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Dear Friends of LA Poverty Department,

2023 is about to turn into 2024. I can tell you right now it’s the best of times and the worst of times in Skid Row.

For us, the good news is that we have been able to work directly with the county and the city to get people into housing. As far as we know, we’re the only arts organization doing that. I’m talking about people who participate in our art making activities, people who come to see our exhibitions, films, conversations, and people who come in to use our bathroom, get clothing, food, a few bucks, or the cooling station and free water we have out front on hot days.  

The bad news, the non-profit hotels in Skid Row that have become permanent residences for so many people getting off the street, are now in crisis. Residents tell us that conditions have deteriorated, and one of these non-profits has gone into receivership.   

More bad news, the people dying on the streets and from drug overdoses. But as our friends at United Coalition East Preventions project say, “Connection is the antidote to addiction.“ and for us, that’s an operating principle.

A big project this year was the exhibition from our community curator Charles Porter Cosmology & Community: Networks of Liberation. It reviewed Charles’ decades of work in Skid Row and his manifold uses of the spiritual and artistic traditions of the African Diaspora to uplift individuals and organize the community.

Los Angeles Poverty Department’s Skid Row performance troupe made, “Resilience”, a performance derived from Charles’ concerns, and focused on individuals’ innate abilities for self-realization and fulfillment, to heal themselves.

We’ve got a lot planned for 2024, including our next Walk the Talk performance / parade honoring people transformative work of Skid Row residents and stake holders, and a major exhibition (and related activities) focusing on the wisdom and best practices for providing healthcare and getting people housed, that were discovered by medical personnel and support staff in the urgent conditions of LA County’s pandemic Quarantine & Isolation Sites.

If you are willing and able to support our work, please consider making a donation.

All the Best,

John Malpede – for LA Poverty Department.

Please consider making a monthly donation on our secure website.
Or send a check to Los Angeles Poverty Department, POB 26190, Los Angeles CA 90026
* Los Angeles Poverty Department is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Donations to Los Angeles Poverty Department are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.

Download the PDF of the Year End Letter 2023