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First Step has reopened every Thursday with direct and indirect services for those who are homeless. Every week, those who are homeless receive a hot meal and bag of food for the remaining week, a bundle of clothing if needed (jeans, tee shirts, something warm, etc.), and hygiene items. Community partners who provide shelter, mental health services, substance abuse rehab etc. are available as a resource for participants.
Weekly distribution of clothing, food, and hygiene kits.
Clients who are chronically homeless and have no means to store perishables or cook food.
Teresa was like any high school student when her mother remarried and moved her family out of Pacoima, where she had spent most of her life. Left alone for days at a time, she experienced an incident….she pauses almost imperceptibly…and her eyes fill with tears. Her family didn’t believe her. So she began to turn to drugs to forget. Despite this, she was still able to build a good life. Fiercely independent, she had several well-respected jobs and even paid her way to visit Europe. But when she was pregnant, her son’s father died. Soon after, she met another partner. When this relationship ended, she was left a single mother of two.
Then, she met someone she thought was a friend. And life began to unravel quickly. Seeing that Teresa was vulnerable, he began to threaten her children. “He was not a boyfriend.” She clarifies. “He moved in and never left. I was scared.” She was afraid to call the police so, instead, she left her kids with relatives and disappeared. When she found herself in Pacoima again, she had nothing left. She had lost her children, her job and home.