12:30 pm. Baptist Church in NOHO near the park, at Fair and Otsego.
3rd Sunday of each month. Senior lunch at St. Finbar Catholic Church in Burbank, at Olive and Keystone. I think this is around noon.
Last Sunday of each month, about 1:30. Amelia Earhart NOHO Park. Usually food brought by good folks from New Life Community Church.
Also on Last Sunday, a group called Angel Hanz comes with clothing and other things for homeless people.
Thanks very much to Ric for the initial info on these, and to Tony and Joe for reminding me to check them out. Anyone homeless, living in a vehicle, or having difficulty getting enough to eat should come to these events. Pleasant atmosphere and nice folks. It is sad to see so many nice folks on hard times, but nice that we can share a meal and give each other support.
West Hollywood Food Coalition Under Assault by City, Cops, Big Real Estate Corporations
Class War Rages in Hollywood
The class war is intensifying in Hollywood, as it is nation-wide. With millions of foreclosures each year, more and more people are being put on the street. Combined with the exporting of good jobs to China, it’s hard for many to survive on the minimum wage jobs that still exist, and especially since a lot of these are part-time jobs. Paying rent of $800 or more for a single apartment on a part-time minimum wage job is tough. More people than ever are living in their vehicles or on the street. One reason a lot of homeless go to Hollywood to “live” is that the image-myth of Hollywood attracts thousands of tourists from around the world, making pan-handling easier there than say, Pacoima or Long Beach.
But Hollywood continues to have a massive development scheme. Big buildings, condos, and towers continue to be built. Billions of dollars are pouring into the area’s real estate. And if there is one thing the real estate moguls don’t like to see, it’s homeless people. “It’s bad for business.” It gives the lie to the image of growth and success that the moguls are trying to polish up. If they don’t keep up the “Rah Rah” then their buildings may end up vacant. Although the breaking point of rents is fast approaching, the big investors who now own so much of Hollywood’s commercial and office buildings, seem to be oblivious to the further eroding of the economy. So the word is out: Get rid of the homeless. Push them out to somewhere else. Anywhere but Hollywood.
A Lesson From The History Books
One way is to take a lesson from the history books. When the American Imperial expansion was in full swing, the main obstacle was the Native American tribes, who had been residents of the land, now called “The United States of America”, for thousands of years. Solution: kill off the buffalo, food supply for the Natives. This ultimately weakened many tribes into submission and made them dependent on food from the government. This same tactic is now being pushed in the Hollywood area. Cut off the food supply, harass them at every turn, arrest them, push them out. This combined assault by the City of Los Angeles and it’s big business backers is now threatening the 27 year old Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition (GWHFC).
The GWHFC has fed about 200-300 folks a night for 27 years. Operating on the corner of Sycamore and Romaine in Hollywood, help is there with a hot meal and often with volunteers who help the seniors and homeless with issues like health, legal problems, and psychological counseling. Now comes the class war: the Health Department demanded that all the tables and chairs be removed from the sidewalks; microscopic inspection of the food prep building; citations for anything imaginable; cops trolling the food lines trying to find homeless who have warrants outstanding; cops and B.I.D. police hanging around looking to cite anyone. If you ever wanted to know what it was like to eat a meal in a Nazi food distribution during WW2 (if there even was one), then this is it. Even during the great depression, big mobsters like Al Capone set up food kitchens in Chicago and fed thousands on the streets. The politicians of today aren’t even as nice as the 30’s mobsters. They hate the thought of feeding anyone, other than their honorable selves, of course.
Homeless Treated Worse Than Animals by Cops, City Politicos
If you are a senior or homeless and would like a free hot meal at the GWHFC nightly food distro, get ready to be treated like a dog. Not by the good folks at the Food Coalition, who are trying to cope with this attack, but by a heartless, cruel City and their squadrons of Cops. There are no tables to sit down and enjoy a meal. You have to sit on the ground. There’s no place to wash your hands, no bathrooms or porta-poties. Men, women, and children grovel on the ground for their gruel because the Food Coalition can no longer put out chairs and tables.
Americans, Unlike Other Humans, Do Not Ever Have To Go To The Toilet – An Entire Nation of Anal Retentives
Business people and some residents complain about the damage done or the annoyance in the neighborhood. “I saw a homeless guy pissing on a tree.” What do you expect? There’s no bathrooms in the area and a lot of Hollywood businesses and restaurants try to keep them out of their bathrooms. If the City can’t provide some free bathrooms, then you get what you deserve. An outsider or visitor from another planet would notice right away that Americans never go to the bathroom. These places, if they exist at all, are hidden away in secret corners, even in Shopping Malls. Contrast this with Europe. Go to London or Paris. Bathrooms everywhere. In London the “Water Closets” are manned by old pensioners who exist on tips. They work shifts and keep the places clean. Think of all the seniors here in Hollywood. A lot of them would like a job like that, just as soon as America joins the rest of the civilized world. Meanwhile, it’s “piss-o-rama” on the back streets of Hollywood and will continue to be until the City of L.A. and the Hollywood business people wake up to THEIR responsibility to provide bathrooms FOR EVERYONE. (Hey, even the beloved tourists have to “go”) And they could also find a suitable building in the area of Romaine and Sycamore and let the good folks at the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition go about their humane efforts to feed the hungry. It is a responsibility for everyone to pitch in and help. So to the Hollywood Fat Cats and Moguls: call off the Cops and sour-faced bureaucrats and lend a hand in finding a solution. Make the world a better place by becoming anal-expulsive.
Hidden Camera Shows Cops Lining Up Homeless “Suspects” at Sycamore and Romaine
2:00 pm. First Presbyterian Church, 521 E. Olive Ave. Good Hot Lunch
Monster Thanksgiving Dinner at First Presbyterian Church – Gypsy Cool says that this was really delicious! He took a Photo to remember it during the hard times when all there is to eat is can of sardines.
Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition Feeds the Hungry
From their website:
Every night between 6:15 and 7:30 a community comes together at the barren street corner of Sycamore and Romaine, along the border of Hollywood and West Hollywood. On the one hand – on one side of the table – are the volunteers of The Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition, a broad-based grass-roots organization which for the past 25 years has served a hot, fresh, and nutritious meal every night to the homeless and hungry. On the other hand are between 150 and 200 men and women who have somehow or other fallen through the cracks, and for whom the meal they are about to eat, sumptuous as it is, might well be the only meal they have all day. The GWHFC is comprised of actors, producers, writers, artists, teachers, journalists, lawyers, housewives, and a corps of former “clients” who have all had a strong desire to give back by volunteering in Los Angeles. Serving a meal to the “homeless and hungry” is the smallest part of what we do. We meet them on their own turf, talk to them, and listen. We get to know them as individuals, and, little by little, in all kinds of ways, we then help them to think better of themselves and to not be shy about asking for specific, practical help – which the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition, entirely unsystematically, then tries to provide. All together, volunteers and homeless, form a kind of microcosm of what the larger community ought to be, but now, in the big city, is no longer. The motto of the GWHFC is simply this (with no religious strings attached): I Am My Brother’s Keeper.
Click here SOVA to go to website to get complete information on their programs.
Here is some of the information, please visit their website.
Our new Metro pantry is located in West Hollywood at 1140 N. La Brea Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90038.
The METRO pantry is located on the east side of La Brea. Metered parking is available on La Brea as well as on surrounding streets.
Our West pantry is located in the Pico-Robertson area of West Los Angeles at: 8846 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035
The WEST pantry is located on the south side of Pico Blvd. one-half block west of Robertson Ave. Metered street parking is available on Pico Blvd. and surrounding streets as well as in a parking lot located just a few doors west of the building.
Our Valley pantry is located in the middle of the San Fernando Valley at: 16439 Vanowen St., Van Nuys, CA 91406
The VALLEY pantry is located on the north side of Vanowen St. one-half block east of Hayvenhurst Ave. Our building is located off the street behind a row of storefronts. Follow the driveway that is between Taqueria San Jose and Costa Azul Restaurant to our parking lot.
About a year ago, when it was evident that more and more people are becoming either homeless or “financially challenged”, some of my friends started to seriously worry about having enough to eat. Many of us were going through times when there was just no money to buy food. Constant hunger blinds you to a lot of other things, and the human body needs to eat. Living in a vehicle makes it harder to eat at all, much less eat healthy. If you have some money left over from your job, or if you have an income that is at least modest, you can eat at restaurants every day. However, many now do not have that much money – it gets expensive to do that. If you are living in an RV you at least have a refrigerator and cooking facilities. If you are in a van or car it gets tougher to prepare meals.
There’s things you can do when you are in a car or van to help on this, but it is another subject for another post, and I welcome reader comments on your experiences. This post is about creating what we call a “Food Circle” or Food Meet-Up. When the realization hit that food was becoming a problem, we started to exchange information about where to get cheap meals, places to get free food, where to “dumpster dive” for food, and other topics. The information led to us getting food and then distributing it (for free of course) to each other and to other needy folks. Now a part of our lives has become constant searching for food solutions, the first of which is GETTING the food.
Talk to a few of your friends about this and form a mini food “co-op”. Find out where to get free food. Each person gets a bag or two. Markets and market dumpsters are good for fresh stuff. I will have more detailed posts on places to get food, but now GET ORGANIZED. I don’t mean elect presidents and secretaries, this is not the film club. Get a few of your friends and agree to get food for free (or cheap) and share it. Meet at least once a week. Give your excess to others who are unable to physically participate. Once you start looking for food you will find it, but believe me, with friends helping friends it is much easier. 10 -20 people is a good number for a Food Circle. Everyone goes to different places and gets food. At the weekly Food meet up you share it. This will give you a new attitude on the real meaning of life and friendship. There is nothing better that sharing food and love with your friends, and then with others you don’t even know. You can even have a food “picnic” once a month, where your group goes to the park and have a fun pot-luck food festival.
In some parts of the cities the problem of hunger is really overwhelming. You can’t do it all, but you can start with one Food Circle and help your friends. Meet up now, and get started in a meaningful way. Urge others to do the same. When this first started, some of us were really embarrassed that things had gotten so bad that food was such a problem. The truth is that the economy is not good and getting worse. The VALUE of your dollar is going down, the more the banks print money, the more the money is worth less. It’s called inflation. Think back to 1960 (if you are old enough and still have some memory cells). A gallon of gas was 25 cents. A pack of cigarettes was 25 cents. A cup of coffee was 5 cents or 10 cents, the same with a coke. A paperback book was 25 – 35 cents, comics were 10 – 15 cents. Are you starting to get the picture? You could rent an apartment in L.A. for $50 bucks a month. How much are all these things now? Everything has gone up 10 to 15 times since 1960. Except of course, YOUR WAGES, if you even have a job. Because of inflation, the minimum wage should be around $30 an hour, just to keep even with 1960.
When the government tells you that there isn’t much inflation, they are lying. They don’t count food, rent and gasolene, some of the most important things in your life. Now you can clearly see the seriousness of our situation. Don’t feel embarrassed about it, it’s a crushing fact. Now all we can do is to help each other out of this. Solutions are there for us. We are thinking about a new slogan: “Starve a banker, feed a Senior”.
Future posts will cover:
Where to get Free food
Where to get cheap food. Much help is around for Seniors especially.