I did this event last year with the Sierra Club and had a great time helping the homeless. For years, a Sierra Club leader has led a hike through skid row while hikers are giving items to the homeless. Yes, the meetup starts at 11:45pm and we will be walking, as group, in skid row to distribute items to the homeless. After the walk, they go for breakfast at about 4am at The Original Pantry. I will NOT be going to breakfast.
You can help the homeless in two ways. Go on the hike and distribute items. Or donate items to be distributed. You can drop them off that night starting at 11pm. When you RSVP please indicate that you're only dropping off items.
While I enjoyed the hike last year, I thought some of the logistics needed to be worked out. There were over 150 people on the hike. When we walked down a street, if you were at the back of the line, the other hikers had already given the homeless countless items. The homeless do not have a place to store 10 tubes of toothpaste or toothbrushes.
So, if they get over 150 people and don't break off into smaller groups, we will break off from the main group and walk a few streets to distribute items. So we can help as many homeless people as possible. You may choose to stay with the main group and that's fine too. But, I want to help as many homeless people as possible.
Last year, while we met at 11:45pm, we didn't get to skid row until about 1am, since there was a restroom stop at Union Station. I hope this year they work out the logistics much better.
When handing out items to the homeless, please do not just throw items at the homeless. This happened last year and I was shocked. Talk to them, wish them Happy Holidays, and ask what they need or say "Would you like a sandwich? Or Would you like a blanket?".
If you're hiking bringing a wagon, cart or a suitcase with rollers will make the hike much easier.
I park near the Little Tokyo station and walk to the Chinatown station since I'll stop hiking after giving away all my items. The Little Tokyo station is a closer walk from skid row. It's about a mile walk from Little Tokyo to Chinatown.
Chinatown Gold Line Station
901 N. Spring St.
(North Spring Street at College Street)
Hike starts at 11:45pm.
If you are just dropping off items, I will be a the station at 11pm.
Sierra Club Write Up
Midnight Hike to Help the Homeless @ Downtown L.A.
For 32 years, legendary Sierra Club leaders Stag Brown, Bobcat Thompson and Joe Young have led an overnight hike through Skid Row of Downtown Los Angeles, proving their hearts are as big as their cardiovascular capacity. We will be donating clean clothing, personal hygiene items, food, and whatever your backpack can carry.
This is truly an "Urban Hike" as we put on our packs and hiking boots to help those less fortunate than ourselves.
We'll meet before midnight Saturday night at the Chinatown Metro Gold Line station. The route is about 6 miles round trip, as we seek out citizens in need. The event culminates around 4 AM with the traditional breakfast at the Original Pantry.
Mr. Stag Brown created this annual tradition years ago. For more than 20 years, he led the Wednesday night Griffith Park hikes. He also led hikes for the Hundred Peaks Section. Stag is listed in the Honor Roll of Great Leaders of the Angeles Chapter, alongside his friends Bob "Cat" Thompson and Joe Young.
Everyone is welcome to participate in this hike, mature teenagers included.
HELPFUL HINTS: Wear layers and dress for the weather. Don't wear your fanciest hiking gear, just dress to stay warm. Sturdy walking shoes recommended. Bring WATER to stay hydrated. Bring the biggest backpack you can safely handle. Bring goods to donate. Bring $ for breakfast, possibly parking.
WHERE TO MEET: At the Chinatown Gold Line Station--on Alameda and College Street in Chinatown. Look for the huge crowd!
901 N. Spring St.
There is free street parking near the station. You may have to walk a few blocks to find it.
ACCEPTABLE ITEMS FOR DONATION:
CLEAN CLOTHES: t-shirts, sweaters, socks, warm hats, gloves, etc
FOOD ITEMS: sandwiches, cookies, cup o'noodles, juice boxes, think non-perishables. You can bring fruits too. I found that many homeless people have issues with their teeth, so eating an apple is tough for them. Oranges, bananas are good fruits to give.
NO CANNED FOODS (they're too heavy)!
PERSONAL HYGIENE ITEMS: toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, roll on, hand sanitizer
MISCELLANEOUS: blankets, tote bags, duffel bags, bookbags, daypacks