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Laguna Beach

 Volume 13, Issue 98  |  December 7, 2021


It’s that time to consider helping: National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Month

In recognition of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month, Laguna Beach residents are encouraged to share with their neighbors who are experiencing hunger or homelessness. 

Gail Duncan, longtime member of the City of Laguna Beach Housing and Human Services committee, said, “During this month of sharing, we want to address the needs of those experiencing hunger and homelessness. Our committee seeks to partner with local safety-net nonprofits that address these issues that were made worse by COVID-19.” 

They include:

–Friendship Shelter works to end homelessness for our community’s most vulnerable neighbors through permanent housing solutions. This year alone, the organization has helped 89 people move out of homelessness and into housing.

Its ambitious goal is to house the next 100 people by June 2022. Using funds directed from the federal COVID-19 response, Friendship Shelter anticipates using 100 Emergency Housing Vouchers intended for our community’s most vulnerable neighbors experiencing homelessness. 

Dawn Price, executive director, noted, “While these vouchers cover the cost of housing, Friendship Shelter knows that housing alone isn’t enough. That’s why we’ve launched a campaign, “The Next 100”, to raise critical funds to pay for essential services to ensure that each person in housing has the support they need to remain safely and stably housed.” For more information on “The Next 100” or to make a donation, visit www.friendshipshelter.org/thenext100.

It's that time man

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Friendship Shelter

A former Friendship Shelter resident unlocks the door to his new apartment. In 2021 alone, Friendship Shelter has helped 89 people move out of homelessness and into housing.

–The Laguna Beach Girl Scouts are collecting unused toiletry items to assist the daily needs of our community’s unhoused neighbors. They are making individually packaged hygiene kits for guests at Friendship Shelter’s Bridge Housing Program on Coast Highway, the Alternative Sleeping Location (ASL) Emergency Shelter and other community organizations that provide homeless services. 

A collection box is available for donated goods outside the Laguna Beach Girl Scout Program Center at 190 High Drive through November 29. The Girl Scouts are collecting the following items: shampoo and conditioner (travel size), individually wrapped bars of soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste (travel size), small bottles of moisturizing lotion, sunscreen, lip balm, disposable razors, feminine hygiene products, brushes and combs, small tissue packages and Band-Aids.

–Laguna Food Pantry Executive Director Anne Belyea said her organization went from serving 80 to 100 people per day in 2019 to a record high in 2020 of 342 people on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving of last year. 

She noted, “Although the surge in demand has dropped, the struggle for many families remains. An average of 150 people a day rely on the Pantry for accessing sufficient food.” 

Needed shelf-stable items include pasta, canned tuna, cereal and other staples. A complete list of food items and how to donate them can be found at www.lagunafoodpantry.org.

–Orange County’s United to End Homelessness, an offshoot of Orange County United Way, is again spearheading the annual observance, using it “to help our community understand how we can solve homelessness in Orange County.” For year-round, free informational online classes and ways to help, visit www.unitedwayoc.org, or call 949.660.7600.

 

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

Tom Johnson, Publisher - Tom@StuNewsLaguna.com

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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