In today's episode I sit down with Amber Sheikh-Ginsberg, a local activist for our homeless community, to talk about the current state of homelessness in San Pedro and what we can expect from upcoming changes.
EPISODE DATE: 5/30/2019
Before we really get into the interview I ask our community to stop doing this one thing: Stop referring to homeless people with derogatory labels. Let's call them people, allowing us to see them as people which will help us treat them like people. I also take a moment to recognize United Methodist Church for their amazing efforts within the homeless community, specifically their pastor Rev. Lisa Williams.
Amber is a LA-based nonprofit consultant with Thurlow/Associates and San Pedro resident of about a decade. Her clients span the nonprofit field from healthcare to social justice organizations. Prior to becoming a consultant, she worked in homeless services, education, and with social justice organizations. She is currently the Vice Chair of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council's Homelessness Committee and coordinates the CD15 Working Group on Homelessness. She lives in SP with her husband, Joe, and two young children.
I share a recent encounter I had with a woman that appeared to be lost in my parents neighborhood. She was without shoes, and without any belongings, she looked a bit disheveled and perhaps like she hadn't bathed recently. Amber shares why my reaction to this woman was actually rare and shares some insight on how we can treat others that we encounter who appear to be homeless. We go on to discuss the local shelter coming to the community and what we can expect from it. Amber shares that while it will not house every homeless individual at once, it has the potential to solve our local homelessness crisis overtime by propelling individuals upward. This bridge shelter will provide housing to fifty people experiencing homelessness and provide services to get them into more permanent housing. So the goal is to get people in, give them a fresh start and eventually help them settle in permanent housing on their own.
Daily Breeze article about United Methodist event