All posts tagged Homelessness

  • The first six months

    How time flies! It’s been six months already since we opened the doors to our A Million Drops Learning Center, and during that time, it quickly learned to walk and is now slowly beginning to outgrow its baby shoes.

    Each day, we are at full capacity and all in all, we serve up to 25 people daily, Mondays through Fridays from 2 – 6 pm.

    Our weekly programs include classes in Edible Gardening, Acting and Poetry, as well as a Self-Empowerment Workshop. We also have a Podcast and a Film Club, both run by clients of the Learning Center.

    The amazing teachers who volunteer time, sharing skills and knowledge are Charles Malki of IV Organics (Edible Gardening); Greg Johnson of the L.O.V.E. Foundation (Self-Empowerment); Robert ‘The Bench’ Galinsky (Acting); Marquesha ‘Kiki’ Babers (Poetry & Spoken Word). Our guest Antonio Rivera runs the Film Club and Scott Clapson, also a guest, is in charge of the Podcast.

    Charles (right) and his student Josh serving food grown in our own, edible garden

    Robert Galinsky (front row, 2nd from left) and students of his weekly Acting Class

    Greg Johnson from the L.O.V.E Foundation (4th from left) and participants of his monthly Self-Empowerment workshop

     

     

     

     

     

    Marquesha ‘Kiki’ Babers is teaching a weekly Poetry Class

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Anton, introducing a movie for his weekly Film Club.

    Scott with guests of his Podcast, ‘Real Good Stuff’

     

     

     

     

     

    On December 8, we celebrated A Million Drops’ 5th Anniversary (as well as six months of the Learning Center). With the help of decorations generously donated by film prop house Green Set, the auditorium adjacent to our Learning Center (that is included in our lease for events and classes) was turned into a magical forest.

    DJ Aaron Paar provided the perfect musical background, and everyone who came to celebrate with us had a great time.

    Many visitors who stopped by to drop off a sleeping bag  stayed to browse our bazaar and went home with gift items, from art, greeting cards and painted river rocks to cute little succulents pots home baked cookies – all created by guests of the Learning Center.

    We have big plans for 2019! Our main goals are to start the A Million Drops Choir and to produce a play with the cast and crew consisting of members of our homeless community. Our clients are excited and motivated, and looking forward to the great things that are going to happen in the new year!

    We wish you all a very happy, healthy, peaceful, exciting , positive and successful year 2019, and we hope that we will be able to count on your continuous support.

  • A Million Drops Visitor Statistics

    Since opening day, A Million Drops has been growing in visits and new visitors! Thank you for all your help and support!

  • Our 5th Anniversary Celebration

    It’s been five years since A Million Drops was granted non-profit status and six months since we opened the Learning Center. This calls for a celebration! On Saturday, December 8 we are going to have an Open House & Christmas Bazaar.

    Visit us to get a tour of the Learning Center and Edible Garden, and learn about Real Good Stuff with Scottie, a weekly podcast hosted by us.

    Explore our bazaar where you can shop for Christmas gifts handmade by our young clients – cookies, poetry, art, and much more – and help us raise money, so we can keep our doors open and continue to offer our programs and services. Or just enjoy a snack, mingle with old friends and make new ones.

    Saturday, December 8, 3 – 7 pm  •  Family friendly  •  Easy parking

    A Million Drops Learning Center – 1711 North Van Ness Ave. – Los Angeles, CA 90028

     

  • The A Million Drops Learning Center

    June 9th was a BIG day for A Million Drops. We held our 6th Annual UTW Day. We had another successful Unsheltered Art Show. And both of these events happened at the Grand Opening of our very own A Million Drops Learning Center. What a day it was indeed.

    The Learning Center
  

    We’re very excited to share the news about our new Learning Center. It had been a goal for a very long time to have a place where homeless and at-risk young adults could come in off the street to read, learn and get the help they need to improve their life situation.

    Our opening day was a tremendous success. We had a huge turnout of friends, people from the community as well as our board members and many of our peers in the non-profit and fundraising community that work to help improve the lives of homeless and at-risk youth and young adults.

    The Learning Center offers opportunities to study as well as teach, and gives those in the community a brick-and-mortar location where they can come donate their time, needed items or money to help improve the lives of others.

    Unsheltered

    Coupled with the opening of the Center was Unsheltered VII, our recurring art exhibit presenting works by homeless, young adults. In the past we featured drawings and paintings. This time around we decided to make it a “photographs only” show.

