Hygiene Access is a Public Health Issue
More than 66,000 people are currently experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County. This number is expected to increase by 86% in 2023. People who are homeless, especially the chronically homeless (76% of LA’s homeless population), have significant barriers to finding and keeping clothing that fits and meets their needs. They often wind up wearing dirty and wet clothes for long stretches of time out of necessity, making them vulnerable to the spread of transmissible diseases.
Meanwhile, an estimated 371,000 tons of textiles ended up in Los Angeles landfills and waterways last year. Approximately 95% of this waste was of recyclable and reusable clothes, shoes, and other fabric.
At Project Ropa, we find this situation unacceptable. We must do more to direct textile resources to those who need them and away from our precious land and water.
The mission of Project Ropa is to restore dignity and empower the lives of people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles by providing clean clothes, hygiene essentials and employment opportunities while reducing textile waste and minimizing our carbon footprint.
Project Ropa is a Los Angeles Certified Green Business. We are committed to keeping surplus clothing and textile products out of landfills, putting them instead into the hands of people in need in our community. Since 2016, we have saved more than 130,000 pounds of clothing and textile materials from going to waste and have provided clean clothes to 40,000+ unhoused and low-income individuals and families.
Mobile Hygiene Service - We provide a curated selection of new and gently used high-quality men's and women's clothing, shoes and accessories, along with personal hygiene products -- all donated by local manufacturers, retailers and nonprofit partners -- which we bring to locations throughout the city each week in a retrofitted van that acts as a mobile walk-in closet. In order to provide our clients with the opportunity for a complete refresh we operate in tandem with a mobile shower provider at each of our service locations.
Social Enterprise - We employ previously incarcerated individuals and people transitioning out of homelessness to work with our Mobile Hygiene Service and Recycling Program. Our vision is to help break the cycle of homelessness by restoring dignity and creating living-wage job opportunities for people with barriers to employment.
Recycling Program - Our eco-friendly recycling program helps reduce the clothing waste that is going into landfills. All of the donation items we receive are either directly given out to people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles during our Mobile Hygiene Service, redistributed to a local nonprofit partner organization or responsibly recycled.
Here’s how you can help:
1.) Donate $1, $5, $25, $100 -- any amount is incredibly helpful to cover the increase in our operating expenses from the pandemic.
2.) Share this page with your friends and family! By doing so, you will amplify our message and let others know what we need.
To learn more, visit our website: www.projectropa.org
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