Skid Row Carnival Highlights Help for Homeless
Skid Row – the image that immediately comes to mind is not pretty… a desolate street with boarded up windows…downtrodden people lurking in the shadows...broken glass…darkness…despair…
The Skid Row Carnival of Love is an initiative that is working to change all that. Its goal is to build community by providing resources and love to an often forgotten, and overlooked sector of one our largest cities: Los Angeles' homeless population of Skid Row. For one day, it's all about unconditional love and coming together as a community.
This event, now in its fifth year, is put on by the Wayfarer Foundation, founded by actor, philanthropist and entrepreneur Justin Baldoni, best known for his role on Jane The Virgin. As his career evolved and he started to get more recognition, Justin realized he finally had a platform to promote this event in a way that would multiply the good will it was already generating. Each year the event has grown a little bit bigger as new partners join and send representatives to attend and provide in person support in areas such as legal, housing, medical, career, DMV and veteran services. Every guest is paired with a volunteer to guide them through the event, encouraging one-on-one connections with these providers. Haircuts, feet washing, showers, fun and games, and food are also available which transforms Skid Row into a world of sincere connection, love, and hope.
"Today is not just about the carnival, it's about one-on-one human connection," Justin explained. "We believe that if you give the gift of being seen, heard, and loved, anything is possible. This is literally how change happens."
One of the sponsors at this event is Point of Pride which was founded by Aydian Dowling, a motivational speaker and trans activist, who has been speaking out and providing for the transgender community since 2009. For the first time at the carnival, this organization will host an LGBTQ community booth that will be a safe space for people to relax, play board games, and pick up a package of hygiene products. Aydian is hoping that the presence of the booth will begin to raise awareness with people about an issue he is concerned about. "I hope this booth will open up minds and educate them," he explained. "There are other reasons for being homeless and one of them unfortunately could be being LGBT, and that is something that needs to be talked about more."
Point of Pride is an entirely volunteer-operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to benefit trans people in need through gender-affirming support programs that empower them to live more authentically. Point of Pride offers an Annual Transgender Surgery Fund, a Free Chest Binder Donation Program, and other community-building support initiatives for trans youth and adults. They also advocate for health care reform and the national adoption of inclusive health care policies that protect and serve the trans community.
Watch as Aydian gets matched up with a guest and makes the rounds of the carnival, taking them from booth to booth, picking up the things they need. There is a big crowd and a lot to see, so bring your GPS and stick with Aydian as he makes the rounds.
Learn more at: https://www.skidrowcarnivaloflove.org/
Learn about Point of Pride at: https://pointofpride.org/
Find out about Justin's foundation at: https://www.thewayfarerfoundation.org/
To learn more about Aydian, follow him on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/alionsfear/
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