Community Build, Inc., a Leimert Park-based nonprofit focused on outreach to at-risk youth, including school dropouts, those in foster care, youth offenders, and gang members, holds periodic outreach events for the Leimert Park homeless of all ages. These are held in a city parking lot at 4318 S. Degnan Blvd., LA 90008, across the street from Community Build’s main offices. The most recent was on Tuesday, April 25.
Starting at 7:00 am, homeless men and women registered, were offered coffee and Egg McMuffins, then directed toward folding tables where a variety of services were on offer. The county Department of Public Social Services was signing people up for Medi-Cal and CalWorks. St. Johns Well Child and Family Centers, the largest network of free clinics for the poor in South Los Angeles, scheduled doctor appointments.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and the Homeless Outreach Program/Integrated Care System (HOPICS) put people on waiting lists for housing. And SafeLink Wireless handed out free smartphones and free monthly service to anyone who could show their income was at or below 135% of the federal poverty line or who was receiving MediCal, food stamps, Section 8 rental vouchers, or veterans benefits.
The Department of Motor Vehicles set up an impromptu unit in Community Build’s offices to photograph and register people to receive California IDs.
There was one table where the County Department of Mental Health interviewed people. And there was even a barber, who gave a few free haircuts.
LAPD was represented by Southwest Division Senior Lead Officer Paul Evleth, while Johnnie Raines, civilian cochair of Southwest’s Community Police Advisory Board, represented the department’s civilian volunteers.
We don’t have an exact count but it looked like there were about 50 homeless people participating. The event was supported by City Council President Herb Wesson, in whose CD 10 it was held.