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Six Organizations to Volunteer At and Support If You Are Against Gentrification and Displacement in Los Angeles

7:30 AM PST on December 14, 2021

If you’ve listened to all nine episodes of The Sellout, you might be wondering—what can I do to get involved in helping out my neighbors and fighting displacement in Los Angeles? We’ve got you. Here are six organizations doing great work in Los Angeles where you can donate your time, money, or both.

The Los Angeles Community Action Network has been organizing in Skid Row since the 90s and has long been one of the most prominent voices speaking out about (and organizing against) the criminalization of poverty and the systematic violation of the rights of the unhoused. 

On their website, they list their goals as:

    • Organize and empower community residents to work collectively to change the relationships of power that affect our community.
    • Create an organization and organizing model that eradicate the race, class, gender barriers that are used to prevent communities from building true power.
    • Eliminate the multiple forms of violence used against and within our community to maintain the status quo.

To learn more and donate, visit their website here

Ktown for All is a volunteer-led organization that was founded after a group of Koreatown locals came together in support of the construction of a shelter in their neighborhood. Ever since, they’ve developed an extensive outreach program in the neighborhood and speak out regularly about city policies that harm Los Angeles’s unhoused residents. 

They have a candidate report card that grades politicians on five factors: their housing policy, homelessness services, renter protections, criminalization, and knowledge of the issues.

To volunteer or donate, visit their website here

Chinatown Community for Equitable Development (CCED) LA is an organization of Chinatown organizers, residents, workers, and other locals who have been working since 2012 to fight against gentrification and displacement in the neighborhood. To learn more, visit their website here

East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ) is a community-based organization that promotes and facilitates self-advocacy for environmental justice in East Los Angeles, Southeast Los Angeles and Long Beach. EYCEJ provides workshops and training to get community members ready to engage with decision makers who impact their health and quality of life. According to their website, they began in 2001 when East Los Angeles and Commerce residents who were concerned about pollution in their neighborhood decided to work together to advocate for the health and lives of their communities. You can support them here.

We the Unhoused is a podcast created and hosted by Theo Henderson, an independent journalist, organizer, and unhoused resident of Los Angeles. Theo travels across the city (and the country) speaking to unhoused residents about their lives, about issues like sweeps and criminalization, and what could be done to help. The podcast gives unhoused people the space to tell their stories in full, and is deeply informed by Theo’s own experience living on the streets. You can listen to the podcast here and support Theo’s reporting and other work through Patreon here

Jtown Action and Solidarity partners with the We the Unhoused podcast to host a weekly outreach event in Little Tokyo called a “power up,” where unhoused residents can go to charge their phones and other devices. They also provide food, sanitary products, and clothing. To volunteer or donate, visit their website here

Polo’s Pantry is a mobile food pantry that serves unhoused and other marginalized communities in Los Angeles and Southern California. The organizers provide nutritious food to outreach efforts across the region, and speak out about injustices against the communities they serve. To volunteer or donate, visit their website here

People’s Pantry is a volunteer-run food pantry that serves El Sereno residents. The organizers provide nutritious and fresh food to residents struggling with food insecurity. The People’s Pantry distributes food every other week in El Sereno, they also deliver food to local families in need. You can support their efforts here.

And of course... your local tenants union. Tenants’ unions all over the city have been doing important work to bring tenants together in the fight to stay in their homes at rents they can afford. You can find the Boyle Heights chapter, Union de Vecinos right here, and more information about the LA Tenants Union here.

**Disclosure: Carla Green volunteers her time with We the Unhoused and Jtown Action and Solidarity.

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