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It’s no understatement to say that this year has been a difficult road for many to traverse. And while there have been many challenges for healthcare workers, small businesses, and teachers, one group that can often be overlooked are those who have been unhoused during this pandemic.
In Los Angeles alone, the numbers are staggering. This year the number of homeless in LA County rose to top more than 66,000. It has been a tough blow to a community that was hoping to turn things around this year. Now the climb to reduce homelessness seems steeper than ever.
It made sense, then, during this period of reflection and gratitude, that Phonexa Cares would turn our attention and resources to doing whatever we could to assist those who need it the most. This year we partnered with local social service agency The People Concern to become a sponsor and have a direct impact on their November holiday event “Give Thanks and Gobble.”
Usually a large-scale event that brings together hundreds from around the LA area, this year’s “Give Thanks and Gobble” was separated into multiple smaller events where food was served and goodie bags of snacks and hygiene essentials were distributed.
Phonexa’s sponsorship helped provide meals for the event (which included a turkey dinner and some pumpkin pie) while our team members pitched in to decorate and put together the goodie bags for distribution. Over 200 bags were put together by the team over the course of a week—each bag adorned with unique decorations and cheerful messages.
The mission of the People Concern is to assist the most vulnerable as they work to rebuild their lives. They have a multi-layered approach to their goals, providing interim housing, medical care, outreach, wellness programs and more. The Village location where some bags and meals were distributed with Phonexa volunteers also has services like basic money management, a music room, and an art studio peppered with the work of those who have been through their services.
It was sobering for the Phonexa team to be able to learn about the city’s homelessness crisis, which may become exacerbated in the months ahead due to a feared “eviction tsunami” set to hit in early 2021. This issue, like the California housing emergency, remain front and center in Phonexa’s community outreach efforts.
While a long road lies ahead to address these issues, this past week was a reminder that everyone has the power to make a difference. Every contribution—every carefully packed bag, every handwritten note—can have an impact or make someone’s day.
That is the message Phonexa Cares want to pass along as we spend the holiday giving thanks and breaking bread.
Happy Thanksgiving from Phonexa!