Happy Holidays Specsandblazers family. Hope all is well. I am so nervous yet excited to write this post, I don’t know why but let’s get started. What I love about my Adidas family is that they push me to go out of my comfort zone and give me the liberty to truly be myself and use my platform to represent them in a positive light. With that said, this post is going to be about giving back and why I have made it my lifelong mission to work with homeless youth in Los Angeles.
As most of you know, I myself was a homeless youth in Los Angeles. I came to LA to visit six years ago and decided to stay. I had about 30 bucks to my name. I called my parents to let them know and they essentially cut me off for 3 years. I checked into a homeless shelter and the rest is history. If it weren’t for the good Samaritans who volunteered, I won’t be where I am today. My eternal gratitude.
Skid Row is one of those places that is so surreal to see in person. It is beyond heartbreaking. A quick backstory, Skid Row is a term for a bad part of town which originated in Seattle where they had lumber skids down a hill to get trees from the top of the hill down to ships. The rough part of the town was down at the bottom of the skid on the waterfront and Skid Row was the name for that district. The term spread to other cities and in LA it became its own geographic location.
Let me just say this, no one chooses a life like this. Anyone who simplifies the issue of homelessness as ‘laziness’ clearly can’t see outside their own narrow experience of the world. I’m not exaggerating when I say this. But in this country, the average American (myself included) is one bad accident/disease or paycheck away from being homeless. The amount of people who go from earning $80k+ a year, to disabled, to burning through savings, to homeless is insane. It’s really easy to fall through the cracks when you don’t have a net. IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANY AND EVERYONE. Giving back reminds me how lucky I am to have gotten out of that situation. It keeps me humble and keeps me grinding. I love seeing the smile on their faces when you hand them water and food but more importantly the fact that most of them just want a human touch and human conversation.
I’m hoping this post would inspire you to do some social good. There is something about doing good that brings me joy and I hope you can feel the same. Spread your blessings and give back to your community.