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Ways You Can Help People Experiencing Homelessness During the Holiday Season

Published: 12/20/2021

It’s officially the holiday season, and for many of us, it’s usually a joyful time to get together with friends and family. But it’s also good time to reflect on the things that some of us can take for granted, especially during a pandemic, like having a home.

For people experiencing homelessness or having trouble making ends meet, a token of kindness and support can brighten up the holiday. People often reach out to the City during the holiday season to see how they can help.  We asked our Homeless Services team, who are based out of the Multi-Service Center (MSC), about ways to help.

Here’s what they suggested. 

  1. Create a hygiene kit or house warming gift kit from this Amazon Hygiene Kit List or this Amazon Housing Assistance list  or items such as hand warmersflash lightsbattery packs, batteries (usually D batteries), emergency blanketcharging cables  which can all be packaged in a backpack. Call the Multi-Service Center at (562-570-4586) to set up a time to drop off. 

  2. Donate pet care kits with things like pet treats, collars, leash, pet toys or collapsible pet bowls. Call the Multi-Service Center at (562-570-4586) to set up a time to drop off. 

  3. Donate gift cards to places like Target, Walmart, McDonalds, Taco Bell, In 'N' Out, Dunkin Donuts, grocery stores and drop off at the Multi-Service Center. Please call 562-570-4586 to coordinate drop off.

  4. When the weather outside is frightful, you can make a difference to those experiencing homelessness. Drop off S, M, L, XL or XXL sweat pants, shirts, socks and men’s and women’s underwear, beanies, scarves, caps, hoodies, towels or blankets. Here's an Amazon Clothing Wishlist. We take gently used items too! 

  5. Host a virtual welcome home kit holiday party with youth. Young people can make a welcome home kit with these items and include a special hand-written motivating message to go in the kit. It’s a meaningful way to get youth involved in helping the community. Please call Tyler Ahtonen, MSC Coordinator at 562-570-4586 to coordinate drop off.

  6. Donate food items like, canned food, individualized drinks (i.e., juices, water), snacks (i.e., granola bars, power bars), instant oatmeal, instant soup, fruit and vegetables.

  7. Donate to the Mayor’s Fund to End Homelessness. Your tax-deductible donation supports homeless services in Long Beach by providing access to transportation services, medical care, mental health services, substance treatment and more.

  8. Volunteer in the 2023 Point in Time Count! We are seeking 250 community volunteers to help conduct theits street count of people experiencing homelessness in Long Beach, taking place on Jan. 26, 2023. Volunteers can register online or learn more by emailing HomelessServices@longbeach.gov or calling the Multi-Service Center at 562.570.4499. If more than 250 people volunteer for the count, a waitlist will be established. 

  9. Spread the word about our services. If you know of someone or a family experiencing homelessness, tell them there is help. Call (562) 570-4500 or our 24-Hour Public Health Advisory Line (562) 570-4499.

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