The Everest Foundation: Helping The Homeless In Los Angeles

[Alt Text: A picture of a homeless person from behind, walking down the road with all of their belongings on a cart.] 

Based on data from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority in 2022, more than 69,000 individuals experienced homelessness in Los Angeles.  

Individuals who have nowhere to stay and are forced to live on the streets typically experience high rates of health conditions like mental illness, HIV infection, drug and alcohol abuse, and tuberculosis.   

Health issues among the homeless population result from various factors like barriers to care, limited social services and resources, and lack of access to ample food and protection.

Homeless individuals in Los Angeles have many needs, and several individuals and organizations help them and other vulnerable persons, particularly around the holidays.  

The Everest Foundation, headed by Agata Everest and Dr. Michael Everest, is one organization dedicated to meeting the needs of the Los Angeles community and others throughout the United States and worldwide.

Ways to Assist Homelessness in Los Angeles

Volunteer

Many L.A. residents have made serving food at a kitchen or shelter an essential part of their traditions for the holiday season. 

However, homeless organizations need support all year long, including a broad range of continuing, lesser-known skills such as child care, resume editing, and tutoring.

Los Angeles Mission, Downtown Women’s Center, and many other Skid Row shelters have volunteer orientations monthly. There is also the option of registering for group service events where you can volunteer as a team with family members, coworkers, or friends. 

House Someone in an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

Applications skyrocketed after the state relaxed local ordinances, which made it easier for homeowners to construct an ADU on their properties.

A pilot program has been launched by L.A. County in which qualifying homeowners can get as much as $75,000 in funding, along with an efficient permitting process, to build ADUs, if the units are rented to previously homeless individuals. 

More legislation is being worked on to assist in clearing hurdles for homeowners. There is consensus among advocates that power should not be in the hand of the government but should go to homeowners.

If property owners want to assist with the housing crisis, they should be allowed to do so.  

Contribute In-kind Goods

Whether they are  cash or in-kind, donations are accepted by many local homeless organizations. 

For example, at the Downtown Women’s Center, general funds go straight to the women served by the organization, and donating money is a quick and easy way to make a huge impact.  However, the center needs in-kind goods as well.

There is always a need for clean underwear and socks, travel-sized toiletries, and sleeping bags. The center has an Amazon wish list you can check out for an easy way to buy additional items that can be directly shipped to the center. Most shelters and missions have similar lists to make it easy to donate.

Become an Advocate for Affordable Housing

A picture of tents and tarps lining the street of L.A. where many homeless individuals live.

[Alt Text: A picture of tents and tarps lining the street of L.A. where many homeless individuals live.] 

Even though voters have approved several ballot measures to fund more homelessness solutions, there are still roadblocks. By participating in public meetings, you could assist in swaying lawmakers to make changes to city policies.

Crucial support in this area is needed from residents, precisely where it concerns turning out to hearings and contacting decision makers regarding proposed housing developments.  

Discover where in your council district shelters are being proposed, and contact your council member to determine the type of support you can offer.

Register for the Homeless Count

The annual Homeless Count provides an accurate view of how many individuals need help and provides the information needed to find and fund solutions.  

More individuals are needed to wipe out homelessness. To achieve this goal, Homeless Count volunteers are instrumental. There are reporting centers across the county; each January, volunteers can register for a nearby location.  

Tour Skid Row on Foot

With almost 60,000 residents affected, the homeless community in L.A. could potentially be its own city.  According to Adam Murray, Executive Director of Inner City Law Center, thinking about the homeless community as its own city can assist Los Angeles residents in coping with the crisis.

Inner City Law Center (ICLC) is a non-profit poverty law firm that serves the most vulnerable residents of L.A.  

With substantial support from foundations, donors, and devoted volunteers, ICLC has talented and diverse staff members committed to fighting for justice for vulnerable persons, including the homeless.  

ICLC offers a real-life method of understanding the scope of homelessness in the city via touring Skid Row on foot. The walking tours happen monthly on Fridays at 10 a.m.

The Everest Foundation Helping the Homeless in Los Angeles with Danny Trejo

A picture of Dr. Michael Everest and Danny Trejo shaking hands and smiling at the ‘Bibles and Tacos’ event for homeless veterans.

[Alt Text: A picture of Dr. Michael Everest and Danny Trejo shaking hands and smiling at the ‘Bibles and Tacos’ event for homeless veterans.] 

Recently, actor and restaurateur Danny Trejo partnered with the Everest Foundation to feed homeless veterans and other residents at the Valley Rescue Mission’s Shelter.  

Trejo and the Everest Foundation collaborated to host the third annual ‘Bibles and Tacos’ affair in Van Nuys.  

Trejo’s signature doughnuts, famous tacos, and beverages were supplied to homeless veterans at the mission.

In essence, Trejos Tacos provided the food, which was a big hit, and The Everest Foundation provided Bibles, which were equally well-received.  

Chairman of The Everest Foundation, Dr. Michael Everest, came up with the concept after seeing homeless veterans close to his office in West L.A.

His offices are close to the West L.A. veterans office, and after seeing the homeless encampments of veterans, he thought about how to assist. This led him to contact Trejo and put a plan in place to help the community by spreading some love.

About The Everest Foundation

The Everest Foundation is a nonprofit organization in Los Angeles, California, formed after the passing of the late Dr. Edwin A.D. Everest. His wife, Bilma Everest, and his daughter-in-law, Agata Everest, carry his legacy and passion for medical education and serving the community. 

The Everest Foundation often hosts events for the Los Angeles community but primarily focuses on changing the future of medicine through global initiatives, graduate medical education, and venture philanthropy. 

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