LOS ANGELES -- City Controller Ron Galperin, Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Mike Bonin, and representatives of the Los Angeles LGBT Center called on City employees and visitors to City Hall to make a difference in the lives of homeless LGBTQ youth by donating clothing suitable for them to wear to job interviews and professional workplaces.
In a City Hall press conference and Council presentation this morning, the elected LGBTQ leaders and Simon Costello, the Center’s Director of Children, Youth, and Family Services, appealed to City employees and all Angelenos to drop off clothing, shoes and purses, and unopened toiletries in City Hall and City Hall East. The Center, which serves thousands of young people with shelter, counseling, employment assistance and other programs, will make the items available to young people who need them. The clothing drive, which will run through September, is a partnership with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office and L.A. Sanitation.
“Homeless people already face numerous obstacles to employment, and openly LGBTQ and gender nonconforming people are doubly disadvantaged,” Controller Galperin said. “With this clothing drive, we’re seeking to give people opportunities to get the jobs they want and to realize their dreams. One suit, blazer or pair of shoes can make all of the difference for someone at a critical juncture in his or her life.”
From left: Simon Costello, Countroller Galperin, Andre Vargas, Councilmember O'Farrell
In conjunction with the drive, Controller Galperin unveiled an interactive map on his website showing resources for LGBTQ Angelenos, including health centers, youth programs, general social services, housing assistance, educational programs and food. The map can be found at http://www.lacontroller.org/lgbtqresourcemap
Clothing and other items will be accepted at drop-off locations in front of the City Controller’s Office on the third floor of City Hall East, 200 N. Main St., and the Mayor’s Help Desk on the third floor of City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., as well as Bonin's office in Suite 475 of City Hall, O'Farrell's district office at 1722 Sunset Blvd.
The drive seeks professional clothing in good condition, recently dry cleaned or washed, and wrinkle-free. It also accepts purses and shoes in good condition, and unopened travel-size toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner and body wash.
“Growing numbers of LGBT youth experiencing homelessness are turning to us for support. We depend on clothing donations to help them present well for job interviews and, eventually, for the jobs they’ll earn,” said Simon Costello, director of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Children, Youth and Family Services. “Last year, with support from the city’s HIRE LA Youth Summer Employment Program, we successfully helped more than 146 young people find employment. By leading this initiative, City Controller Galperin and Councilmembers O’Farrell and Bonin are helping to ensure every youth has the attire to help them succeed in life.”
“I am committed to helping people find jobs, and that includes assisting those who face barriers to employment,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell. “With this clothing drive, we’re hoping to reduce at least one of those barriers by helping job seekers of all ages look and feel their best during interviews for employment or to launch their professional careers.”
“Many people have gently used outfits and shoes in perfectly good condition that they may no longer need or even think of,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin. “Yet for a young homeless person, this kind of clothing may seem like an unattainable luxury. When you’re interviewing for a job, though, it’s a necessity. Let’s all do our part to help.”