    In realizing that not everyone is comfortable with paint, we thought everyone can take a photograph. This allowed for many more of our local homeless and at-risk young adults to take part.

    We raised money and spirits. The art exhibit resulted in many pieces being sold, with a majority of the proceeds going directly to the artists. They were thrilled, of course.

    Opening Day was also the day when we started to create our edible garden in the back of the lot. Thanks to the California sun and frequent watering (taken care of by Craig, one of our young clients) the little vegetable plants and herbs have already grown in nicely.

    Self Defense Class

    Directly behind our new Learning Center we have access to a banquet hall. That is were we held our very first community Self Defense Class. Supported by the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council (HUNC) this event was open to all members of the local community, and it was a rousing success.

    It was especially fulfilling to see some of our more shy and introverted friends step outside of their comfort zone to take part in learning how to defend themselves. The class was taught by Jean Morrison, a veteran self-defense teacher and life coach. The event was so well received we have already scheduled our next class for July 14th.

    Future Classes and Events

    In addition to the Self Defense Class, we have a number of events and classes scheduled: Local artist Sophie Pleshette started to teach a weekly Art Class with the goal to create pieces that our young people will paint on utility boxes along Hollywood Blvd. This project is supported by the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council (HUNC).

    We will also be holding a Career Planning Class where anyone can learn tips from writing a resumé to interview techniques.

    Every month – in partnership with Wash on Western Laundry – we sponsor a Free Laundry Night where homeless people can do some of their laundry for free.

    All of these and other events can be found on the Calendar Page of our website.

  • Sharing A Meal

    Earlier this week, I saw a post on Facebook by my friend Greens. He wrote that he was looking for help with organizing and preparing a Thanksgiving meal for the young homeless community in Hollywood. Greens used to be one of them. He spent years of his life on the street, struggling with addiction. With the support from others, he was finally able to get out of homelessness. Now 27, Greens has a home, a girlfriend and a job. And he wants to give back.

    We were more than happy to team up with him. Many of the kids he used to hang out with are still on the streets, and we have come to know them as guests at our monthly Free Laundry Nights.

    Since Greens didn’t know where to serve the meal yet, we reached out to Andrew, the Director of Operations at the Hollywood Adventist Church, to ask if we could set up on the church’s parking lot. Not only did he agree right away, he actually offered us to use their banquet hall and kitchen, as well as tables and chairs.

    The outside of the banquet hall of the Hollywood Adventist Church

    Matt and A Million Drops board member Denise setting up the buffet

    Matt’s 81 year old mom came to help. In the background, Andrew (right) talking to our first guest, Shane

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was such a last minute idea, we had just one day to get it all done, but it worked out beautifully. Greens and his girlfriend Clarissa cooked two turkeys, his friends Matt and Amanda prepared the side dishes, A Million Drops’ members Scott and Denise baked bread and apple cobbler, and we used some of the money that was donated to us to buy apple cider, and things like table cloths, plates, cups etc.

    The first guests arrived at 1:30, and for the next 2 hours more kept coming. We fed about 25 young people (and a couple of dogs), and they all got to take to go bags with them as well. We sat down with them, and got the chance to learn a little bit about their lives. Most of them have an email account, and we exchanged contact info so we will be able to stay in touch. Now they can reach out to us with special needs, like sleeping bags or toiletries, and we can let them know about upcoming events, like our monthly Free Laundry Nights.

    Some of our guests, enjoying their meal

    At the end of the day, one of our guests discovered the piano in the back of the room and he played for us while we started to pack and clean up.

    Brian played for us

    It was a special day; we are thankful that Greens reached out to us about participating, and we are especially thankful to the Hollywood Adventist Church for letting us use their banquet hall on such short notice.

  • ‘Unsheltered’ A Full Success

    Frankie felt immediately drawn to this piece by Kris Williams.

    Our opening reception for ‘Unsheltered’ – Art by Homeless, At-Risk Youth & Young Adults of Los Angeles on Saturday, February 4 was a full success!

    A seemingly endless stream people came in to check out the 44 pieces that were up on the walls of Wash On Western (WOW), a brand new, very hip laundromat in the heart of Hollywood. Friends, family, co-workers, strangers, some who had followed our invite, others who just happened to walk by.

