Can folding clothes make a difference?

There’s a lot to love about living and working in Los Angeles.

It’s expensive and competitive, but it’s also a place of almost endless opportunity, with a sense that one can dream big, and that great things may be just around the corner.

You can see incredible art for free, and you can take a train to the beach.

But it’s not a land of limitless possibilities for everyone. L.A. is also a place of extreme disparity of circumstance. Opulence alongside desperation. And on any given day there are 47,000 – 50,000 individuals struggling with homelessness here in our county.

To put it in perspective, that many people could fill every seat at Hollywood Bowl almost three times, or Dodger Stadium nearly to capacity.


Enter Shelter Partnership, Inc.

Shelter Partnership doesn’t work directly with the homeless population, rather they provide vital support to the organizations who do.

They are a non-profit who serves other non-profits, hundreds of them in fact. And they really make the rubber hit the road.

They are experts in public and housing policy, helping organizations navigate the labyrinthian world of technical regulations and legislation involved with transitioning people into permanent housing.

This is incredibly important because if it’s impossible for people to transition out of shelters, and into stable housing, then shelters can’t take any new people in.

Families and individuals who might just experience a temporary rough patch are then in danger of becoming chronically homeless.

The longer you’re down, the harder it is to get back up.

Shelter Partnership has also conducted dozens of public policy studies to help secure funding for organizations working on the front lines of homelessness in Los Angeles.

And they provide new clothing and other necessities directly to shelters completely free of charge. It’s a win for corporate donors as well who receive tax breaks, and are able to shed excess inventory.

See what we mean about making the rubber hit the road?

Giant Arrow recently had the pleasure of spending a Friday morning at Shelter Partnership’s warehouse, where we folded and boxed clothes to be distributed to shelters all over Los Angeles.

folding clothes
Photo by warehouse director Jerry Ayala.

It was an eye-opening experience. Basic things that we take for granted are a day-to-day struggle for people without any resources.

For example it’s often harder for homeless people to find socks than it is to find food. A good pair of socks is extremely important for anyone living without shelter.

Imagine spending a week hiking without decent socks, and then having no way to wash or otherwise deal with the resulting sores. It would quickly lead to painful infection, and infection can lead to amputation or worse without medical care.

Any company or person can organize their own sock drive for Shelter Partnership, and individuals or groups are always needed to fold and box clothes at the huge Shelter Partnership warehouse in South Los Angeles.

folded and boxed clothes

What difference can spending a few hours folding clothes make?

Once you’re at the bottom of society, the system seems to work against you at every turn.

Not everyone has family, friends, associates and colleagues who are willing and able to help smooth out the bumps on the road, and no one gets through life on their own.

Basic support given to a homeless individual or family can be just what they need to turn around an otherwise hopeless situation.

Oftentimes when we are able to move forward in our lives, it’s because someone gives us a little help. So for someone with nothing, the difference it can make is very large indeed!

Get in touch with Shelter Partnership, Inc. for more information.

Shelter Partnership warehouse