Thomas is a handy man who is unhoused. At night, he used to park in the safe parking program in Westchester Park until that was no longer possible so he started parking next to the park on Manchester Blvd next to the library. We met Thomas during our outreach and started connecting him with work opportunities in the community. He is a specialist at painting, wall repairs, but also does other work like plumbing, caulking, and carpentry. Please reach out to Thomas if you need work done. Send him a text at (323) 907-4439.
We helped Jaime move in on Friday. This is what he wrote: “I cannot begin to thank Grass Roots Neighbors enough for their help. Since I met Vlad and Stephanie, I was able to completely turn my life around and move into a place now! When I first met Vlad, I was at one of the lowest points in my life, living out of a suitcase in West LA. I would look forward to Sunday nights because grassroots would go around giving away food to the homeless in Venice. Little by little, grassroots set me up with the things I needed to survive, a bike, a tent, clean clothes for work, and showers. I began to save money so I could get myself a place to stay. I began working GrubHub on my bike until I could put together enough for a room. Yesterday I officially moved in and I cannot thank Vlad and Grass Roots Neighbors enough. I feel truly blessed to have met this group and to have been able to climb out of the situation I was in.” A few weeks late when it rained he wrote: “Thank you so much again GRN for helping me. This rain reminds me how lucky I am to be housed and to have been helped. Can’t imagine what it would be like if I was still homeless and living how I was. Thank you. God bless you all and your families!"
Meet Laide (pronounced Lye Day, like FriDay)!
GRN is blessed to be supported by a dedicated cadre of volunteers. We are starting. a new series to highlight the diversity of amazing people that make our community work a success.
Laide, what do you like about GRN?
I enjoy how hands-on the organization is…which gives the name “Grassroots” more weight and makes it less of a cliché. It’s inspiring to see a dedicated group of volunteers spending their time and money to help our neighbors who are dealing with food and housing insecurity. What’s even more incredible is seeing some of the individuals and families who have been recipients of GRN’s support return as volunteers.
Laide, what do you do when you’re not volunteering?
I enjoy exercising, riding my bike along the beach, listening to music/podcasts, and playing the drums. I also enjoy working on my business (link: Pickitarian.com). More importantly, I love spending time with my family and friends as well as relaxing.
Laide, how did you get here?
I was born and raised in Nigeria and moved to the U.S. when I was younger. Like many immigrants, I was mainly focused on the “hustle”, spending all my time trying to achieve the American dream and making the most of every opportunity. Unfortunately, it took me experiencing severe burnout to reset and re-evaluate some of my priorities in life. Volunteering consistently was on my list of priorities. I’ve always cared about food/homeless insecurity as it is still bewildering to me that many folks in such a rich nation have to experience this. I’ve volunteered sporadically throughout the years but was always yearning for an organization whose mission and practices were one I could get behind. I learned about Grassroots Neighbors a few years ago but was always “too busy” to check it out. As the saying goes, “Better late than never”. I’m glad to be a dedicated volunteer and partner with the Grassroots Neighbors organization. I look forward to helping the organization achieve its vision to end poverty.