    We had a full house, people loved the art and everybody enjoyed free tacos and lemonade, generously donated by WOW. And if that wasn’t enough, chiropractor Dr. Robert Zeravica set up a treatment table and offered free adjustments!

    At the end of the day, 15 works by young homeless people had been sold and will be displayed in someone’s home soon. For now though, they are still up on the walls at WOW, so don’t worry if you couldn’t make it last Saturday. The show will continue throughout the month, and WOW is open 24/7. There are still 30 unsold pieces, beautiful, exciting works waiting for someone to fall in love with them. Prices start as low as $15.

    Laura fell in love with  Neil Massey’s ‘Life Is Strange’.

    Claudia chose an original by Morgan Movesaround for her home.

    Ren picked ‘Blue Smoke’ by Neil Massey for her collection.

    Artist Andrew Washington was thrilled to sell this piece to Gus.

     

  • ‘Unsheltered’ – Art by Homeless, At-Risk Youth & Young Adults

    1 wall, 12 artists, 44 pieces. Framed, cataloged and ready for the grand opening  of ‘Unsheltered’ – Art by Homeless, At-Risk Youth & Young Adults of Los Angeles.

    We couldn’t be more excited. For the fifth time in two years, we are proudly presenting “Unsheltered’, a vibrant diverse collection of art, allowing a glimpse into the lives of  young artists, their struggles, hopes and dreams.

    Please join us on Saturday, February 4 between Noon-4 pm for the opening reception at Wash On Western. You will get a chance to meet some of the young artists, and maybe make one of their pieces yours. 100% of the proceeds go to the artist.

    Opening reception Saturday, February 4 Noon-4 pm at Wash On Western, 1548 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027

    IMG_5283

    Prepping the art wall at Wash On Western

    IMG_5279

    Every piece was carefully framed and cataloged

    IMG_5282

    Clarence working on the exhibit descriptions

    IMG_5278

    Art, art, art… as far as the eye can see

    Screen Shot 2017-01-29 at 8.17.14 PM

    Artist Dondrell Lee dropping off his pieces

     

     

     

     

  • CHRISTMAS ART SALE

    Our Christmas Art Sale Was A Full Success!

    Lots of people came by, everyone had a great time and many went home with a new piece of art. Here some of the happy owners of a new, original piece of art…

     

    IMG_5542

    Xochitl and Brian came all the way from Murrieta, and they went home with two new pieces

     

    IMG_5570

    AMD founder Maike Both with Jaimie and Robert who purchased a piece by homeless artist Alexis

    IMG_5571

    Ken bought these three pieces that were donated to us by L.A. artist Kymm Swank

    IMG_5603

    A very happy camper: Nicole went home with an original, signed piece by famous photographer Glen Wexler

    IMG_5592

    Robert bought this piece by homeless artist Andrew Washington

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Thanks to the efforts of everyone involved, artists, customers and AMD board members, and especially Lorna Donohoe and Nader Naderi, the owners of Wilde Wine Bar who invited us to have our art sale at their restaurant, we were able to raise $1,800 in just a few hours. This money will greatly help us help others, especially during the winter time, when even in L.A. the temperatures can go down to just above freezing at night.

    It was a beautiful event all the way round, and we are looking forward to the next one!

  • Troy And Joshua Living On The Streets

    Troy And Joshua Living On The Streets

    Founder and Executive Director of A Million Drops, Maike, has spent a lot of time with Troy and Joshua, two homeless young men who now live in an RV on the streets of Los Angeles. Maike has sat down with them to find out they became homeless and what they are doing to get back on their feet.  Watch part 1 here and please help us help people like Troy and Joshua by donating to A Million Drops today.

     

  • Art Show

    Art Show

    We are excited to announce an upcoming collaboration between A Million Drops and Wallspace, a popular, contemporary art gallery on La Brea. Gallery owner Valda Lake teamed up with us to curate a show featuring pieces by homeless and at-risk youth and young adults whom we got to know during our outreach in drop-in centers and on the streets of Hollywood.

    gallery-outdoorshoot

    Most of these young artists are self-taught, to show their works in an established gallery that is popular with decorators and designers who work on film and tv productions presents a wonderful opportunity to them.

    The show will open on Saturday, September 12 and run through Sunday, September 20, 2015. In support of our work, Valda waived her commission and instead is going to donate her fee to A Million Drops.