The South Bay is no stranger when it comes to local homeless. One of our Local Anchor group members felt she had to do something to support these struggling community members. We loved getting to know her story and she’d love for more community members to get involved in her project.
South Bay Gives Back: Supporting Local Homeless
Tell us a little about you:
“I grew up in the South Bay and live on the same street I grew up on. I went to Lincoln Elementary and Mira Costa. (they wouldn’t let kids from NRB into RUHS when I went) I love my neighborhood and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. My husband Tim and I have 2 amazing 6th graders. Tyler is 12 and Kamauri is 11.They both love playing baseball and we can’t wait to get back onto the fields again! By trade I am an events photographer. I cover movie premieres, award shows and concerts and have had my business “Jen Lowery Photography” since 1999. Since the pandemic everything has shut down so I have been more of a stay at home mom just waiting for the world to open back up. I have always gotten involved with giving back. Some of the volunteering I have done has been at the kids school, on the board for PTA. I have also helped with animal rescue groups and collecting items for one of my favorite place is called “My Friends Place,” they help Young people experiencing homelessness. I feel like if we all could just do one small thing it would make such a huge impact on our society.”
Please tell us about your project. What you are doing to support our local homeless community?
“Since the pandemic the amount of homeless people has grown. The schools give out food and a lot of the kids will only eat a few things. So instead of it going to waste I have been collecting the food on a weekly basis from people and making bags to feed the homeless. We add other items to the lunches as well. It just depends on what we can get and how to make it into a meal for people. We also make toiletry bags with basic supplies.”
Who are you supporting with this project?
“Currently we have a route near the 110/105 freeway of encampments and cars/rvs with people living in them. My goal is to get to 150 meals a week.”
What inspired you to do this local homeless project?
“I have always tried to find ways to give back and with the homeless population rising I knew with the recourses we have in the South Bay people would be willing to help contribute items. I have been amazed just how many people have jumped in to donate all kinds of items. I honestly couldn’t do this without the amazing support of the community.”
How can the community support your efforts?
“I am a bargain shopper so some items are easier to get at the dollar tree (thick socks, full size toothpaste, deodorant) other things are cheaper to get at the stores (caprisun type drinks and water) School lunch items have been a favorite for a lot of the people. The breakfast items, snacks, burritos and quesadillas are always a hit with them. I update my amazon list as well depending on what we need at the moment to fill the bags. I like to do the toiletry bags once a month and give out full size items. It makes it easier to collect and a little more environmentally friendly as well.”
Anything else you would like us to include?
“I know the pallet houses in Redondo have been a hot topic. I have donated items to them as well. Every time I have gone a resident has been there and would ask me what I was bringing and would thank me. Remember those are temporary living spaces for people to get them off the streets! They are doing the best they can, they are getting the services they need to get into permanent housing.. Give them a chance.”
Most of my outreach is grassroots by posting on facebook sites or my IG @JenLoweryPhoto. If you would like to donate items for our local homeless community, I would love for you to email me.
Check out these other local stories about giving back to our community!
South Bay Giving Back: Easter Basket Project
Local Community Spotlight – The Buddy Bench Project
South Bay Gives Back: Homeless Project
South Bay Gives Back: Bettolino Kitchen