Helping Other People Eat

Post Office Box 235 • Santa Monica, CA  90406 • (310) 801-3411

January 2012

"Whenever you are in doubt...apply the first test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen, and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be any use to him? Will he gain anything from it? Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny? True development puts first those that society puts last." - Mahatma Gandhi

HOPE (Helping Other People Eat) provides a hot, nutritious meal every Wednesday and Thursday afternoon at 503 Olympic Boulevard in Santa Monica, CA. Our meal consists of a hot main dish, vegetables or salad, a sandwich or egg, a piece of sweet bread, fresh fruit and either a hot or cold beverage. We have provided over 200,000 such meals to date, at no cost to either the recipient or to our community. This meal program is our organization's vital contact point with the homeless community. The financial and in-kind support for the program is, and will continue to be, supplied by our network of community volunteers and contributors. We currently operate under the organizational umbrella of Friends of Choices, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation which supports people in recovery from chemical dependency.

Our purpose is to restore hope to the homeless by providing meals to live on and jobs to live for. Our philosophy is a hand up, not a hand out. Our mission is to create long term solutions and to reintegrate the homeless of Santa Monica into our community through job creation, in addition to maintaining their basic existence by providing one hot, nutritious meal each day.

We continue to dream about expanding our meal program into a seven-day a week program. The additional cost for food and supplies necessary to accomplish this phase of our project is estimated at $75,000 for one year (without in-kind donations). More importantly, in order to accomplish this goal, we need to recruit 5 dedicated team leaders to head up each day's meal program. We project that after the expanded program has been established for one year and has gained recognition and prominence as a vital community asset, we will be able to replace current grant funding with community donations of cash and in-kind contributions.

HOPE For Jobs is the second phase of our project. Its mission is to establish a series of highly labor-intensive micro-businesses to be operated within our community. One such venture we helped launch is Making Change... a human rights newspaper empowering the poor and unhoused with an income and a voice. Making Change... was founded in 1997 and is now run by and for the homeless themselves. Making Change... newspapers are bought for 20 cents and sold for $2.00. Each vendor is self-employed, and averages about $150 per week in earnings. The paper has over 190 registered vendors presently and distributes the newspaper from 5 separate locations. Making Change... has generated over $50,000 of income to self-motivated individuals in the past eight years.

Our H.O.P.E. For Jobs program strives to educate, train, and employ people exclusively from the homeless population. Other micro-enterprise business ideas include: auto detailing, a retail thrift store, a shopping cart repair and reclamation services, a house cleaning, laundry and gardening service and a temporary employment agency. We continue to seek corporate or private funding to launch these types of commercial activities. The estimated cost to set up and launch a low-end business is estimated at $75,000 for the first year. It is expected that these commercial activities would be self-sustaining within one year.

Helping Other People Eat
Post Office Box 235
Santa Monica, CA 90406
(310) 801-3411