How the power of cannabis can bring people together and ultimately, a community together.
The homeless crisis in Skid Row has grown exponentially over the past few years, and when you throw a pandemic and housing evictions into the mix, it could leave little to no room for those unhoused or experiencing homelessness to enjoy the little things they once did — their only focus being to survive.
STIIIZY has recognized the struggles of its community, and in an ongoing effort to provide a little comfort along the way with the support and funding from BLESSED by LIIIT, our team was able to dedicate time and effort towards our unhoused neighbors the weekend following April 20th. STIIIZY being able to partner up with two incredible organizations whose dedication revolves around restoring dignity and providing services to the folks who call Skid Row their home.
Both Beauty 2 The Streetz and Share The Warmth International are two organizations that are led by inspirational Black women that do what they can to bring a little bit of sunshine to the gloomy side of DTLA known as Skid Row — home to one of the nation’s largest concentrations of unhoused (homeless) people.
TRANSFORMING THE STREETS WITH CONFIDENCE AND PURPOSE
Shirley Raines and her non-profit organization “Beauty 2 The Streetz'' made national headlines as well as a heavy social media presence last year during the height of the pandemic. Her organization remained one of the few that was still continuously operating during the pandemic to serve those most vulnerable to the virus.
STIIIZY’s team had taken notice of Raines unselfish deeds and was happy to join her in providing support at one of her Saturday services.
On April 24, 2021, our team offered assistance to Raines and her group for her well-known and popular Saturday services and were able to provide over 700 hot meals to those that had been lined up early that morning. Our brand ambassadors alongside Raines’ team, and the motorcycle club “Fighters for the World” were also able to provide numerous additional hygiene, health and safety supplies such as tents, blow up mattresses, portable toilet kits, socks, hand sanitizer, soap and so much more.
On top of the donated items, our unhoused neighbors in attendance were able to receive services such as haircuts, trims, dye jobs and Shirley Raines specialty makeovers.
“I want to let this community know that it’s okay to need some help from time to time,” Raines stated the day of the event. “I..am able to do this and get the resources for them so why not?”
A perspective that STIIIZY equally shares.
SHARING WARMTH AND A SAFE SPACE
The following day, STIIIZY teamed up with Share The Warmth International to help support their community giveback that took place at the Refresh Spot: an oasis in Skid Row that provides our unhoused neighbors with fresh water, restrooms, a safe place to wash their clothes and so much more.
Share The Warmth, an up and coming organization, dedicates their time in helping the unhoused community around the world and operates with the belief of “Sisterhood Through Services.” Their goal: to bridge the gap between homelessness and self sustainable living by providing a safe space as well as free clothing, haircuts and other grooming services.
On Sunday, April 25, 2021, STIIIZY was able to help Share The Warmth’s act of kindness with delicious, deli fresh sandwiches and sides that fed well over 300 folks. As our team members walked around Skid Row to spread awareness of the event, they were also able to distribute sandwiches for them to enjoy even if they could not make the trip.
Team USA paralympic swimmer Jamal Hill was also in attendance and helped our team pass out sandwiches and assist wherever he could — Hill will be competing in the 2021 Paralympic games in Tokyo this summer and hopes to bring home gold.
CHANGING THE LENSE ON HOMELESSNESS
When it comes to talking about our unhoused communities, people think there’s one easy solution to the issue, when that is far from the truth. The fact of the matter is, there are so many different stories, different types of what society has coined as ‘homelessness’ that people may be experiencing — most of which have stemmed from an ongoing systemic issue or just what life has dealt a person.
Those that come together to help support understand this notion and want those who don’t have a place to call their own to know that they are being seen and they are being heard.
“There’s no one size fits all solution towards homelessness,” STIIIZY’s Community Giving Manager, DeRon Waller said as he looked back at that weekend of bringing unity to the community. “There are people who work two jobs but have to live in their car, people with mental health issues, Harvard graduates, military vets [and more].”
Luckily, the people that reside in Skid Row have always had a very strong sense of community which makes them a very resilient and strong group of people. Even those who have transitioned from the area come back regularly to do what they can alongside those like Shirley Raines and the Share The Warmth Int’l organization.
“They are very thankful to be seen,” Waller said. “They are thankful to be treated with dignity and with respect from another human being.”
The different perspectives of Skid Row have impacted us forever, and we will always do our best to continuously bring awareness to this ongoing issue while volunteering and donating where we can.
These latest community efforts coincided with the recent BLESSED by LIIIT drop of Rainbow Mintz Live Resin Infused Pre-Rolls. BLESSED by LIIIT (our new charitable model) is our continuous commitment to the community that raised us. Portions of the funds from BLESSED are being donated and utilized to support causes our team believes in and empower agents of change impacting our community.