In early August 2014, I watched a video about an outdoor store for homeless in Cape Town, South Africa. With homelessness being an international issue, I was immediately compelled to launch a Street Store event in my community of Southern California. I reached out to my friend, Prabhat Gautaum of Positive Television and Animal Advocacy Museum to enlist his help, and called a few homeless organizations in downtown Skid Row section of Los Angeles. Thankfully, the homeless organizations weren’t sold on the idea, because it led me to contact Alison Hurst, executive director of Safe Place for Youth. Alison was a Godsend. Her enthusiasm and dedication to serving those in need is what I needed to propel this event to the success it became.
As we spread the word and reached out to others, Bishop Des. Horace Allen of First Baptist Church of Venice Worship Center opened his doors so that the Street Store could be held in the spacious church parking lot. Then Toni R. Price of Lash Factor Inc. offered to give hair cuts; while recruiting colleagues to do the same. Dr. Annie Harvilicz, of Animal Wellness Foundation, offered free pet vaccinations, Venice Family Clinic offered free flu vaccinations, San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission supplied mobile showers, UCLA’s Arts & Healing Creative Mind Project came with loads of drums for a fun drum circle, DJ Nametag (Josh Goldstein) spun some great tunes, Chef Rawsheed prepared a delicious hot vegan meal (sponsored by kind-hearted Irene Romero), Sia Baba also provided food, Dream Sweets Baking Co. supplied yummy vegan desserts, Rikki Mendias of Hav a Sole handed out gently worn and new shoes, and Sherika Nicole opened up her (mobile) Hung Up Boutique.
Thanks to generous donors, we were also able to hand out gently worn and new clothes, sports bottles donated by DiscountMugs.com, DogsBars provided by Dog for Dog, pet food supplied by Unleashed by Petco, hygiene items, and delicious scented body products supplied by Janell Green of Drippin’ Nectar Body Products, and Kenita Petties of Badan Aromatherapy.
More than 50 generous individuals came out to give there service to ensure that the, close to 200, guests had their needs met. And for our that guests wanted to commune with prayer, Marisa Nakhi of DeliciousMoney.com was there to facilitate that request.
All in all, it was a huge success. We all experienced SOUL CLEANSING that day.
If you’d like to be a part of the street store event in 2015, please let us know by emailing us Info@GetZENtv.com