Eyes Not Forgotten is based out of Los Angeles, California. The founders as well as many of the board members call the City of Angels their home. The organization feels that it is very important to give back to the community where we live and work. Our home would be the inspiration for this project.
While we love our city of Los Angeles, the truth is that LA is a very unequal place in terms of wealth and prosperity. Many people associate Los Angeles with the glamour that is Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Here is the reality: "As averaged from 2013 to 2015, California had America’s 17th-highest poverty rate, 15 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But, by a newer, more comprehensive Census accounting, California’s true poverty rate is an eye-popping 20.6 percent—the highest in the nation" - Forbes
After the board discussed these staggering statistics, it was apparent that Eyes Not Forgotten needed to create a project centered around our homeless brothers and sisters here in Los Angeles.
On December 5th, ENF's founders Erik Martinez and Charles White met with Jet Doye, Senior Development Specialist with The Weingart Center. The Weingart Center is a comprehensive human services center for homeless men and women living in Skid Row, Los Angeles.
There was an instant connection at the meeting, with Jet, the organization's mission and more specificially with their transitional residential programs. "These programs go beyond the emergency shelter approach by providing housing along with comprehensive wrap-around services including case management and other treatment services."
We feel these programs align well with our mission and our goals. ENF believes to make a positive difference and a lasting impact in the lives of people and communities here and abroad, that we have to go a step further than just giving. Like the proverb says, "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime".
Olympia USA would partner with our organization for this project. They have been an ongoing partner and their support helps to make projects like these possible. They donated over 200 backpacks that volunteers filled with hygiene supplies and nutritional snacks that were purchased with the funds raised from our donors.
After the bags were packed, it was time for the "main event". On Monday, December 18th, The Weingart Center hosted Eyes Not Forgotten at their downtown location. At the event, volunteers with ENF and staff from The Weingart Center distributed these "welcome home" bags to their new clients. The event went very well! ENF would like to thank our volunteers, donors, partners and The Weingart Center.